Q | What are the most popular items on your menu? Why?
A | I think the most popular item differs depending on whether we’re talking about the lunch and dinner menu or the brunch menu (served on weekends). For lunch and dinner throughout the week and dinner on weekends, the Northstar Burger and Classic Cheeseburger are our two most popular items. The Northstar Burger is really a made-from-scratch labor of love to turn organic brown rice, organic black beans (from Shagbark Seed Mill right here in central Ohio), and roasted beets into an incredibly delicious veggie burger. The Classic Cheeseburger is made from antibiotic-free, hormone-free beef brisket and chuck ground and pattied fresh in house every day. For brunch days, the Cowboy Breakfast with two local, organic Green Field Farms eggs and applewood smoked bacon or house made sausage is always a winner, as are the Cloud 9 pancakes with real Ohio maple syrup and fresh cut bananas.
Q | Are there any items NOT on your menu that are staff favorites (that you’d be willing to serve up to any customer who asked)?
A | The most exciting “off menu” item we’ve got going right now is the mimosa on weekends, which is perfect for spring and summer patio brunching. We also have a number of children’s items that aren’t listed on the menu: kid’s pancakes, a kid’s rice bowl with steamed vegetables and roasted chicken or pan-seared tofu, a kid’s roasted chicken sandwich with chips and salsa, a kid’s quesadilla, and a kid’s thin-crust pizza.
Q | Northstar has been lauded time and time again for being one of the healthiest restaurants in the city, and even the nation (according to Huffington Post)! Which drinks/dishes pack the biggest health punch?
A | Our juices and smoothies are fantastic, healthy options and are about as “field to table” as it gets. We don’t use any added sugars or powders, just real organic frozen berries, fresh-squeezed orange juice or organic apple juice, and lemon, ginger and organic carrots. The only “processing” we do is cutting the stems off the carrots and peeling the bananas. The Buddha Bowl is also a great, filling option loaded with nutrients, from the bed of organic brown rice to the steamed mixed vegetables and protein in the roasted chicken or the pan seared tofu. I know kale is also about as trendy as a green can be right now, and we love it because its nutrient-density score is incredibly high. That’s why we put in on the Northstar Burger and changed our salad mix back in March to include a lot of kale and Napa cabbage, which is also nutrient rich.
Q | There are three cafes in Columbus: Short North, Easton, and Beechwold. What’s so special about Beechwold?
(Anything that is unique from the other two locations?)
A | I’m obviously biased, but I love the Beechwold location because Clintonville is such a fantastic neighborhood. We have so many great, loyal guests who come to the restaurant daily. One guest even offered to take one of our jade plants home to help nurse it back to health! Really, though, the great thing about Clintonville is that it’s an active, earth-conscious community that cares deeply about food choices, so our locally-sourced, organic, artisan, scratch-made menu is a natural fit here.
Q | Have you ever considered turning the shooting star into a smoothie? I’ve dreamed about this for years. :)
A | Interesting! That’s one request I haven’t heard before. I’m not quite sure how we’d make that work in terms of execution, but it sounds like an incredibly refreshing summer drink!
Did you know that every Earth Day, Northstar gives away free Northstar Burgers to everyone who visits the restaurant?! In Josiah’s words: “It’s a great way to raise awareness about the fact that to quote Michael Pollan in Omnivore’s Dilemma, ‘How and what we eat determines to a great extent the use we make of the world, and what is to become of it.'”