It’s only fitting for First Watch to fill the inaugural spot in my Restaurant Reviews, as my family is no stranger to this breakfast haunt. In fact, nearly every Saturday morning in this house starts with 8:00am mass and 8:30 breakfast at First Watch. This morning was no exception, as JoJo (alterego: Mom) and I met for breakfast this blistery February morning. We started with a carafe of coffee and The Charleston Gazette, which featured a nice article on Point Pleasant, WV native Chase Likens, who is a member of the top 24 on American Idol. It’s exciting for Point Pleasant to have a tangible celebrity replacement for Mothman. JoJo ordered one Blueberry pancake with a side of bacon (for us to share) and I ordered one Banana Crunch pancake, which is a banana pancake with granola. FYI: We’re not light eaters, these are just exceptionally large pancakes.
Now for the break down.
The Good: The ambiance is typical of a charming, small-town diner even though this restaurant is a chain. You are as likely to see a crowd of college undergrads, as you are to see a local politician or a trio of camo-clad servicemen. Or a family of six dressed in their Sunday-best, or a twenty-something in yoga pants and fleece hoodie (my exact outfit). The food is delicious and satisfying. I have been known to slip into daydreams about this banana crunch pancake. I can also vouch for the french toast as delectable, but not the best in Charleston. You really can’t beat the pancake price: $2.99. To put this into perspective, the bottomless coffee was $2.29. The entire meal came out just under $15.
The Bad: The bacon left something to be desired. I understand the temptation to make a huge batch of bacon and leave it under a warmer for breakfast service, but, for the love of all things pork, RESIST the urge! The bacon wasn’t hot enough, definitely dried out (thanks UV lights!) and somewhat chewy. You will notice I had a bite and left the bacon on my plate. Not worth the extra $$. My only other “bad” note is these abysmal pictures I took on my phone. Sorry! Use your imagination, it shouldn’t be too hard to picture a giant blueberry pancake.
The Ugly: The service at First Watch isn’t the finest in Charleston. All well-intentioned people, but attention to simple details is what separates the good from the great. First Watch is dancing along the mediocre-good line. My dad maintains a Heart Healthy diet, so he makes minor modifications to menu items to suit his dietary specifications. For four weeks in a row he ordered a mushroom and turkey sausage skillet with egg whites, no cheese, and dry toast. Easy, right? Wrong. Four weeks in a row, the errors made the meal inedible for him (covered in melted cheese, for instance.) This became unbearably frustrating, so we have since tried a different Saturday morning breakfast locale. I undeniably prefer our new pick, but First Watch will always have a cozy, syrup-covered corner in my heart. Stay tuned next week for the review of our new spot, when I discuss the best french toast in Charleston.
Overall grade: B+. Great atmosphere, good food, mediocre service.
We followed up breakfast with a stop-in at our favorite local coffee shop, Capitol Roasters. The smell alone is enough reason to keep going back, but this time we just wanted two small coffees to-go. I highly recommend this spot if you need a spot to study, and supporting local businesses is always money well spent. They have a yummy lunch menu that is really deserving of its own review, so I will save that for a later date.
Sidenote: I keep trying to make “F-dubs” happen as a nickname for First Watch. So far, it’s not really happening. (don’t act surprised)
How are you all spending this chilly Saturday? Anyone waxing nostalgic for the warm weather we enjoyed earlier this week?