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Where The Best Once Held Court: Delaney's Diner

One of the first and most fun "buzzy" Columbus eateries that my spouse and I became acquainted with shortly after my move here was Westerville's Best Breakfast and Sandwiches. This compact diner, located in a non-descript south side strip mall, was an example of an eatery that was able to punch above its dining category and achieve something a little more.

We didn't mind the typical wait when it meant we would be grabbing their corned beef hash, or adorning one of their omelettes with some of their specially produced hot sauce from local fiery condiment maker CaJohn's. At its peak, a pop-up taco shop (Yeah Baby Tacos) emerged during the week to offer diners an unorthodox destination to grab some Mexican-styled eats.

And then, a familiar narrative unraveled: a few not-as-complimentary reviews started appearing in the usual review websites, then a change in ownership, and even more buzz about things not being as they used to be.

And then...nothing: The Best Breakfast was no longer as of the summer of 2016.

Fast forward a year now. Other eateries, most notably a new branch of local favorite Northstar Cafe, have come in to fill the void. It is in this new environment where the space has come to life again in the form of Delaney's Diner, a place we were eager to try once we heard the word of its opening.

Opened in early May, Delaney's no doubt will draw comparisons with its former occupant. One distinct difference we noticed early on was the space itself.  Delaney's not only has obtained the old Best Breakfast space but also nabbed the space next door.  If nothing else, this seems to have eliminated the "people out the door/crowded waiting area factor" we were used to with the previous iteration. It made for a less frenzied and more relaxed experience for both diners and folks waiting for tables, as was the case by the time we left on our visit.

Another pleasant aspect was the eatery's interior color scheme, featuring bold, primary colors accentuated by food-related paintings. Similar to Best Breakfast, the counter has been maintained for single diners or those who don't need a table to chow down.

Based on our review of the menu and our initial food orders, prices and portions seem to strive for the reasonable level, as exampled by their Corned Beef Hash, touted as a house specialty. This scratch rendition of the dish, ordered by my spouse, doesn't quite reach The Best's rendition from what we can remember, but it is pretty good, featuring large chunks of beef and red potatoes grilled with onions.

I went with another house specialty in Roy Lee’s Breakfast Casserole, touted as a family recipe of eggs, sausage, mushrooms, cheddar cheese & croutons baked and served in a bakers dish. This dish stands on its own taste-wise, sporting nicely fluffy eggs and a predominant sausage-forward taste profile.  Meanwhile, the hash browns play it down the middle, with just enough crispy bits to earn it an AOK from this crispy hash brown lover.

Delaney's also earns bonus points for offering a nice assortment of hot sauces from Westerville-based CaJohn's. While they really weren't needed on this first visit in, I am sure my spouse and I will be utilizing them in the future as we further explore the menu

Early impressions here are favorable: Delaney's seems primed to be at least on a par with its northern neighbor Westerville Grill in terms of diner-styled eats, and I suspect they will be holding the breakfast/lunch fort in the south area just fine.

Delaney's Diner
5916 Westerville Rd (Google Maps)
Westerville, OH  43081
(614) 776-5788
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1 comment:

  1. I never got to try it when it was Westerville's best but I will be adding this to my list soon!