Saturday, August 31, 2013

Music for Breakfast

The writers of this blog spend a lot of time in mom-and-pop restaurants (at least when we're working on breakfast reviews). As good as those restaurants are, I only wish they were as musicial as the one in Anna Kendrick's video ...



The music doesn't actually start until 1:15 into the video, which gives them time for a cool set-up.

Have a great Saturday morning. 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Al Pan Pan, West Palm Beach, August 27, 2013

Quick take out review:
I've driven past this place for a decade. Finally dropped by this morning, inspired by our breakfast adventure.
Cute little place with friendly staff. Three cases of sugared, glossy, delightful pastries greet you -- haven for a sweet tooth like mine. Ten or so small tables. Free WiFi!
As I thought, this family-owned Argentinian restaurant and bakery caters very much to a Spanish speaking crowd. The menu is written in Spanish, with English translations. I love having my cultural norms flipped on me.
The churro was fresh and soft and perfectly sugared. My other pastry was filled with a dulche de leche cream. Delish and not overly sweet. I don't drink coffee and these pastries make me regret that.
I'm looking forward to coming here again for a more full experience and a virtual mini trip to South America. I'll bring my high schooler so she can practice her Spanish. It is fun to remind ourselves of the rich culture we have here in South Florida.
Location:
1000 S. Military Trail
West Palm Beach, FL
www.alpanpanbakery.com/

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Deli Inn Diner, West Palm Beach, August 25, 2013

Deli Inn Diner is a neighborhood regular spot. The folks that love this place, love this place. We used to like the place enough that we were occasional customers., but never often enough to be real regulars. Deli Inn Diner is big on welcoming new guests, and we get asked every single time if we've been there before.


Go be a first timer. Enjoy the experience. Then become a regular if you like the fun waitresses or the location. The place is really friendly whether you are a "virgin" or not. Or just move on to another breakfast favorite because Deli Inn Diner is not going to blow you away with their food.



Great food or no, the place gets crowded! There is a line later in the morning on weekends. The place is a bit of an institution and it's fun. It has basic breakfast fare. But now that we've expanded our horizons and tried a few more breakfast places around town, we aren't big fans anymore.

Today, Sean had corned beef hash, poached eggs and home fries with coffee.

 I had two biscuits with sausage gravy, plus two eggs over medium and a glass of orange juice.



After the likes of John G's, you notice they don't put a lot of effort into their display. But Deli Inn Diner is a basic breakfast joint, not a fancy place across from the Ritz Carlton. The eggs were adequate, Sean declared the hash mediocre, the potatoes were bland, and the biscuits were a bit heavy. The biscuits are excellent when drowned in the really good sausage gravy.

The waitresses make this place. Expect some sass. They are a fun bunch, and many have worked there a long time. They do themes each day, and coordinate. Today was Harley Davidson day, so all the waitresses were wearing Harley shirts, earrings, bandanas, whatever. A few customers were on bikes, though none were Harleys. The theme we've enjoyed the most -- cause we're geeks I guess -- was the superhero day, when each waitress wears a super hero shirt, one had a small cape, and a few even had themed earrings.

Deli Inn Diner is famous for its huge muffins, which I ate once. It was kind of overwhelming, but you'll get one on your first visit. They also have an ongoing dice game -- where you pay a dollar, and roll 5 dice, hoping for a five of a kind. If you don't roll a 5 of a kind, your dollar is added to the pot. Whoever rolls that "yahtzee," wins the pot. Today it was over $800, and they added another dollar off of me!


The name has always confused me because it's not a deli, it's not an inn, but it is a diner. We often call it Deli Diner Inn.

Cash only. Don't bother with your credit cards.

Location:
1494 S Military Trail, 
West Palm Beach, FL
(561) 964-1116

Deli Inn Diner

Thoughts 8/24/13

Some breakfast places in Florida have amazing views of the ocean, or at least are convenient to the beach.

Some breakfast places are retro, kitschy diners, where the decor and experience is what matters most.

Some breakfast places are foodie heaven, with freshest ingredients and master chefs and innovative meals.

