A touch of spice is present in most dishes at 3 Brothers Diner in Grove City.

Founded by Nivardo, Filadelfo and Eliseo “Cheo” Cruz-Reyes, the siblings have created a house-made smoked chili sauce that is used in many entrees at the breakfast-through-dinner spot.

It chiefly consists of cumin, chipotle, onions, garlic and other spices, Nivardo Cruz-Reyes said.

“We cook it for a couple hours until we get the flavor we need,” he said.

Customers can find it in the chilaquiles verdes ($12.50), a dish that also uses a tangy tomatillo salsa over corn chips, two eggs any style, chopped onions, queso fresco and cilantro. The plate includes slow-cooked black beans, chorizo and toast.

“It’s a real traditional dish in our hometown,” he said of San Bernardo, which is just outside Oaxaca in southwestern Mexico.

The menu is a hybrid of styles, mostly Mexican, American and Cuban, Cruz-Reyes said.

Popular American-style fish tacos (three for $13) consist of cod, diced onions, diced tomatoes, jack and cheddar cheeses wrapped in a choice of corn or flour tortillas and drizzled with a chipotle ranch. Black beans are served on the side.

Shrimp jambalaya ($15) is classic but also a bit untraditional, using a soy-balsamic mix, a touch of smoked chili sauce, Cajun seasonings, chicken, sausage, onions, tomatoes and garlic cooked in a scratch-made chicken broth. It is sided with steamed rice, black beans and homemade telera-style bread, another house specialty.

Those with lighter appetites will find plenty on the menu.

For example, vegan-friendly pan-roasted vegetables ($12) get a shot of the soy-balsamic-chili sauce and are plated with black beans, rice and homemade bread.

Angel hair pasta with shrimp ($12) is a humble dish tossed with tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, garlic and the soy-balsamic combo.

“It’s a light dish,” Cruz-Reyes said. “It’s not spicy. it’s even something the kids like.”

For an unusual twist on a burger, 3 Brothers serves a half-pound Angus beef patty ($10) fajita-style, with grilled onions, peppers and mushrooms, plus fresh tomatoes, pepper jack cheese and dressing of chipotle mayo.

Homemade chili ($6.25) uses both ground beef and cuts of sirloin, topped with cheese, green onion and jalapeno cornbread instead of crackers.

“It makes it different from other places,” Cruz-Reyes said. “And it doesn’t have any beans in it.”

For the ropa vieja ($14), brisket is marinated for three to four hours and cooked for six or seven.

“The time we spend marinating and cooking it, we get a real tasty flavor,” he said.

The plate is garnished with sauteed onions, peppers, tomatoes and corn tossed in the ubiquitous chili sauce. It’s additionally furnished with black beans and rice, plantains and homemade bread.

“A lot of our stuff,” Cruz-Reyes said, “we do it fresh and to our recipes.”


At a glance

Where: 3 Brothers Diner

Address: 3090 Southwest Blvd., Grove City

Hours: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sundays and Mondays

Contact: 614-317-7798, www.3brosdinergc.com

Original article written by: Gary Seman Jr. | Special to The Columbus Dispatch

See the Original Article on the Columbus Dispatch Website