With out of town guests visiting two weekends in a row and nary an egg in the house, it was decided that we would go to two notably different breakfast establishments and compare our experiences. One party argued that breakfast is breakfast; I beg to differ. While fussiness and foodie raves are usually the stuff of suppertime, there is no reason why breakfast can’t shine, too.
For our first experience, we went for the more illustrious of West Chester breakfast establishments, the . Making mornings special since they opened, this spot’s reputation for awesomeness means you will sometimes have to wait for a seat. A small price to pay, and between their lively collection of local artist Stango’s art and the people watching on Market St, the time goes fast.
Between the three of us, there was absolutely not a speck of food left on our plates. Not one flake of home fries, or a spot of ketchup. The Crab Cake Eggs Benedict was hands down the best rendition of this dish we’ve ever had, anywhere, ever. Think crabcakes on a perfectly poached egg with the tangiest, creamiest, most well-balanced hollandaise sauce ever. The classic Eggs Benedict was equally delightful: the sauce is boss. Had it not been so crowded we may have licked the plate (yes, all three of us). The waffle was thick and fluffy and had a nice flavor, like a hint of vanilla. The service was exceptional, even as the place continued to pack ‘em in. Never saw the bottom of our coffee cups.
The next weekend, one of those same guests returned and this time we chose . It was time to test that “breakfast is breakfast” theory. I smugly sipped my coffee as my companion pushed aside a plate still containing half her meal…and not because she was full. There are certain merits to Mrs. Mike’s. The service is typically fast, and it’s a fairly high turnover joint. They use real mushrooms in their omelets, not the canned kind (if you ordered this every single time, this would be important to you, too). Their homefries always have a nice blend of soft potatoes and crunchy, burnt potatoes. That said, the service is perfunctory in its efficiency; they accept cash only; and it is about a notch above your standard greasy spoon. It has its place in the hearts of their many regulars (myself included) but it’s not going to razzle dazzle your gourmet father-in-law when the folks are in town.
When it comes to value, there was not a huge difference in price though Market Street Grill was a bit pricier. Three diners ate to their heart's content for $42 with gratuity, and at Mrs. Mike’s two of us ran a $22 tab, all in. That breaks down to:
$14/person for a meal that sustained us through late afternoon and had us hearing the songs of angels
$11/person for… breakfast.
If you go:
Market Street Grill
6 West Market Street
West Chester, PA 19382
653 Downingtown Pike
West Chester, PA 19380