Some breakfast places specialize in being neighborhood, regular spots, where the waitresses know your name and the menu doesn't change, where the comfort of the familiar when you're only half awake is a highlight.

A few places are able to do more than one of these well. They are gems.

What makes a breakfast place a great place depends on what your priorities are.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Nick's 50's Diner, West Palm Beach, August 24, 2013

Nick's is a '50s-style diner with some foodie twists that will keep you coming back for more.
First, let's deal with the punctuation in the name, "Nick's 50's Diner". Grammar purists will point out that "50's" is wrong, but it's that common kind of wrong usage that will probably be grudgingly accepted in dictionaries, say, 50 years from now. See how I did that? Har-de-har.



Now let's talk about the decor. Nick's is retro-styled in a black-and-white, heavy on the chrome and neon and Formica style that Hollywood tells us all diners looked like in the '50s. You've seen this diner in that movie, you know, the one you can't think of the name, but it stars that girl, you know the one. And that dude. Yeah, that one.

Anyway, you can check out a photo at Nick's website: Nicks50diner.com.

The diner has been around for 25 years. So we have a '50s-style diner, 25 years in the biz, you might think that the menu would be old and stale as well. Such a line of thinking would be incorrect. Just look at the breakfast menu on the back page of the big menu ...


You can see offerings including "Hangover Deluxe," "Sloppy Tex Mex", and "Cuban Egg Sandwich" that I'm pretty sure weren't offered in diners back in the '50s. This is a very good thing.

My point is the familiar retro blandness of Nick's decor might lead people to underestimate its food. I think such people are in for a pleasant surprise.

I'd say that Nick's offers dishes to please any palate, from people who just want two eggs and a big cup of shut up, to people who want an omelette that would choke a goat and friendly staff to talk to you while you gobble it down.

With that in mind, on with the food ...

The Food

I had a "Shepherd's Pie Omelette," which was pretty much a slice of shepherd's pie wrapped in egg and covered with string fries. Yum-yum.


The biscuit that came with it was flaky, golden brown, and delicious. I also ordered bacon, because, hey, bacon! And it was done just right, not over- or undercooked.


Kevin had corned beef hash and scrambled eggs, which came with the most generous serving of corned beef hash I've seen in a long time. And Kevin ate the whole thing, pronouncing it mmm-mm good.


Note that Kevin got grits with his meal, too. Now there are two things about grits. You either love 'em or hate 'em. And restaurants either do grits right, or they don't. The grits at Nick's got Kevin's seal of approval.

The coffee was good and hot, just the way it should be.



Cindy here: I wasn't swayed by all the fancy options, and decided to keep it simple with a make it yourself omelette. My tastebuds said ham and swiss, my new healthy eating habits added spinach. And it was GREAT. It was pretty much three of my favorite foods with a little bit of egg binding it all together. Mmmm, mmmm. I have one easy way to explain how much I liked this omelette: Nick's gives an option of biscuit, which was flaky and perfect on the first bite.... but after trying it, I went right back to my omelette and ate until I was too full to eat my biscuit. Too full? To eat a biscuit?

I was telling my husband four hours later, that I rate a breakfast place not only on the immediate pleasure of the eating experience, but also on the length of time of feeling satisfied. And now here at lunch time, I am all, nah, I'll skip. then I remembered the biscuit which I brought home with me... that was my lunch. Mmmm, mmmm. It could've been better warm. I should've heated it a bit.



Pam had the most interesting breakfast creation. She ordered two eggs over medium, plus rye toast and hash browns. Then she put grape jelly on the toast, and put the eggs between the toast, and ate it like a sandwich. She swears it was good. Her egg yolks were wee bit runny, but definitely not watery as can sometimes happen with eggs over easy. I am totally ordering my eggs like this from now on... but I'll skip the jelly and rye.

Ellie, our daughter, is ambivalent to breakfast other than bacon. Nick's was totally willing to accommodate that, and made her a grilled cheese sandwich ... with bacon on it. She said it was scrumptious and "baconlicious." But she didn't eat her crusts because they were too crispy. She also ordered her customary hot chocolate which she described as very hot, but very good.



