Angry Bear Kitchen isn’t immediately noticeable from the street. A discrete bear on the High Street entrance is your only indication of its presence. However, inside is a vibrant atmosphere. Light floods the restaurant from the windowed front and bounces off the exposed brick walls. It is hip with an element of class from the chandeliers, white napkins and glass-bottled water placed tableside.
The drink list was not extensive, but suitable for a brunch. In addition to a regular mimosa, the menu included a cheaper, “Midwest mimosa” made of orange juice and Miller High Life. Not my preferred drink for a brunch – or association with the Midwest – but if you want to continue your Saturday night festivities into a Sunday morning really drunk brunch, it’s certainly a cost effective way to go. They also serve Irish coffees, a delicious Bloody Mary and an Argentina Holiday.
I had to try the Argentina Holiday, their special, comprised of Buffalo Trace bourbon whiskey, fernet branca, Kahlua, “coca-cola” syrup, rhubarb bitters and brioso, served over ice. An artisanal Whiskey and Coke. It was delightfully sweeter than a more traditional Whiskey and Coke, which accompanied the flavors of brunch well.
My friend had the Bloody Mary, artisanal as well with house infused pepper vodka and specially garnished with a cheddar stuffed olive, pickled green bean, Cornish pickle and candied bacon. I really enjoyed their take on the Bloody Mary. It was very spicy and had a rude kick of pepper that was perfect for my taste.
The drinks were well paired with a pleasant brunch. The menu offered plenty of breakfast choices and a few lunchier items as well. I decided on the chicken and French toast option. Not one of my better picks. I enjoyed the brioche French toast and the strawberry preserves but felt the chicken lacked flavor and tenderness. I got mostly fried and not a lot of chicken and felt that a more savory chicken would have balanced nicely with the sweet toast.
My friend faired much better. He got what is best described as deconstructed Eggs Benedict. Tender pork belly, runny yolk poached eggs, hollandaise sauce, braised greens and toast were all on his plate, but occupied different territory rather than topping each other. By my assessment, the pork is the best piece of that dish. It was extremely tender and full of flavor. When I go back it will be to return for that fried pork belly.
Service was great and I never felt rushed. It was a casual Sunday brunch, but I still felt that I was treating myself with something special.
Angry Bear Kitchen is located at 2653 N High St. in Columbus, OH. Brunch is served Sundays from 11am–2pm.