Tag Archives: breakfast

Coca Cafe

Again, during finals week (I was super chill during finals week), we visited Coca Cafe up at Lawrenceville. The Sheep actually introduced me to this place, telling me that he wanted to bring me here, but never did. Finally we found the time to drive up here and sample some of their dishes. I ordered coffee, soup of the day, and an omelet, whereas the sheep went straight for the omelet.

The coffee is from La Prima, and although I’m not a crazy fan, I do like their coffee.

La Prima Coffee

La Prima Coffee

Their soup, which I forgot to take a picture of, was delicious. It was well seasoned, creamy and had some fried ginger on top. At first I wasn’t sure what it was, but the ginger was perfect for the soup. Brought out all the sweet notes of the soup, while the soup made ginger less biting. The combination was perfect. Also, it came with a deliciously crusty french bread. Yum.

Avocado Omelet / Apple Smoked Bacon / Jalapeno Muenster / House Salsa

Avocado Omelet / Apple Smoked Bacon / Jalapeno Muenster / House Salsa

I ordered an Avocado Omelet and the sheep ordered the 4 cheese omelet. While I didn’t sample his 4 cheese omelet, the avocado omelet was delicious. The omelet itself was light, fluffy, but a little creamy. Juicy, even. Avocado, bacon, and salsa were all present, and overall the flavors were balanced. even the home fries were crispy and delicious. I absolutely loved my meal.

Four Cheese Omelet/ Cheddar/ Goat/ Gruyere/ Muenster

Four Cheese Omelet/ Cheddar/ Goat/ Gruyere/ Muenster

I would, without hesitation, come back a second time.

Have you been here? What do you think?

Coca Cafe
3811 Butler Street  Pittsburgh, PA

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Square Cafe

This was the second time I’ve been to Square Cafe, and the first time I remember it didn’t impress me all that much. The menu and decor was cutesy, but the food was so so, and because its location was so out-of-the-way, I didn’t bother trying it again. However, they recently posted a groupon deal, so I invited my friend to come try it with me again, this time with a more analytical mindset.

Goat Cheese Omelet

I guess they change their menu regularly, because the goat cheese omelet is no longer on their menu. It came with asparagus, but since I didn’t like it I asked for onions instead. The omelet was bad. Overcooked and boring. I hate, hate overcooked eggs, and the only reason I ate it was because it was 1) expensive, and 2) not greasy therefore healthy. The salad on the side was also not good. It has some sort of oil dressing in it, but other than that it was boring and flavorless

I forget what my friend ordered, but her omelet was also overcooked, and the hash wasn’t crunchy. It seemed to have sit in the kitchen for a long time before it was served. I remember it being overly salty as well, and we did not finish it.

Obviously, I will probably never come back here again, with or without a groupon. I sort of do see the appeal of this place – the get their food locally, and use mostly natural or organic products, but if they cannot cook the food right, I don’t care where they get their food – bad food is bad food. Have you ever been here? If so, what do you think about Square Cafe?

Square Cafe

1137 South Braddock Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA
(412) 244-8002

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Northstar Cafe @ Columbus OH

On my last day in Columbus, my friend Esther didn’t know what to bring me to eat.  So, in true Eating Monster fashion, I went to yelp and looked up the highest ratings/most reviewed restaurants in Columbus and ended up with Northstar Cafe.  Of course, yelp never lets me down.  I have to say, Northstar Cafe is amazing, and if I lived in Columbus it would be one of my favorite restaurants.

For a cafe its size, the menu was quite small.  We went on a Sunday afternoon, so they were serving their brunch menu, which consisted of breakfast foods and sandwiches.  Reading on yelp, it seemed that most people liked the Cloud Nine Pancakes.  Everything on the menu looked delicious, especially the breakfast items.  I love granola, and I like prosciutto and focaccia bread, and I like cereal too.  I got the Cloud Nine Pancakes and my friend got the Sweet Potato and Turkey Hash.   I think just by looking at the menu makes me want to visit my friend in Columbus again!

Three ricotta pancakes served with real maple syrup and fresh fruit

Applewood smoked turkey, red peppers, sweet onions, and two sunny-side-up eggs*

The food was so, so amazing.  My Cloud Nine Pancakes really made my mouth feel like it was eating a cloud.  They were the fluffiest pancakes I can remember.  It came with bananas, which is always a great plus.  However, the ricotta cheese didn’t really stand out; they could have left it out and I probably wouldn’t have noticed.  I was expecting the pancakes to be creamy too, because of the ricotta, but that was not the case and I was slightly disappointed.  But they’re still amazing pancakes that everyone should try.