Turning it back over to Sean:

The Service

The wait staff was generous with the coffee refills, and checked back on us regularly. The food came quickly and we were out of there in half an hour. I didn't feel rushed; it's just that things went so smoothly.

Memorable note: You get all this and free wifi. Really, what's not to like?

Worth a Return Visit?

I want to go back and try the Sloppy Tex Mex. I can see it as a place where I might sit at the bar with endless coffee refills, stoking up on caffeine and surfing the web until I vibrate right off my seat.

Location

1900 Okechobee Blvd
West Palm Beach, FL
33409

John G’s, Manalapan, August 17, 2013

We had breakfast at what is arguably the most famous breakfast restaurant in Palm Beach County, John G’s, and it’s taken several days to get to a review. Was it that awful? NO! It was as good as claimed and it’s taken us this long to absorb it all. (Actually we’ve been busy, but that’s beside the point.)

John G’s used to be located at the Lake Worth Beach until construction there caused them to move in 2012 to the Plaza Del Mar near the Lantana beach, in the town of Manalapan, across from the Ritz Carlton. Soon after John G's moved there, the Lantana Bridge closed for a year of construction. "Son of a ..."

Despite the obstaclesJohn G’s appears to be doing just fine.



Besides its great food, John G’s has been famous for decades for customers waiting up to an hour to get in. Cindy avoided this place because she doesn’t believe in waiting in line for an hour for breakfast. She had eaten here only once before, in 1990because a friend worked in the kitchen and snuck her in the back way. 

Sean, similarly adverse to lines, had NEVER eaten at John G’s in 30 years of living in South Florida! But we figured, if we are going to blog about breakfast in South Florida, we have to go to John G’s. This meant getting there at 7:30 to avoid the lines. 



First Impressions

At 7:30 a.m., our big party of 8 was seated right away. When we left at 8:30, the place was quite full, but no line had formed yet. So the trick for this place is: don’t sleep in!

Our friends who regularly visit John G’s said the décor and tables are the same as the previous restaurant, but the space is slightly bigger, which means less bumping into other customers.

The Food

Dishes we tried: 

Willet kids: CRUNCH HONEY GRANOLA FRENCH TOAST
French Toast with almonds pecans & raisins & peanuts. 

Also, bacon! Mmmm .... bacon.


Sean: HAWAIIAN OMELET Filled with a colorful array of sautéed vegetables, topped with our special cheese sauce, with a grilled pineapple garnish. Incredible! $9.25. 

This omelette was delicious, and extra points for being something we haven't seen at other restaurants. The waitress said this was a customer favorite. 


Cindy: STUFFED CROISSANT.  It comes with scrambled eggs, chopped ham, and our great cheese sauce. Served with hash browns or grits. $8.75.  
 
This was fabulous. Served with fruit and four tomato slices. The eggs and ham were overflowing the croissant, but each forkful was a good balance of egg, ham and bread. I had leftovers believe it or not, and it was just as yummy the next day.


Laurie: THE ORIGINAL CINNAMON-NUT FRENCH TOAST Featuring our special thick-sliced bread, liberally coated with sliced almonds & a hint of cinnamon sugar.  $8.10.  

Sean tried one of these and it was incredible. The toast was flaky and crunchy while also chewy and delicious. It's probably the best french toast ever. There -- the gauntlet is thrown down!

Jerry: CORNED BEEF HASH Topped with two poached eggs, buttered toast and jelly.  $9.50 



The presentation of the food was gorgeous. And the portions were ridiculously huge, except for the corned beef hash. Yet 6 out of 8 of us were able to finish our breakfasts. This place is a diet buster, because you will want to eat every bite.

Each dish also comes with a choice of fruit cup (made with chopped fresh fruit, not canned) or a glass of juice.And finally, many restaurants claim they serve gourmet coffee, but John G's actually delivers. You'll want more, if you're a coffee drinker. John G's also offers a nice selection of teas.



The Service

The staff was attentive without being too pushy, and they were quick to accomodate our large party.

