Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Restaurant Review: Bonbon Pastry & Cafe

How many shopping days are left until Christmas...because I haven't really bought anything.  But that's actually ok because I generally don't buy many (or any) gifts this time of year.  Call me a Scrooge if you will, but I'd rather buy a thoughtful gift for someone on a Thursday in July and surprise them with it than give them a meaningless gift on December 25.

The one exception to my Scrooge-like rule is for a group of my lady friends. We're a bunch of ladies who lunch every so often and when time allows, we're able to make it to brunch, too.  We make a point of having a nice little holiday get together every year, and to be honest, it's probably my favorite part of the holidays.  This year I went the homemade route and gave out cookies and candy (and a couple ornaments I'd picked up at The Urban Orchid) and my treats were a big hit.  It felt nice to be able to give away something I'd actually made myself. 

Our venue for our brunch/gift exchange was Bonbon Pastry & Cafe in Ohio City.  As an avid Yelper, I'd seen that Bonbon had gotten some great reviews and some truly awful ones, but I like to be my own judge.  I'd say my experience was something in between.

I had the darndest time finding the place.  I'm in Ohio City fairly often, but my iPhone's directions led me astray.  (note that if you use Google maps to find Bonbon, most likely it will give you the wrong address)  Once I found out where I needed to be, I was able to easily find street parking right outside the restaurant. Two of my friends were already seated enjoying coffee and some sunshine.  (Bonbon has amazing large windows that let in lots of sunlight...almost too much sunlight!  people throughout the restaurant were wearing sunglasses)  I followed suit and ordered some coffee and settled in while we waited for our fourth person to arrive.  I got a chance to notice the interesting decor while I was waiting.  I'd describe the cafe as having very clean lines with a slight upscale feel. (which is also reflected in their pricing)

Being in a pastry shop, I expected my coffee to be pretty amazing but it was actually pretty run of the mill.  There was a communal creamer in a small juice glass which made it hard to pour.  We also got a small container of sugar to share.  But our server was super nice and attentive so I could overlook the average coffee.  

I scanned the menu and noticed few vegetarian items.  I'm not sure if anything is vegan or can be made veganized, but it never hurts to ask!  I settled on the veggie salad wrap.  When it arrived, it looked more like two open faced tacos and I had to eat some of the lettuce before even attempting to pick the wraps up.  What they lacked in ease of use they made up for in flavor though.  I'd never had apples and roasted red peppers mixed together, but it was a good combo.  It wasn't the most filling lunch/brunch entree I'd ever had, but at least it tasted good!

Veggie Salad Wrap
My meat eating friends seemed to enjoy their meals a bit more than I did.  (except my friend who got a chocolate croissant - not sure if her croissant was old or what but the chocolate on the inside was really hard - when I've had them in the past, the chocolate has been more melty) One got the bubble and squeak and commented on how the Brussels sprouts tasted like candy. (maybe some more of maple glaze?)  Another friend got a meat/potatoes/hash thing with a fried egg on top.  And unlike what you probably picture in your head when you think of a fried egg, this was a deep fried egg.  I'd imagine it takes some skill to prepare that correctly. 

Overall, I'd say that I enjoyed my company more than my meal, but I'm not much of a breakfast person to begin with.  And spending holiday time with my friends is one of my favorite things to do, so it would be hard for any restaurant to top that.  But I definitely think Bonbon Pastry & Cafe is worth checking out if you're in the area.

Do you have a favorite place to have brunch in the CLE?


  1. Your link to Bonbon brings me to a Progressive commercial, lol!

  2. Bonbon looks good, I want to try it! I can't believe I haven't seen the episode of cupcake wars that they won since I tape them all.