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Biking and Brunching: Hang Over Easy

Hang Over Easy (HOE) is something of an institution in the Columbus metro area. Located in the south campus area across the street from the OSU College of Medicine/Department of Pathology, this eatery caters to its primary surrounding population: college students. The name itself references the oft-experienced ritual of recovering from a night of revelry with a large hearty breakfast the morning after. The decor inside, from the six-pack beer cartons used for condiment storage to the numerous music, to the beer, music and movie paraphernalia scattered on all the walls has a generally youth-oriented appeal. If one desired, you can even start your revelry here with selection of bar-style food and a few brews.

Considering that my college days are well behind me and my appreciation for larger portion sizes has been toned down over the years, a place like Hang Over Easy wouldn't be a typical destination eatery for me these days. With that said, this restaurant has a special place in my heart: this was one of the first date places that Mrs. 614orty-Niner took me to on my trips to Columbus during our long-distance-date phase, and I do truly enjoy HOE for what it is and the food it serves. And on this particular bike and brunch day, this restaurant served a perfect purpose: fueling up to take on the revelry and high energy of an Ohio State University football game.

Game day brought in the Scarlet and Gray faithful in droves
Football game day for any Buckeyes' clash will put the service capabilities of any restaurant in the area to the test. I've always found the service at Hang Over Easy to be great, and this experience was no different this day. Despite the crush of Buckeye fans and the related long waits, the staff handled their customers with a smile and aplomb, customers didn't seem terribly miffed by the waits, and the food came out quickly all things considered.

Having a small bar in the front waiting area within easy access for waiting customers helps keep the mood light. While waiting for our table, my spouse and I jumped on their Vandermosa ($7) a winning mix of Vandermill Cider and orange juice that proved to be a nice twist on the traditional mimosa and a good start to the morning.

Starting from left: Chicken & Chorizo skillet; pumpkin
pancakes; some HOE wall decor, HOE chalkboard menu
The Hang Over Easy menu has a wide swath of options, and I recognized a few familiars from previous visits including the Dirty Sanchez (scrambled eggs, chorizo, HOE fries and queso in a flour tortilla, topped by more queso, cheddar, pico de gallo and sour cream) and the Menage a Trois (four pieces of french toast dusted with powdered sugar served with butter and syrup.)

What I was truly jonesing for was not on the menu this time (the Muffin Top: french toast with bananas, peanut butter and whipped cream served with syrup) so I opted for the Sausage Skillet ($8.99), a pleasing mix of nicely spicy sausage, onions, peppers and mushrooms served with two eggs (I opted for scrambled), queso, HOE fries and two slices of toast. The only quibble was the slightly underdone HOE fries, but this was understandable in the light of the game day crush.

My spouse and I spotted a chalkboard toting the availability of their seasonal pumpkin pancakes, and my spouse was more than happy to oblige. The pancakes, listed as "Struggling to Get Up" on their menu, are available in standard or seasonal versions and are mix-and-matchable. With that said, their pumpkin cakes were nicely flavored, with a firm exterior yet slightly pie-like interior, and were available at the same price as their regular pancakes ($5.25). Customers can fancy-up their pancakes with add-ons like chocolate chips and macerated berries as well, should they desire.

Everyday daily specials are available throughout the week; this week's selection included a Summer Spinach Salad (Monday), BBQ Hot Dogs (Wednesdays) and this weekend's Eggs in a Hole (a grilled cheese sandwich featuring American cheese and bacon with one over easy egg in each slice.) My spouse informed me that these specials do rotate in and out regularly, so one week's Monday special may not necessarily be the next week's Monday special.

While their breakfasts are the big attraction at Hang Over Easy, don't sell their lunch-time menu items short. While I have not personally had any of these items, my spouse (who has had more chances to eat at HOE due to her work location) gives her thumbs up to their Reuben sandwich and hamburgers.

2017 Update: The space which housed Hang Over Easy underwent renovations in the summer of 2016 and re-opened in the fall to serve its usual hangover relief comfort foods to the public.

Hang Over Easy
1646 Neil Ave (South Campus - Google Maps)
Columbus, OH 43201
(614) 586-0070
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