Memorable Note

John G's also has a bar, so if you're in the mood for spirits with your breakfast, you can go eat in the bar.  You don't see that every day.

But really, if you want to take visitors out for a memorable breakfast in South Florida, take them to John G's. They'll brag about it when they get back home.  

Worth a Return Visit?

Heck, yeah! And we won't wait decades to go back.

Location:
264 So. Ocean Blvd.
Manalapan, Fl

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Pete's Place, Greenacres, August 10, 2013

First Impressions

Pete's is tucked away in the Publix shopping center at the corner of Forest Hill and Jog Road, and it has been open 22 years. You can check out the menu on a whiteboard in the window, which is helpful.


 It's your standard diner inside, well-lit, nice wide, clean booths and tables, and row of swivel chairs in front of a bar for single diners. The decor is wood paneling, as well as some nondescript paintings, but Pete's also puts up artwork made by children who eat there, and that's a nice touch. And hey, free, fast wifi. I wrote and published this review while at Pete's, and checked my email to boot.

Pete's also has a collection of old-timey kitchen appliances on display.  Either that or they've captured a posse of tiny, shiny robots. That's right, Pete's may have saved us from the Robot Invasion. Come check it out for yourself.

The Food

Anyway, there is a 6 page menu, as well as specials every weekend. I usually have the chicken portabella omelette, but decided to go with the Asheville Omelette (spinach, onions, mushrooms, potatoes, cheese) and a side of home fries and a pair of Pete's big biscuits. 



The home fries are the best part of a breakfast at Pete's for me. They are sauteed with onions and expertly seasoned.  These home fries are dangerously delicious.

I ate both biscuits and ALL the home fries. It's a good thing I'm going for a long bike ride after eating this. Though to be honest, to work off all these calories, I'm going to have to bike to Tallahassee.

I found the Asheville Omelette a little too onion heavy.  So I'll stick to my chicken portabella omelette next time, or try one of the others (with 6 pages of menu to choose from, I've got some options). I've also had the fruit-stuffed french toast, which is very good.

They also have nice muffins and cookies for sale at the counter.

The Service

There's almost no turnover in the staff that I can see, which tells you something. The ladies of Pete's are friendly and attentive, and quick on the coffee refills.

Worth a Return Visit?

Always. We'll always have Pete's.

Location:
Riverbridge Plaza
 6774 Forest Hill Blvd, Greenacres

Friday, August 9, 2013

Jupiter Donut Factory, Jupiter, August 9, 2013

My recent love affair with donuts

My 11 year old has always been crazy about donuts, but not discriminating about them at all. I only discovered any passion for donuts after eating at The Holy Donut in Portland Maine in summer 2012. Donuts for grownups. I could never return to Dunkin or Hortons. I assumed I'd be donut-less in Florida. When you have a good donut, you don't want to waste your time with crappy wheels of air, chemicals and sugar.



Then Jan Norris of  Food & Florida mentioned Jupiter Donut Factory. My curiosity was piqued. They advertise themselves as being open 6 a.m. until they run out. Well, we tried zipping up there after church on a Sunday with our 2 kids and 3 extra kids in tow... and well, not surprisingly, at 12:30 on a Sunday they were cleaned out, cleaned up and shut tight. When you promise 5 kids donuts, you end up at Dunkin Donuts after all at this point. *sigh*

So today, my 2 kids and I took a little detour on our way north to visit family. We got to Jupiter Donut Factory about 9:30 a.m. and found plenty to choose from.



Choices choices

Now one thing I love about the aforementioned The Holy Donut in Portland Maine is the cool flavor combos like Coffee Brandy and Dark Chocolate Ginger. Jupiter Donut Factory didn't blow my mind with any new donut ideas. They have a bunch of the traditionals: glazed, Boston cream, chocolate frosted chocolate donut. And the "exotic" ones tended to be mostly chocolate donuts wtih chocolate frosting with some sort of crushed candy add ons. So nothing exciting at first glance. However.... 

The other thing I love about The Holy Donut -- and now about Jupiter Donut Factory -- is oh my god. A freshly made, recently made, quality ingredient donut is heaven on earth. 

