Photo Credit: Out + Outfit

Brunch is a special time for all of us.  It’s a time where both the early risers and the late arrivers can join together under one roof and share a magical meal.  For some it’s a family gathering, for weekend warriors it can be the perfect mix of hangover cure or the start of a Sunday Funday. Brunch doesn’t care if you’re in the same outfit that you fell asleep in from the evening before, and brunch understands if you need a little champagne in that glass of OJ. 😉  Do you find yourself struggling to decide either breakfast or lunch? I am here to help you make these decisions. Come with me on a journey to the Brighter side of brunch.

Our first beacon of brunch is the Sleepy Bee Cafe in the quaint town of Oakley.  Located on the main strip of Madison road, this cafe can be found with employees buzzing about the restaurant attending to all customers, confidently handling any lunch rush that the day may bring them.The Oakley location first opened There is also a location in Blue Ash that opened more recently in August of 2015. Large windows let the early sun’s light fill the room, giving beautiful natural light.  If you fancy the outdoor dining experience, there’s also patio seating available. Something that sets this restaurant apart from your average lunch spot is its commitment to all things local. Whether it’s the sourcing of their ingredients such as eggs, milk, or seasonal produce from local farms, they remain dedicated to getting everything they possibly can from the area.  This also includes commissioned decor from local artists.  With these principles the Sleepy Bee has made an environment that is great for families, business people, or anyone looking for a delicious meal with creative healthy options.

The Sleepy Bee menu is easily navigable; One side breakfast, the other lunch. It sticks to both the bee concept and the love for all things local with breakfast specials donning names true to the Cincinnati area such as Queen City Bee, and the Broakley.  If you are a pancakes person, you have the option between classic buttermilk pancakes or their “Bee Cakes” which is a fantastic gluten free option made from quinoa, almond, and buckwheat flour. (Sometimes I’m hesitant to try a gluten free option, seeing as I don’t have the kind of dietary restrictions that make it necessary, but make no mistake, the Bee Cakes are no substitute; they shine on their own.)  The online menu additionally has a section for soy-free and vegan menu options, making ordering easier for those with more sensitive diets. Also included on the breakfast side of the menu is a build your own omelet section, smoothies, and coffee with specialty drinks available for you if you need that pick-me-up.

Sleepy Bee1

The lunch side consists of soups, salads and sandwiches that once again stay true to their love of bees. The Bees Knees Burger is a more indulgent savory menu item, but it’s still brunch worthy, as it holds both an egg and some bacon squeezed between its brioche buns.  Smothered in a basil chimichurri and paired with an herbed goat cheese, this burger is sure to hit the B-Spot anytime of day.  If you’re trying to eat a little lighter, the Roasted Bee-t sandwich or The Beekeeper are both fantastic options that are a tad more fun compared to the salads. (I personally see salads as sandwiches without meat bread or cheese.)

Queen City Bee

Between the breakfast and the lunch you’re bound to find something to lift your spirits, and actual spirits at their Blue Ash loaction. YUS! BLOODY MARYS, ANYONE??  Realistically, I didn’t expect a restaurant that is open until no later than 3 to serve alcohol, but the wins keep rolling in! The menu is expansive enough, and there are plenty of other drink options, so I see no real need for that to be added. Would I like a mimosa or a bloody Mary? Sure. But this takes no gripes in my book.

While reading other reviews and comments about the Sleepy Bee Cafe I noticed a lot of people claimed the restaurant to be over-rated and over priced.  I personally don’t think this is the case at all. It’s not very often that I’m able to find a restaurant that sources locally, has such an inclusive menu in terms of dietary restrictions, and is consistently busy at peak hours.  Brunch-goers seek to dine here because it’s a beautifully executed business model supporting local sustainability, with quality service and creative cuisine

If you find yourself craving some tasty family friendly brunch with options for everyone, mosey your way on down to the the Sleepy Bee Cafe for some of their sweetness.  Their breakfast menu really shines brightly here with impressive ingredient diversity and flavor.  Here’s to supporting your local businesses, and pancakes! Always Pancakes.   May your coffee be fresh, your bacon forever crispy, and here’s to the brighter side of brunch.

Michael Villareal is initially a tad aloof, but warms up pretty easily with the assistance of whiskey. He’s an expert level enabler, travel fiend and sock aficionado. He enjoys flipping ice cream and thinking of all things food.

He honestly doesn’t understand why karaoke isn’t more widely accepted in the United states, and he struggles with remembering the words of any songs, including those he’s written. Actually, words are hard for him but he just likes to make people hungry by talking about tasty things.



Posted in Eat