I am a city girl at heart, and strolling through downtown Toledo brings me joy. From the Arts Commission Summer Spectacular to the Adams Street Block Party and Toledo Pride Live at the Park, downtown Toledo is pulling Toledo area families, including ours, to the city for daytime fun.
Weekend brunch is an option Focaccia’s has added to the downtown offerings, along with a brand new patio, the Garden at Focaccia’s.
When Prakash Karamchandani (PK), co-founder and owner of Balance Pan Asian Grille, posted photos on Facebook of his family brunch at Focaccia’s, we knew we needed to take our kids. I asked PK if I could include his photos with this article. He acquiesced, adding, “Honestly, it (the brunch at Focaccia’s) was really good. I don’t write reviews often…so it’s got to be really impressive to have me going to Facebook!”
The Garden at Focaccia’s offers plenty of outdoor seating, either in the sun or under an umbrella. As an exceptionally pale family, we opted for the shade. Our waitress, Cassandra, was personable, patient and accommodating. She ushered us to the only available shaded table, cleaning it for us even though there were several clean and open tables in the sun. When we couldn’t decide on our meals because everything sounded delectable, she provided suggestions based on customer popularity (she is a vegan). Cassandra stood out as a stellar server and made our experience more enjoyable.
A Toledo tradition with a full rebrand
After viewing PK’s post, I told the kids about the French toast with Lucky Charms. While it wasn’t available the day we visited, there were plenty of other kid-friendly options. Camille chose the beignets with fruit, after I explained they were essentially small doughnuts covered in powdered sugar and honey. Her brother wanted to order the same, but I assured him his little sister would share. He took a risk and ordered his first-ever chicken and waffles, requesting the maple syrup on the side.
Both kids enjoyed their food, clearing their plates completely. I sampled their selections: The beignets were rich with the perfect amount of locally sourced honey. The sugar-pearled waffles were fluffy and sweet, and I didn’t think they even needed syrup. The house-brined chicken tenders tasted homemade and I finally understood the allure of the popular meal.
My husband opted for the chicken fajita omelette with strips of chicken, peppers, onions, tomatoes, shredded cheese and salsa with focaccia bread on the side. Alex isn’t one to rave about restaurants, but he delivered a rare compliment: “It was really good!”
My latent German blood spoke to me when I read about the Cure All: a jumbo potato pancake buried beneath bacon, jam, sausage, peppers, onions and mushrooms and topped with cheddar cheese and two over-easy eggs. I requested the sausage gravy on the side, which I’m thankful for, as the meal was perfect without it.
We were seated around 11am and most of the tables around us were drinking, so we figured it was socially acceptable to order drinks ourselves. Alex ordered the Prince with Empress gin, rosemary syrup, lemon and blood orange. After seeing several other customers with mimosa flights, I went with that to sample multiple takes on that champagne-based libation. The three varieties I tried included Daphne (muddled berries and bubbles), Whitney (peach juice, mango juice, OJ and bubbles) and Heidi (habañero syrup, bubbles, blood orange soda). They were all delicious, but Heidi was my top pick.
The Short Course
Outdoor dining: Yes.
Online ordering: Yes.
Kids’ Menu: No, but
Focaccia’s is the perfect downtown spot for a family weekend brunch, providing both indoor and outdoor dining options. The brunch menu offerings are unique and flavorful, and everything tasted house-made. The Garden at Focaccia’s offers views of both the cityscape and the river. Whether you are dining with your family or with friends, make sure to check out their extensive list of handmade cocktails.