What we ordered: We held ourselves back to only a half dozen, because we knew we'd eat all that we bought. At least the pending road trip made it easier to justify two each. My son stuck with his loyalties and ordered two chocolate frosted chocolate donuts. My daughter went safe with a glazed and branched out with a red velvet cake donut with cream cheese frosting (one of Jupiter Donut Factory's signature items). I also tried out an old favorite: Boston Cream, and indulged nearly every fantasy with a chocolate frosted with toffee bits.

Why are there only four in the box? The kids were already were snarfing down their first ones before I could take a pic.

Sooooo, how was it?

As conditioned as I have been by the crappy mass produced donuts, the first descriptors I can think of for Jupiter Donut Factory's Boston Cream is what it isn't. There's NOT a chemical after taste. It's NOT half-stale from being trucked across town from the oven. It's NOT sickly sweet.  It doesn't disppear and then I wonder where it went and why I am still craving more.

What a GOOD donut is is satisfying. These donuts aren't satisfying as in they are huge and fill you up and you regret everything. The flavors are so delish, and from fresh quality ingredients, and not filled with air, that you have that one donut, and It's like, yeah, I enjoyed those flavors, and my mouth is so content, that I can save the other for after we cross the Georgia line this afternoon. My daughter and I savored each our donuts, enjoying every bite. Mr Donut Freak in the back, he inhaled them as always.  He'll learn some day.

Later in the day in South Carolina, son again wolfed down his second double choc. The daughter took one bite of her red velvet donut and declared herself in love. My toffee donut was as terrific as I'd expected. Good cakey donut, not overly sweet frosting, a good sprinkle of toffee for crunch and flavor but not too much. When i tried to describe it to my daughter, I found myself using wine terminology -- it had a good mouth feel, the flavors were deep, the flavor profile lingered on my tongue.

Yeah, it was good.

Are donuts the new trendy?

Are cupcakes done, and donuts the new thing? The Holy Donut in Portland has been a big "thing" for a couple years. Now here in South Florida, we've got Jupiter Donut Factory, a cider donut place in Palm Beach Gardens that I heard passing mention of, and a fancy donut place down in north Broward. Heck, even I and a baking friend have been discussing the fantasy of opening a donut shop. 

Good donuts can be THAT good. 

So I may pass at least a dozen Dunkin Donuts to get to Jupiter Donut Factory, but it's worth an occasional treat. You know what? The prices were comparable to Dunkin Donuts. But the value was 100 fold better.

Sorry, I didn't try the coffee. But as busy as the place was on a Friday morning, I think the other customers looked pretty happy.

Location
141 Center St, Jupiter

Menu:
http://southflorida.menupages.com/restaurants/jupiter-donut-factory/menu



Thursday, August 8, 2013

Sande's Restaurant, Delray Beach, FL Aug 8,2013

The actual name is "Sande's and Shaynes". You will see it on the menu. Yes, I know about the missing apostrophe. It is the restaurant's typo, not mine.


First Impressions

A Florida tradition -- Sande's will have been in business 30 years come January.

The restaurant is clean and well-lit. Decor is from the early 80s and well-maintained. Roomy, comfortable booths and a row of swivel chairs at the counter. It was not crowded, and the customers were mostly ancient. Go to Sande's before their customers die off!

Seriously, two guys near me were talking about when they had to abandon ship.  Navy guys, obviously.  And if they were 18 in 1943, that makes them 83 now. They looked good! Or maybe they abandoned ship in a later conflict.

Anyway, on with the review ...

There is a 6 page menu. The motto is "extensive but not expensive." Hot sauce, ketchup and hand sanitizer are right at the table. I had to ask for Sweet 'n Low, though. This is an old-fashioned sugar crowd.

It seems a very family place. A young girl showed up and the head waitress asked if she wanted to wait some tables and make some money today (the answer was "no." Typical kids. Why in my day ... but I digress). I could see the cook (his upper torso, anyway) through a slot in the wall. I like when I can see the kitchen -- they aren't hiding anything.

