Creating mouth-watering recipes for a rapidly expanding breakfast-lunch chain is no easy feat, but Sunny Street Café culinary specialist Matt Stasko takes it all in stride. Working out of one the franchise’s very first locations here in the Arena District, Stasko is always whipping up something new. You could say this is where the magic happens. Sunny Street Café offers two seasonal, or supplemental, menus a year in addition to its regular offerings. But don’t expect to see the same menu for long. “We’re always doing something different, something new,” Stasko said. The restaurant boasts items ranging from its Famous Bananas Foster Pancakes and Eggs Benedict to the Bistro Burger and Harvest Spinach Salad with a home-style atmosphere to boot. Let’s see what Sunny Street Café is all about.
Q&A with Matt Stasko
Arena District: What makes Sunny Street Café so different?
Matt Stasko: We try to fill the gap between the higher end breakfast places and the kind of greasy spoon. So you can come in here and get fresh cut fruit and fresh produce and nicer items like Eggs Benedict. But you can also come in here and get grits and gravy, hash and more diner food. So you can take your whole family. Your sister who wants granola can come and your dad who wants country-fried steak can come, too. I think that’s what really sets us apart.
AD: What’s your favorite item on the menu?
MS: My favorite item right now, on the supplemental menu, would be the pot roast grill with pickled red onion. That’s probably my favorite thing to eat right now, but it switches all the time. I also really like our whole-wheat pancakes.
AD: What do you like about being located in the Arena District?
MS: This is probably the most diverse crowd since it’s in a downtown location. We’re able to test out different segments a lot better here. People come in from all over the city and they converge downtown in the Arena District, so we see a lot more diverse section of the population. People tend to be a lot more adventurous. They want to try something new as opposed to getting the same old thing.
AD: What do you think makes the Arena District unique?
MS: I like the Arena District because there’s so much to do within walking distance. There’s a good diversity in terms of restaurants and bars, you can see music here, you can work out next door, you can live next door, you can go see sports. Not too many neighborhoods can offer that. Plus you get a lot more people coming in that don’t necessarily live here. So it’s a good melting pot in terms of people.
AD: Where does your inspiration for the menu come from?
MS: Just things I see every day. If I’m out at a restaurant and I think, “Oh, that’s a good idea but I wish it was like this.” I guess at the end of it I’m just a really good critic. That’s where I get most of my inspiration. Because most things have been done before. So it’s not like we’re inventing the wheel, but I can put spokes on it and make it a little different.
Want to know more about Sunny Street Café?
Sunny Street Café in the Arena District is located at 277 W. Nationwide Blvd. The restaurant is open open 6:30am–2:30pm every day. You can check out the full menu here–even featuring a Vegan Brunch Menu on Saturdays.
Click here for information on other Arena District events and venues or food and drink.