When I walked through the thick, glass doors of Brassica for the dinner the other day, I was not sure what to expect.
Brassica opened its doors in early June this year, becoming one of the latest additions to the Main Street dining pantheon. According to their website, Brassica is a family-owned business with two locations in the central Ohio region, with a third restaurant currently undergoing development in Upper Arlington. Their main offerings are Mediterranean-inspired salads and sandwiches.
Since Brassica’s opening, I have heard many positive reviews directed toward Bexley’s newest restaurant. However, as a picky eater, I had my reservations. I had yet to sample any sort of Mediterranean-style dish, and I was unsure as to what sort of food that kind of cuisine included.
As a friend and I walked into Brassica, I was greeted by a modern array of mood lighting and upscale, neo-Mediterranean décor. Metal and wood were incorporated throughout the walls and furniture. A soothing mix of browns, greens, and yellows dominated a warm color scheme, adding to the calmness of the interior atmosphere. An indistinguishable pop beat murmured throughout the restaurant as the workers behind the counter welcomed our arrival.
After a quick glance at their menu and setup, I was surprised to learn that Brassica’s meals are make-your-own (think more options than Chipotle, and fancier than Piada). With a salad or a pita bread sandwich, you can choose to have the main ingredient of your meal be chicken, brisket, glazed lamb bacon, falafel, or a mix of vegetables featuring house pickled veggies, marinated eggplant, roasted carrots, and cauliflower. A variety of other vegetables and sauces are also available to add into your meal. The employee who took our order actually gave us free samples of their special sauce, which is made out a blend of herbs and yogurt. After asking to sample the brisket and glazed bacon, I settled on getting a brisket sandwich made with hummus, greens, and crispy onions paired with a side of Brassica fries.
After paying, we settled into a cozy booth by the window, and I had my first taste of Brassica. Their fries, though firmly on the spicier side, were everything that a fry should be: hot, golden, crispy, and dusted with seasoning. The special sauce was slightly disappointing, its feeble flavor was reminiscent of ranch, and did little other than to stave off the spiciness of the fries. I did find the sandwich satiable; I particularly enjoyed the sponginess of the pita bread, and the brisket was fantastic in regards to how juicy and tender the meat was. The hummus was smooth and mellow, the onions tangy and crunchy, and overall, these ingredients combined together to create a sandwich that was both solid and fulfilling.
In all, I was pleased and mildly surprised by Brassica. Coming in, I expected the food to be exotically intimidating and somewhat complicated in regards to selection; however, the customizable ingredients, relaxed atmosphere, and friendly service all worked together to ease my hesitations. Aside from the food being quite pricey for a simple salad or sandwich, my main complaint about the whole experience would be that I actually felt that my meal was moderately bland. However, with as many options as they have, I am sure that if I went back I could better personalize my meal to suit my tastes.
If you are looking for a classy place to have lunch at or to go to for a date, I would recommend trying Brassica. They certainly have a fresh take on the simple salad and sandwich shop. Though it is a bit more expensive, Brassica definitely is an option to consider if you are looking to try something new on good old Main Street.