The Food

Coffee was pretty standard. Black as my heart and piping hot. Sande's is generous with refills.

I ordered the Farm Style Omelette -- potato, ham, onions and cheese with gravy for $8.95. I could have ordered potatoes on the side for an extra 50 cents, but there were already potatoes in the omelette.

The food came fast. The cook must have been in some kind of zen state where he can whip out masterwork meals in 5 minutes. Best part: The food was delicious.  Whoever thought to put gravy on an omelette is a freakin' genius. 



The omelette was seasoned perfectly, too. The gravy is just spicy enough to add some zing. I didn't even need to use salt and pepper.

I ate the whole thing. 

The Service

Friendly, fast service. Extra bonus points to the waitress, because I asked her if I should get the gravy on the Farm Style Omelette, and she said, "oh, yeah!"

Memorable Note

I wanted to check out the bathroom. I asked for directions and was told to "pardon the construction," and headed toward the back. But one of the old sailors got up and moved ... very slowly ... toward the bathroom at the same time. I decided to not go, because if he can survive a ship sinking, his balls are probably so big there's not enough room in the bathroom for me.

Worth a Return Visit? I'm definitely coming back. For one thing, Cindy has to try this place.  For another, I need to see if their corned beef hash and home fries are up to snuff (I'm betting yes).

Location:
1717 N. Federal Highway, Delray Beach, FL

Trip Advisor link: Sande's

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Paris Bakery and Café, West Palm Beach, August 3, 2013

Cindy suggested this because Paris Bakery and Café is rated #1 for breakfast places in West Palm Beach according to Trip Advisor.  There was plenty of parking (I used a metered spot on a side street). We set the bar high going in.

First Impressions

It’s a slice of Paris in the middle of West Palm Beach. The restaurant itself is clean and decorated in a Parisian theme. The staff is friendly.  You can sit outside, though my companions chose inside service. The restaurant was busy at 9 am on a Saturday, but not crowded.



The Food

The food was delicious. I had the Crêpe Country, which is a crêpe wrapped around scrambled eggs, chicken, avocado, red onion and spinach. That tastes as good as it sounds. It came with a side of home-fried potatoes.  The potatoes were also very tasty. Mine were a little soft, but my companions had no complaints.  The coffee was bold, dark, and delicious.

We also got sliced baguette bread on the side. The owner told us he made the bread fresh that morning, and it certainly tasted that way. Yum-yum. They asked us if we wanted more; I did, but thought it better for my waistline to ask them to hold off.

Cindy had the Crêpe HO! LA! LA! -- crêpe with 2 eggs any style, ham, Brie cheese, spinach, avacado and fried potatoes on the side. I had a bite and I think that’s what I’m having next time. The brie cheese makes it (though the avocado really was a treat).



As for our companions, Barbara had Crêpe Surprise -- crêpe with 2 eggs any style and mozzarella cheese. Jerry had a vegetarian crêpe dish. Everybody was very happy with their food.

The coffee cups were a source of amusement. Barbara didn't like the funky one finger opening to hoild the hot hot ceramic. The coffee was delish, so she kept making the effort. She was much happier with the glass mug with the bigger handle that she got later. The boys enjoyed showing off their finger strength lifting their mugs with gusto.



The Service

The service was excellent, attentive, and prompt. The serving lady’s charming French accent added to the experience. More than one serving person checked on us, and I believe two of them were the owners/managers.

One Memorable Note

The Paris Café is cramped.  My chair was constantly being brushed and bumped by service people going by, even though I pulled up tight to the table and even shifted my chair around the table. I put my arm down and felt my elbow slide along flesh, then realized it was the buttock of one of the servers who was standing thatclose to me. There are times when I don’t mind being surrounded by female buttocks pressing in around me, but breakfast isn’t one of them. Or maybe I’m a cranky pants.

Thinking about it, I probably had the worst seat in the house. But there isn’t much room anywhere inside. If personal space is an issue for you, be sure to sit outside.


