I recently went to brunch with my creative friend Rachel Harris. We were meeting up after she designed my awesome blog card. Because she loves Sleepy Bee, we decided to brunch there. Now, when I went to Sleepy Bee just after its initial opening, I thought it was fine, but nothing spectacular. I was really excited to try it again as many birds have been chirping in my foodie ear singing its tune! I’m seriously glad I went back. In fact, I’ve returned twice since my visit with Rachel. Since she’s a super fan, and fellow foodie, I asked her to be my guest writer for this post. (By the way, check out Rachel at passingdaisiescreative.net)
Sleepy Bee Café (SBC) sits nested in the heart of Oakley, an ever growing and thriving neighborhood in Cincinnati. SBC provides a space that offers more than just local, fresh, and flavorful food – it gives a sense of comfort and familiarity. The walls are lined with local art, and books from the nearby Blue Manatee bookstore are provided to keep young kids entertained. They are very conscious of dietary restrictions and have many options for vegetarians, vegans, gluten-free, and anything in-between. The staff is always friendly and more than happy to tell you the history of the place.
What makes SBC so special is their support of local ingredients from local businesses – dairy comes from Snowville Creamery, maple syrup from Richard’s Maple, coffee from Coffee Break, and bacon and goetta from Eckerlin Meats. These are only a few of the organizations that help make your meal. Enjoying a moment at SBC, while certainly making your tummy happy, also supports our local economy. And that is always a good thing.
While they are probably best known for their light and fluffy buttermilk pancakes, SBC has many other great dishes and is always offering daily specials. One of my favorites is a variation of their pancakes – Bee Cakes (gluten free) – topped with peaches and granola. A full order of Bee Cakes is enough to feed two people, or you can save half for later, like I do. Give me a cup of Coffee Break coffee with a splash of almond milk and I am one happy little bee.
If you want something with a little more Cincinnati flair, try the Queen City Bee sandwich. Eckerlin goetta, arugula, apple, a broken egg yolk and nectar sauce (their house sauce) are all stacked between two pieces of ciabatta bread from local bakery Sixteen Bricks. This house special is sure to please….and worth the mess it will probably cause. Come prepared with a stack of napkins.
When Mindy and I had brunch together, I enjoyed the Warm Quinoa Bowl with an over easy egg, a cup of chicken noodle soup (which came highly recommended by our waiter), and a Honey Lavender Latte. Warm quinoa and wild rice was topped with crispy kale pieces, sweet potatoes, pickled onions, mushroom, and sautéed spinach. The chicken noodle soup warmed my body on a cold winter day. And the latte just perfect – sweet, hot, and perfect for sipping slowly in the company of others.
While SBC Oakley will always have my heart, there is also a location in Blue Ash, for bees who don’t live near the Oakley area. Blue Ash is larger and usually less crowded, so it may be the place to go when you are pressed for time.
So this Saturday when you need a place for brunch with your friends, grab a coffee and some pancakes from Sleepy Bee Café. You’ll be supporting local businesses, eating some fantastic food, making memories, and enjoying local art. What more could you ask for?