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Sandwiches Around The Statehouse: Milo's Capital Cafe

With my recent post on our visit to Ohio's Statehouse, it only seemed appropriate to add another post to this mini-series of blogposts. However, this is a case where the more appropriate preposition is probably an "in" rather than "around."

Entrance to the Capitol Cafe at the Ohio Statehouse
Milo's Capital Cafe is probably one of the more unusual settings in the downtown area where you could chow your lunch down.  The original Franklinton-based Milo's was built to handle the overflow from nearby Tommy's Diner, with both businesses established by the Pappas Family in the late 1990s. Early in 2014, the original Milo's space was converted to handle all catering operations; meanwhile, restaurant operations focused not only on their Capitol Square space but also on their two recently opened spaces on the north side of town along the I-270 beltway on either side of I-71.

The dining space intermixed with views of the menu shot and coffee dispensers
Nestled on the lower level of the Statehouse, diners who eat in are surrounded by the substantial walls of limestone quarried back in the mid-1800s to provide the building's foundation. Some may feel a little claustrophobic with the tight ordering area and the formidable walls that surround them; however, the sense of being surrounded by history as well as modern touches such as TV sets and wi-fi access makes this atmosphere a uniquely winning one.

Cajun Chicken and Pork Belly Asian Wraps
The food menu for Milo's Capital Cafe consists of diner-styled breakfast and lunch items; with most of the regular lunch items are very reasonably priced, falling in the $6 to $7.50 range. Daily specials are also available at a slightly higher price range as well. Dessert lovers also have reason to stop by, as local favorite Jeni's Ice Cream is available for purchase for cafe-goers. 

Perhaps my expectations were somewhat lower than they should have been, but I've been really happy with my lunches here. The Cajun Chicken Wrap ($6.25) had a good savory flavor profile with a tender piece of chicken. On another occasion, I was slightly worried that my Pork Belly Asian Wrap ($7.95) might be too sweet, but it turned out to be well-balanced, with a nice salty-sweet mix and good balance of rice, pork belly and and crispy slaw.

Milo's has a few things that work against it. Not only is it located in a somewhat difficult to reach location, but it is also nearly impossible to figure out it exists on a casual walk-by of the Statehouse. In addition, its operating hours are definitely geared to the the downtown/Statehouse working crowd (7 AM to 3 PM Mondays thru Fridays.) Despite all this, Milo's is definitely worth a visit or two by anyone working in or visiting the Downtown area; this consideration level jumps up a few notches if your business takes you to the Statehouse itself.

2017 Update: Milo's Capitol Cafe has rebranded itself as the farm-to-table concept Graze Columbus, and its catering services have been consolidated into one location on West Broad Street.  The social links below have been updated to link to the current eatery and catering operation.

Milo's Capitol Cafe
1 Capitol Square (Downtown - Google Maps)
(Lower level of Statehouse nearby the Map Room/Gift Shop/Museum)
Columbus, OH 43215
(614) 728-9231
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Catering Services:
980 West Broad St
Columbus, OH 43222

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