Would we go back again? Oh, la, la! Of course we would. I can't wait to try some of their other dishes, which you can find here: http://www.parisbakerycafe.com/menu

Location:

212, S. Olive Avenue
West Palm Beach
FL 33401



Friday, August 2, 2013

Cup N Saucer, Lake Worth, June 23, 2013

To kick off our new eating adventure of trying local restaurants in the South Florida area, Cindy and I – joined by our native Sherpa guide Eleanor – went for Sunday breakfast at the Cup ‘n Saucer.

I very much wanted to go to the Cup ‘n Saucer because, months back, while Eleanor and I stood in line at the Publix Deli for sub sandwiches, we were approached by a wise (?) old man who got into a rambling conversation with us.  He brought up the Cup ‘n Saucer, and said that they used local fruits in their dishes. That stuck in my mind lo these many months. Finally, I had an opportunity to check it out.

First Impressions

The Cup ‘n Saucer has a big sign out front on the marquee that says Café, a smaller sign says “Cup ‘n Saucer”. Online, it is billed as the Cup & Saucer Bagel Shop, but I didn’t see that title, and bagels aren’t emphasized. It was busy, but we were able to get seated right away at 9:30 on a Sunday morning.

The staff is genial, and there is an actual surplus of wait staff, which is a nice surprise if you don’t like being left to fidget  when you're hungry. Ridiculous number of servers we thought. But we realized later we were early. The place filled up fast, and had a line out the door as we were leaving. 

The décor was simple and traditional, as was the menu. The restaurant was clean. Napkins are paper, the dishes seem to come from a basic café catalog.  




Sitting in the place, you wouldn't know if you were in South Florida, Virginia or New Jersey. That’s okay, especially if you like to ease into your morning. If you like Florida flavor, look elsewhere.

Prices are very affordable for just about anybody’s wallet. The menu was plastic and legible while containing just enough punctuation errors to provide some amusement for grammarians like ourselves.

The Food

The food listed on the menu is basic breakfast food, with no stand-out signature dishes that I could see. I asked about fruit, and the waitress guided me to the specials menu and the Banana Nut French Toast.  It’s billed as “Homemade Banana Nut bread dipped in our special batter grilled golden brown with fresh strawberries and whipped crème.”

It was delicious. The bread was brown and crispy, the banana flavor was strong without being overpowering, the nuts made a nice contrast, the crème did not taste canned, and the strawberries were fresh. I received two pieces of banana nut bread, along with large dollops of crème and enough sliced strawberries to get strawberries in most every bite. Syrup was on the table, and nothing fancy.

I also had coffee, which was basic but hit the spot.


Cindy had a spinach & feta quiche, with a side of fresh chopped fruit (strawberries, melon and honeydew melon) and a biscuit. The quiche was great. 

Eleanor had a cup of hot chocolate topped with a skyscraper of crème, as well as chocolate chip pancakes (two large) and a side of bacon (two). The bacon was crispy and delicious, and Eleanor tore into the pancakes like we starve her. There were a smattering of chocolate chips but not overwhelming, which is a contrast to the Dune Deck Café at Manalapan/Lantana Beach, which dishes up a huge amount of chocolate chips in its pancakes.


I asked Eleanor which she preferred, and she said likes the less-chocolatey texture of the pancakes at the Cup ‘n Saucer. As for myself, I’m keen on the Dune Deck Café pancakes, because it’s like you’re sneaking dessert for breakfast. Mmm … chocolate.

The Service

The service at the Cup ‘n Saucer was excellent. They gave us time to look at the menu but did not neglect us. The waitress was helpful. My coffee cup was filled often. We weren't rushed out of there, but we weren't going to linger on a diner's busy Sunday morning, either.

Overall:  The Cup ‘n Saucer is a basic diner that dishes up good food, and I can see why it has a loyal fan base. I could see eating there more than once – I have yet to try their home fries and hash, which are two of my weekend breakfast staples. However, there is no local color or signature menu items, so tourists looking for that might want to look elsewhere.




Location:

6169 S Jog Rd Ste C10
Lake Worth, FL 33467
(561) 966-4997

Bagel Break Deli, Stuart, July 21, 2013

Great bagel shop. Good for cheap breakfast and lunches. Stopped in here while I was staying nearby for a scrapbooking event.

