Sunday, October 2, 2011

First Watch

365-113 First Watch Utensil Wrap
Day 113/365 - Utensil wrap

Recently, I was given a $15 gift certificate by a coworker to Last Watch, a breakfast and lunch cafe. While $15 doesn't sound like much for two people, it covered most of the bill. All we paid was ~$2 and the tip.

Prior to eating at First Watch, Bug had never tried cholesterol-free eggs. This was the perfect opportunity to check them out without having to invest in a carton.  He ordered the Acapulco Express omelette -- chorizo, green chiles, onions, avocado, cheddar and Monterey Jack cheeses, topped with sour cream, and salsa. Omelettes come with a side order of potatoes and an English muffin.

365-113 First Watch Acapulco Express
Day 113/365 - Acapulco Express omelette ($7.99)

I deliberated between the grilled turkey (turkey, bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, ranch dressing on sour dough) sandwich, beefeater (roast beef on Parmesan sour dough) sandwich, which Bug had also wanted to try, and the veggie burger (brown rice, Peppadew peppers, onions, and carrots with lettuce, avocado, and tomatoes on a wheat bun).

Bug nudged me toward the veggie burger. His logic was that, of the three sandwiches, it was the one I would least likely order paying out of my own pocket. Sound logic.

365-113 First Watch Veggie Burger
Day 113/365 - Veggie burger and Italian wedding soup ($7.99)

The restaurant was busy from the time we walked in at noon until we left. We were seated with our menus less than 5 minutes after I submitted my name. The table was still damp from being just wiped down. Initial service was a bit slow. With all of the traffic, the dining room appeared clean. At first, it was distracting feeling everyone walk by through the floorboards.

Once we received our pitchers of water with lemon and coffee, and placed our orders, service was quick. Our server was polite. She asked how we were doing twice and dropped off our check two-thirds into our meal. My platter was removed when I was finished, as Bug was nearly finished with his meal. His plate was taken just as he set his fork down with his last bite.

Bug was disappointed with his omelette. It wasn't poorly made technically. His dissatisfaction was related to the scant amount of chorizo, which made its flavor indiscernible amongst the other ingredients. The flavor and texture of the lightly seasoned potatoes, as well as the English muffin, were fine.

My veggie burger was a bit bland, perhaps thrown off because I asked for it to be excluded as I do not eat raw onions. The patty had a nice texture and tasted mostly of mushrooms. The lettuce, tomatoes, and avocado were fresh. I smeared the slightly spicy Santa Fe sauce on the bun. This helped the blandness a little. The smokiness of chipotle would have boosted this burger tenfold.

The Italian wedding soup was all right. It has been my experience that pasta and rice in soups are frequently grossly overdone. It was no different here, so I've learned to accept this as status quo at midline restaurants.

Bug's opinion of his experience -- average food (not gourmet, nor of poor quality), average price (not cheap, nor expensive), average service (neither poor nor excellent). He felt that his meal wasn't prepared any better than he would have. In the realm of breakfast/lunch restaurants, e.g., Denny's, IHOP, Bug would choose IHOP. The thing is, we haven't gone back to IHOP in over a year and have no plans on returning.

I felt the food was all right. Leaving a pitcher of water and dropping off the check without having to hunt down our server were big pluses for me. I would like to return some time to try their Crepeggs (crepe), one of their specialties, specifically the turkey dill Crepegg (turkey, spinach, mushroom, tomatoes, [onions,] Monterey Jack cheese with hollandaise sauce and dill).

- Cassaendra

First Watch
1431 SOM Center Rd
Mayfield Heights, OH 44124
Tel: (440) 684-1825

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