Friday, December 07, 2007
Sabrina's Cafe down in Bella Vista is an institution among brunch places in the city. Lucky for me, the owners recently opened up a second location, Sabrina's Cafe and Spencer's Too on 18th and Callowhill, so I no longer have to wait outside in Bella Vista for a table. Now I can wait outside closer to home.
The menu is nearly the same, but the size and decor of the restaurant is not. The capacity of the entire place is nearly double the original location, and the kitchen is larger, too. These things together meant only a 20 minute wait for a comfy booth and only about 15 minute wait for our food after we'd ordered it. A vast improvement over the flagship location.
There's no french toast in Philadelphia that can compete with Sabrina's stuffed challah french toast. Cinnamon, bananas, and cream cheese are stuffed inside thick slices of challah, then dipped in egg and fried. This batch was quite good, but was still cool in the center, so could have used another minute in the pan before serving. The portions are huge to the say the least. I could only eat one half of this plate of french toast, and my friend had a few bites too! I took the other half home, but could never figure out the best method for reheating it so it ended up going to waste. Your best bet would be to only order this if you have a huge appetite or are going to split it with a friend.
My buddy J-Rye ordered the Juevos Rancheros. Tasty guacamole and salsa covered a fried egg that was nestled on top of a meaty and spicy chili. This dish only suffered from one aspect, the egg was over cooked. Part of the sublimeness of Juevos Rancheros is the way the yolk breaks and melts all the other flavors together into mouthfuls of joy. Because of the hard cooked egg, this was impossible to acheive, but a minor error in terms of the overall meal.
The sweet potato fries were also delicious. I found the fries on top of the pile overwhelming, as cinnamon and powdered sugar were just dumped on top of them. Gross. Once I removed these offensive fries, the rest were ready for a shake of salt and dash of ketchup. The fries themselves were good, sliced thick enough to maintain the essence of sweet potato flavor, but fried long enough to give them color and crunch.
Visit the new location of Sabrina's Cafe. A larger space reduces the wait time but doesn't take away from the fabulous portions or innovative ideas.
Sabrina's Cafe and Spencer's Too
1802 Callowhill Street