Tour De Chow: First Watch
First Watch, located at 2528 Weems Road in Columbus, certainly lives up to its excellent reputation by serving delicious and healthy breakfast, brunch, and lunch options from 7:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. every day. The small franchise is known for fresh ingredients, for never using microwaves, heat lamps, or deep-fat fryers, and for providing not just a cup, but a whole pot of freshly brewed coffee for customers.
When entering First Watch, you get an immediate relaxing, retro-farmhouse feel. The grey, aged wood-wall accents, as well as bits of yellow decor make the dining area aesthetically pleasing. The ambiance of this restaurant creates a setting that allows you to focus on your food by minimizing background noise. The music is soft and contemporary, which lends to the atmosphere rather than take away from it.
Though there is no traditional appetizer menu, many of the sides serve the same purpose. First Watch’s “Million Dollar Bacon” is phenomenal, featuring four slices of hardwood-smoked bacon baked with brown sugar, black pepper, cayenne, and a maple syrup drizzle. “I’ve never had something so incredible in my life. If you love bacon, you’ll love this,” said Nick Silva, a customer at the restaurant. The contradictions of spicy, sweet, and crispy melt in your mouth making this bacon well worth the price of $4.99.
The establishment offers a breakfast and a lunch menu all day, so there is a variety for whatever you are craving that moment, whether it be a chia bowl or a turkey burger.
The “Baja Turkey Burger” has avocado, organic mixed greens, homemade pico de gallo, mayo, and horseradish havarti on a brioche bun. The creamy texture of the avocado pairs well with the crunch of the fresh greens in the burger, although I suggest to order light on the mayo in order to avoid the overall texture being too overwhelmingly creamy. The addition of the hint of horseradish is a great fork off of a traditional turkey burger.
First Watch’s signature pot of Project Sunrise coffee is worth the hype. The coffee is suitable for all coffee drinkers because it is not too strong, while keeping a robust, smoky, flavor-packed taste.
Another option for a morning drink is the “Wake Up Call,” a blend of coconut water, local honey, and lemon juice with a cayenne sugar rim. Between the sour of the lemon and the kick from the cayenne, this drink is definitely a wake-me-up. The cayenne doesn’t hit the throat until after the sip, but it perfectly complements the sour-sweet taste of the juice.
For a breakfast option, you can order the delicious “A.M. Superfoods Bowl,” which consists of coconut milk chia pudding topped with fresh bananas, berries, house-made granola, and the perfect amount of blackberry preserves. On the side comes whole grain artisan toast topped with creamy almond butter and sea salt.
First Watch’s philosophy is to do anything for you if it is possible, and they mean it. Something as simple as eggs can be customized. If you were to choose an omelette, or other egg option, you have the choice to substitute eggs for cholesterol-free eggs, or egg whites, at no additional charge.
In addition to that philosophy, they also exhibit quick, friendly, and courteous service, as well as a welcoming, leisurely atmosphere complete with complimentary Wi-Fi service. When you are done with your food, you can go up to the front of the restaurant to pay your bill. Most of the main dishes fall between $9 and $11, which is very fairly priced considering the freshness of the ingredients and the culinary artistry that goes into each dish.