I had two eggs over easy and potatoes. Standard, yummy, not expensive. Plus an absolutely fabulous yummy chocolate chip muffin. Mmmm.

I did not try the bagels... this time.

(772) 692-3366

Bagel Break Deli

Howley's Restaurant, West Palm Beach, July 27 2013 and June 29, 2013

Love it. Been here for dinner and lunch several times. Great old diner that is an institution, but has been modernized and made hip. Fabulous murals in parking lot and on north side of restaurant. Indoor and outdoor seating, booths and tables.

Sean and I came here for breakfast and loved it.

On this Saturday, we took our friends Barbara and Jerry.

Sean and Jerry had the spinach, tomato, feta omlettes. They cleaned their plates.

Barbara tried the classic eggs and potatoes breakfast, plus biscuit and gravy... is that what's it called? It didn't work for her. Unusual flavor reminded her of curry which she's not fond of. Sean and Jerry tried it and said it was okay, but not a favorite.

I had a florentine benedict. Florentine benedict was great. I sometimes shy away from benedicts because they can be drowning in cloying sauce, but this was served with light hand and was yummy.

I also got sweet potato fries, which is usually a later meal type food, but they'll cook them up fresh for breakfast and they are great. We shared those.

Unusual eclectic art work for sale on the walls.

Memorable for the art work, and kitchiness, and tattooed waiters.

We had gone with our daughter on an earlier occasion, as we were just thinking about starting this project. I had a classic two eggs over easy with potatoes. Plus biscuit. Here's a pic when I was halfway through the meal. Yes, I'm a horrible person who eats her eggs with ketchup.  Don't judge me. The food was good, the eggs well cooked, the biscuit was meh.


The Howley's kitchen was totally cool with our daughter's request for a bacon and cheese quesadilla.. She loved it, and wanted more. Again, pic is halfway through the meal.... We will get better at this.


Sean's review of our first breakfast visit: Corned beef hash, poached eggs, biscuit, and sweet potato fries.

The corned beef hash was a bit dry, as is fashionable nowadays, and delicious.  The eggs were poached perfectly.  The biscuit was too dry, and crumbled when I tried to dip it in Cindy's egg yolk.  The sweet potato fries were excellent and came in a huge, heaping portion.

Nice waitress, very attentive.  Coffee was good and hot. Ellie's hot chocolate arrived very hot and no whipped cream on top.


Location:
4700 S Dixie Hwy
West Palm Beach, FL 33405
(561) 833-5691

Yelp

Green Owl Restaurant, Delray Beach, July 13, 2013

Used to go occasionally 15 years ago. Went back for first time in ages.

We weren't impressed. Now that we are seeking out cool, recommended eateries, the Green Owl did not really hold its own. It's on cool, funky Atlantic Ave in Delray which is full of great restaurants trying all sorts of innovative and/or trendy ideas. Green Owl  hasn't changed in decades. And it shows. They should take some tips from Howleys in West Palm Beach on how to be retro but still cool and innovative. Retro isn't enough if the food is meh.

Also what diner doesn't serve biscuits? Hello?

Also retro: Cash only. Conveniently there's a bank with an ATM across the street.


Location:
330 E Atlantic Ave
Delray Beach, FL 33483

Urban Spoon


Christina's, Delray Beach, Aug 2, 2013


Breakfast: Scrambled eggs with broccoli, mushrooms and cheddar cheese, with a side of home fries and toast. 



It was good but a little bland. Luckily, there is Tabasco sauce right at the table, so problem solved. This is a very cool place, if one judges by decor. 



The prices are reasonable, but not cheap. The service was friendly, but wasn't fast. That's okay, I wasn't in a hurry. and they have wifi that has no password, so huzzah! They need more spice in their food and more onions and peppers in their potatoes. Still, well worth a trip, especially if you're starting a day in Delray.

Location:
263 NE 2nd Ave
Delray Beach, FL 33444
(561) 278-3200

Yelp