Blue Plate Bonanza

Cap City diners offer traditional specials and so much more.

Columbus’ Cameron Mitchell restaurant group decided to keep the core diner experience but bring the menu up a notch. Sure, you can still get a blue plate special or meatloaf. But with Cap City’s $15.95 version, the mushrooms are wild and the mashed potatoes are whipped with buttermilk and chives.

You can order an all-American cheeseburger for $8.95, or rev up the order for less than $5 more and dine on the blue cheese Kobe burger, topped with blue cheese and caramelized onion, tomato and blue cheese dressing atop a rosemary focaccia bun.

The $7.95 knife and fork chili dog comes with cheddar, onions and scallions. The diner’s buckeye version of the nawlins’ po’ boy is made with blackened tilapia, sweet pickle remoulade, lettuce, tomato and onion on a focaccia hoagie, for $9.95.

True to its diner roots, Cap City offers the traditional daily blue plate. Monday is chicken and apple meatloaf melt for $10.95, Tuesday is chicken pot pie for $14.95 and Wednesday is liver and onions for $14.95. It’s TGIF with Maryland crab cakes for $19.95.

Cap City has some signatures items that never leave the menu including some popular starters: Maytag blue cheese potato chips, $8.50, tamarind glazed chicken wings, $8.95, and a bowl of steamed Prince Edward Island mussels in Chardonnay broth, $9.50.

And there probably would be unhappy diners if Cap City ever dropped its gargantuan desserts including the seriously big chocolate cake – a wedge soaring to three full layers, or the 24K carrot cake, with pineapple, golden raisins, walnut and white chocolate cream cheese icing. Both, at $6.50, are made for two, three or even four forks to dig in.

Of course, there are salads, including the retro wedge of iceberg at $5.95, and a vegetable plate with a pasta cake, mushroom spring roll, asparagus, broccoli, goat cheese and marinara sauce, for $13.95. The Old Bay peel and eat shrimp, and a cup of roasted creole tomato soup, combine for a light lunch.

The dinner menu features some large plates including the $16.95 Romano-crusted chicken and the $17.95 balsamic chicken. The $18.95 pecan-crusted pork chops is another dinner-only entrée, which could be paired with Columbus’ own microbrew, CBC Apricot Ale.

Address
1299 Olentangy River Road, Grandview.
StoneRidge Plaza, 1301 StoneRidge Drive, Gahanna.

Telephone
(614) 291-3663, Grandview.
(614) 478-9999, Gahanna.

Reservations
Accepted at both locations. First come in the bar.

Hours
Both Cap City Diners: lunch, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Mondays through Saturdays; Sunday brunch, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner, 4 to 10 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays, 4 to 11 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays and 3 to 9 p.m., Sundays.

Prices
Dinner menu: from $4.50 (cup of soup) to $22.95 (New York strip steak). Desserts: $6.50 or less.

Other
• Seating for 190 in the dining room and 15 in the bar at Grandview, plus 60 on the patio.
• Seating for 200 in the dining room and 20 in the bar at Gahanna.
• Party room for 12 to 14 at Cap City Diner, Gahanna.
• The menu changes twice yearly; daily Blue Plate features.
• Gluten-free menu available.
• Handicapped accessible.
• Web site: www.capcityfinediner.com.
• AAA TourBook rating: 2-Diamond.