Good Food, 30+ Specialty Coffee Drinks
by Dee Fisher
Do you enjoy an occasional latte or expresso? Maybe your taste runs more to hot chai with whipped cream? No matter—you can have all this and much more at (the) Grind Cafe & Coffeehouse in downtown Delphos, Ohio.
Jack Hilvers was born and raised in Delphos. His family has been in the community for generations, but, to his knowledge, he is the only one who developed an interest in the food service industry.
“I’ve been cooking and baking all my life,” says Jack. “I started in a small restaurant in Delphos when I was sixteen. Believe it or not, I was hired as a cook at that age!”
Jack spent some years away from both family and restaurants earlier in his life. “I worked in retail for a few years in Boston and L.A.” He laughs. “I wasn’t happy, so I came home and started cooking.”
Thirty years later, Jack is the owner of (the) Grind Cafe & Coffeehouse. “This is what I’ve wanted to do all along—live in an area close to my family and own a restaurant. I’m happy!”
(the) Grind celebrated its eighth year of operation on January 6, 2017. When it opened in 2009, it was located on 5th Street. “”There used to be a KFC on 5th, and we originally opened there,” Jack remembers.
“However, we outgrew it in about six months. It was a good location, but the dining area was very small, and we needed more room for our customers.”
Seven years ago, the building where (the) Grind is currently located was a small bar. “We had heard that the owner might be wanting out of his business, so we went in one day and talked to him. Turned out the rumors were correct!”
When Jack moved (the) Grind into its current location, he chose to keep the original brick walls and pressed tin ceiling. The overall effect is very urban, rather like a small cafe in a much larger city. Vintage pictures and distressed wooden plaques on the walls add to the chic effect.
“The old mirror behind the bar is still there. We covered it with a large chalkboard, where we write our current drink menu.”
(the) Grind can certainly compete with any of the popular chain coffee shops. All their coffee is ground on site (“the hardest thing about the business,” says Jack), including: house blend, decaf, or flavored.
Seasonal lattes include Alpine Frost and Candy Cane, or you can go with a Snickers Mocha or an Irish Cream. Espresso drinks include Café au Lait and (the) Jitter—it’ll keep you awake for a while!
Besides coffee drinks, the menu includes steamers, such as Cha Cha Chai and Caramel Hot Chocolate. There are even fruit smoothies, in strawberry and peach flavors, and iced tea, if you’re needing a cool drink.
But, (the) Grind is more than a coffeehouse. “We also serve breakfast and lunch, from sandwiches to complete entrees,” Jack advises.
Breakfast begins the day, with omelets as simple as a Cheese Omelet or as full as the Jacked-up Western Omelet, featuring pepper jack cheese. (the) Grind also serves up pancakes, waffles, and French toast, along with house specialties, such as The Peek-a-Boo Special (two eggs peeking out of grilled bread, served with choice of meat and home fries) and scrambled egg skillets. Other breakfast options include breakfast melts on sourdough bread, sausage gravy and biscuits, and old-time favorites oatmeal, bagels, and muffins.
If you sleep in, (the) Grind can satisfy your hunger at lunch time, too. The mid-day menu offers appetizers, including fried mushrooms and mozzarella sticks; specialty burgers, along with ordinary hamburgers and cheeseburgers; sandwich melts, some on specialty breads like rye and sour dough; and, wraps and flatbread sandwiches. Local favorites like tenderloins and BLTs are also available.
For those who prefer lighter fare for lunch, (the) Grind offers six different salads, from a garden salad to a taco salad—and even a spinach strawberry salad. You can have a fruit cup with your salad, or perhaps a hot cup or bowl of soup.
Whatever your selection, one thing you can be assured of—all the food served at (the) Grind will be fresh. Jack uses no premade mixes or frozen foods. All ingredients are fresh and natural, and all recipes are made right in the kitchen—nothing from a box.
“Over the past Christmas season, we experimented with selling fresh baked goods, such as cookies, muffins, cakes, pies, and scones,” Jack says. “It was a big hit! In fact, interest in the sweets was so great that we are continuing to offer seasonal baked goods in 2017.”
While Jack enjoys cooking, he likes baking even more. “I use old family recipes (like Grandma’s snickerdoodle cookies), and they’re very well received.” Although no plans have been made, Jack has been dreaming of opening a bakery, perhaps across the street from (the) Grind.
“The fact that our baked goods are being purchased in large quantities does suggest that there is a call for fresh-baked goods in Delphos and the eastern end of Van Wert county. We’re not going to dismiss any talk of establishing a bakery, but we’re in no hurry right now. Sales are just fine at our restaurant!”
Currently, (the) Grind also offers catering services. “We’ve been catering breakfasts, luncheons, and dinners for a while now,” Jack reports. “Our biggest job so far was a complete Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings for a group in Lima.
“Mostly, we do luncheons and breakfasts. Customers can order from our menu, or we will work with them to create a custom menu. If I can cook it, we’ll serve it!”
(the) Grind Café & Coffeehouse is open for breakfast, lunch, and coffee from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday (closed Mondays). With a larger dining area in the back, (the) Grind can accommodate larger groups by reservation.
(the) Grind Café & Coffeehouse
226 N. Main Street
Delphos, OH 45833