My friend got the Sweet Potato and Turkey Hash.  It was part of my ploy to get my friend to order it, since I wanted pancakes but I also love sweet potatoes.  However, I did read on yelp that someone was talking about hash… so I assumed it was this!  Although a bit salty for our tastes, I thought it was amazing.  I switch between the sweet fluffy pancakes and the salty crispy sweet potatoes which made the meal so much more enjoyable.  I think my friend felt that it was much too salty for her because she was eating mostly only her dish.  They reminded me of the lyonnaise potatoes from Pamelas – crispy and flavorful.  But I love the sweet potatoes better because the sweetness of the potatoes and the onions with the saltiness from the smoke turkey, and what I can only assume to be lots and lots of salt, made me keep on eating it.  I loved it.

Although I don’t usually comment on coffee, this time I have to.  If you order coffee here, they give you a mug and you get to choose your own: decaf, light roast, medium roast, or dark roast.  I love the choice because I tend to dislike the bitterness in coffee.  I chose the light roast, and it was really, really good coffee.  It was very fragrant and I enjoyed it a lot.

I think the only downside of this cafe is that it was kind of noisy, but otherwise I loved my visit here.

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First Watch @ Columbus, OH

So for Thanksgiving break I visited my friend in Columbus, OH.  The city itself reminds me of Pittsburgh, which also means that it wasn’t a very exciting city, or a city of tastey foods.  However, I’m always up for brunch type foods, so my friend brought me to First Watch.  Its apparently a chain store, but I’ve never seen one in Pittsburgh


Killer Cajun

My friend ordered a Bacado, which had “Bacon, avocado and melted Monterey Jack cheese, topped with sour cream. Served with a side of housemade salsa”.  I ordered a Killer Cajun, which was “Spicy Cajun chicken breast, mushrooms, Monterey Jack cheese and onions. Served with our special Santa Fe dressing.”  (taken straight from their website)

I think overall the omelet didn’t stand out very much.  I’ve had an omelet at The Original Pancake House, and not only was it large but very juicy (yeah, never thought omelets would be juicy!) and had a lot of flavor.  The omelets at Deluca’s is also very good, with some crunchy edges and and the fillings were nicely distributed in the omelet.  First Watch did get sauces right though; with the sauce, the omelets were good, without it, they were rather dry.

The potatoes were okay.  I loved the amazing aroma of potatoes in America, and they were really able to get it to stand out.  Otherwise, Pamela’s and Deluca’s definitely makes better home fries.  I think eating brunch outside of Pittsburgh really makes me realize how good the brunch places in Pittsburgh are.

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Deluca’s @ Strip District

Deluca’s, the other famous breakfast diner in Pittsburgh.  Like Pamela’s, its independently owned, but offers amazing breakfast/brunch/lunch foods.  On weekends they have Lobser Bisque!  Every time I went to Strip District I’ve always seen kajillion people outside waiting in line, so I decided that I want to try it.

Like Pamela’s, they offer a variety of breakfast foods, although more.  The options range from omelets to pancakes to hot cakes and crepes and waffles, and then sandwiches and soups.  I ordered Nutella Chocolate Banana Crepe, and the Sheep ordered their special for today, Cheeseburger Omelets which came with homefries.

Nutella Chocolate Banana Crepe

Cheeseburger Omlet

I really loved my crepe.  It was wrapped around creamy ricotta cheese, a banana, chocolate chips, and Nutella spread.  However, the crepe itself was thicker than I expected – I would say it was more like a hotcake.  However, they also have hotcakes and pancakes, so I’m assuming hotcakes are even thicker (or greasier, since the Pamela’s ones are).  The thing that I loved about the meal was that it was not greasy.  Pamela’s is too greasy for me; it makes me feel like I just chugged a bottle of oil by the time I finish the meal.  Also, the ricotta cheese inside the crepe was amazing.  It was creamy, and went really well to balance out the sweetness of Nutella and chocolate chips.  Overall, this is possibly the best crepe I have ever had.

The Sheep really liked the cheeseburger omelet too.  He said that it just tasted like hamburger meat and eggs at first, but as he ate closer to the center it became really cheesey, and he loved it.  The home fries were crispy and was good.  He really loved his meal too.

The only problem with this diner is that the wait was very long.  It took us probably 20 minutes to get in, which was around 9:30am.  By the time we left, probably 10:30 ish the line was still as long.  I would say it is very much worth the wait, even under the hot sun.  =)

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