Week 2 — Take the Cake Café

I realize I have some catching up to do.

My only other tryst with Take the Cake (TtC) happened more than two years ago when I visited with some friends to watch Jaws for this. That time I’d only tried some kind of dessert as, well, that’s what Take the Cake is a little bit known for. Since they are also kind of known for this (TtC is perennially one of Cincinnati’s Best Brunches), Date and I decided to give it a whirl one Sunday. We decided on that particular day of the week because TtC has biscuits and gravy every Sunday (at least until they run out): homemade buttermilk biscuits with local Kroeger & Sons sausage gravy.

I cannot say enough great things about the homemade buttermilk biscuits. And this is coming from someone who undyingly loves all things carbs. The biscuits were truly fantastic—so much so that my mouth is watering just thinking about them. The linger factor is real, folks, and the biscuits are heavenly. Switching gears, however, I don’t garner the same sentiments for the gravy. While it was top quality and very good, the level of spice and pepper were a bit high for my liking. I will say that I am so, so glad I finally got to try this dish. Perhaps the expectations I held were lofty, but my opinion doesn’t quite live up to what I expected—well, for the biscuits, yes, yes it does.

Date opted for the Deep Dish Quiche and Potatoes, as well as a Carrot Cake Cupcake for good measure. The former was pretty good while the latter really impressed.

I’ll use a “legit” rating system so that you may have a better idea of why I’ve given TtC the final grade as I have:

Location: I really enjoy Northside and its resurgence. I think the location is fantastic, even if parking isn’t 100% convenient. I also think TtC has done a really fantastic job mastering and cornering the brunch market without creating a monopoly of sorts.

Atmosphere: I love the building where TtC is located, as well as the interior décor (eclectic tables and chairs dispersed throughout, as well as a counter bar). As a Graphic Designer, I think it’s necessary that I touch on how much I enjoy the minimalist logo (hey! the interior takes the minimalist approach as well, which is fantastic).

Food: The cost of brunch was extremely reasonable comparatively, which is arguably its greatest asset. I will recommend Take the Cake’s Brunch to anyone I can, and it helps that it’s affordable for most walks of life. Additionally, the entire experience was pretty quick and painless, as you order from the blackboard menu at the register and a worker hand delivers the meal(s) when ready.

Overall Grade: A- [out of a possible A+]

Your guess is as good as mine as to why it’s taken me so long to return to try brunch. If I can help it, I will most certainly be back.

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