restaurant review: West Side Market Cafe

It was Saturday around 10AM after our triumphant run of the MidTown Cleveland HealthLine Classic 10K. As I’m all about keeping my race traditions, we debated on what new location to try for our post-race breakfast. I wanted a restaurant with a real “diner feel” to it. After some thought, I came up with a very viable option: the West Side Market Cafe.

(picture c/o West Side Market Cafe’s Facebook page)

From their Facebook page (since their main website is under some renovations): The staff here is amazing, and not only do they have the most delicious breakfasts in town, but the mouth watering lunches are to die for!

Being a Saturday morning, the West Side Market itself was packed full of shoppers. My selection of brunch was definitely influenced that I would get to do some shopping afterwards! We weaved our way through the masses, made it to the Cafe and were seated immediately. I was surprised to get seated so quickly on a weekend morning, but I wasn’t complaining.

Our server was polite and great about answering our questions. She kept our coffee cups full and speedily got our orders in, scoring big points with these two hungry racers.

As we all know, my hubby can eat. I still don’t know where he puts it. After running six miles, he was ready to refuel his body with the Buttermilk Pancakes, which were homemade with real buttermilk. He decided to add blueberries to them, and order a side of fresh fruit.

He poured on some maple syrup and dug into the light, airy pancakes. He was pretty quiet while working his way through that plate – a sign that he was definitely enjoying his food.  He was very happy with this selection, declaring he hadn’t had such good pancakes dining out in a long time. He also appreciated he had the option to get some fresh fruit as a side.

…but Hans was also craving eggs… and potatoes… and some bread. So naturally he also ordered the Market Breakfast, which came with two eggs (ordered over easy), toast (selected rye) and hash brown potatoes.

This is your standard breakfast option and was a decent deal at $3.95. There was plenty of tasty food to fill up my hubby – even without the pancakes! He noted that the toast was more of “warm bread” instead of “toast”. (He’s becoming such the foodie!) He almost finished this one too, leaving a few hash browns and two of the halves of rye bread.

I was craving protein, so I went with the Western Frittata: an open face omelet with ham, peppers and onions. It came with bread, which I gave to Hans (the English muffin on his breakfast plate) and hash brown potatoes.

I mentioned my gluten intolerance, but I ordered an English muffin and asked them to put it on Hans’ plate. It was instead placed on top of my omelet. Not a big deal, but should be noted. I removed it before taking the photo so you could better see the frittata.

Back to the food: I personally wasn’t a huge fan of the hash browns as they were on the greasier side for my liking. However, Hans was content with the side dish.  I did appreciate the addition of the red peppers and onions in the hash. Overall, they were well-seasoned, just not my cup of tea. They were what you would expect for a hash brown at a diner-type restaurant.

On the positive side, I really enjoyed my frittata. There was the perfect amount of mix-ins, as the chef seemed to be uber-generous with the ham. That was greatly appreciated! With a sprinkle of salt and pepper, it was exactly what I wanted after a long run. I ate every bite.

LONG STORY SHORT: My breakfast choice was more influenced by the post-shopping activity that took place (hurray for getting lamb chops and Ohio City pasta!) than the restaurant itself. I’m used to discovering awesome food finds at the West Side Market and you can add the Cafe to that list. At the West Side Market Cafe, we had fast and friendly service, nice portion sizes and a great experience. I will definitely keep this breakfast spot in mind for future post-race celebrations!

West Side Market Cafe on Urbanspoon

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