This was our first time going to a more upscale place, relative to our previous restaurants. It was a nice change, and we greatly enjoyed the experience. Thanks Amanda for finding at such last minute the night before.
Del Ray Cafe is situated in an old house that has been converted, so it has great ambience and charm. The service was good and our waiter was friendly and upbeat. This time I ordered the SOS chipped beef with roasted potatoes and a mini croissant. I made a great choice.
This wasn’t your run-of-the-mill cream chipped beef that you get in most diners, which usually consists of some reddish processed beef slivers swimming in a who-knows-what white sauce. The beef was flavorful and salty as to be expected from actual chipped beef. Instead of a white sauce it was served in a gravy, but it wasn’t too heavy nor did they add too much as to drown out all the other ingredients. Finally served atop roasted potatoes as a base, with a mini croissant to round out the brunch experience. Other notable dishes on the table were the pork belly and vegetable hash.
For the first time we ordered dessert. We shared among the table 2 dishes: 10 Chouquettes (Oven-Baked Choux Pastry) with Chocolate, Whipped Cream and Raspberry Dipping Sauces and 8 Chocolate Beignets with Orange Crème Anglaise.
The beignets were not the typical puffed type but rather they were the round balls, filled with chocolate. Everybody really liked both desserts and I would have loved to order more.
As we were waiting I saw waiters carrying around plates of croissants and chocolate croissants. The restaurant serves to-go orders of these and their baguettes. I forgot to get some chocolate croissants to go, but the next time in the area I definitely plan to pick some up.
Overall I loved the food and the restaurant. Parking was a bit tough but that’s to be expected in Del Ray on a Saturday afternoon. The price was great for what we got, with my plate only costing $12. If I had one nit-pick it’s that their pancakes were nothing special. They were probably the worst of all the places we’ve been so far. They were a bit doughy and the outside wasn’t crisp like I like them. But, other people at the table preferred that style so really to each their own.
I’ve known Amphora for a while. My office used to be across the street so I and my coworkers would have lunch there quite often. Now my office is on the east side of Maple Ave., but it’s still close enough that sometimes it’s a lunch option for us.
I rarely, however, order breakfast there so it was a nice change to focus on the breakfast menu. The one thing about Amphora over our previous diners: it has a large and vast menu. Sometimes that worries me because often a very large menu means your meal is less likely to be made from fresh ingredients. Even if that were the case most of our food was good.
This day I ordered the country fried steak, the same thing I had at Bob & Edith’s. I had my eggs over medium as usual. I was in the mood for it considering I was still nursing a hangover from the previous day’s crazy festivities at a holiday party. For me a hangover meal usually consists of something fried and salty.
Long story short the country fried steak was better at Bob & Edith’s. This wasn’t bad, but the cut seemed thinner and the meat was better and more tender at Bob & Edith’s. But Amphora’s breading was good and crunchy. Just what my ailing stomach needed.
Their menu also included some interesting pancake items: red velvet, peanut butter, and white chocolate. The red velvet that Jen C ordered got good marks but Jen F’s peanut butter pancakes were a little disappointing. They were nothing more than pancakes with some peanut butter chips thrown on top.
All in all Amphora is a good place. It’s large, service is fast, there is plenty of parking, and they have WiFi. The menu is vast and the food is good.
For stage 3 of the Tour de Munch we visited Bob & Edith’s on Saturday, November 15. I’ve been here before and didn’t think anything of it, but that’s probably because it was years ago and after midnight after a night on the town.
As usual there was quite a line to wait for a table. But after about 20 minutes of waiting we got our booth. I order two eggs over medium with country fried steak. I split some of my steak with Jen C for one of her eggs Benedict. Both were very good. The gravy was rich and flavorful and the country fried steak was fried crisp but tender inside. I tried some of Amanda’s blueberry pancake and it was evident the blueberries were plump and fresh, and the pancake was cooked just the way I like it: crisped at the edges.
Bob & Edith’s has been a local favorite for a long time for a reason. It’s popularity is from more than just hype.
We visited First Watch on Sunday, October 19. Everyone at the table enjoyed their meal here. The food was spectacular. I’m not really a pancake person but the pancakes were great. They were crispy at the edges and flavorful and fluffy on the inside. I had the Parma Hash which was outstanding.
The Original Pancake House was our first stage in the Tour de Munch, starting Sunday, September 14. The Original Pancake House is a popular local restaurant and known for it’s Dutch Baby, which none of us ordered because most of us had already had it before. I can’t remember what I had because it was a couple months ago, but I’ve been there several times and the food is always good. The only thing I dislike about their pancakes is additional ingredients are served on top, not mixed with the batter.
Overall the food is not spectacular or anything special, thus the 3 star rating. But it’s a good place to eat with some novelty menu items.