In our family, we do birthdays big…especially for the boy. Every year, in addition to all of the regular cake and gifts stuff, it’s a tradition that the Saturday before or after his birthday we do a family day out together, which seems to always include breakfast and a movie. This year, we knew that we were in store for Captain America: Civil War, but he didn’t really have a preference when it came to breakfast. We wanted to stay close to the theater, so after a quick internet search I came across Avenue Eatz in Wayne. The menu was full of what sounded like really interesting meal options for the wife and me, and a couple of dishes that I knew the boy would enjoy, so we made the short drive over to Lancaster Ave. to check them out.
Avenue Eatz is located at the end of a tiny strip mall right on the main drag of this artsy and picturesque little town. The parking lot is pretty small, but thankfully they have additional parking available in the rear of the building. The shop itself is a small, cafe-style space with about 6 booths along the wall and the front windows, and a couple of 4-seater tables in the center. It was simple, clean and bright. We were surprised to learn after talking to the owner, Joey, that they recently had been closed for quite a stretch due to a roof fire that caused all kinds of damage to the ceiling, the electrical wiring system, and did tons of smoke and water damage to the interior as well. They actually just reopened a couple of weeks ago, but they did such a great job with the repair/remodel that you’d never know anything had ever happened.
The fresh, hand-squeezed orange juice was one of the first things that caught my eye as I initially took a look around the shop. It’s a pretty fun thing that they do, and the boy loved watching it. They give the same treatment to the lemons for their fresh-squeezed lemonade, too (one of my faves!). We were offered a sample of the juice, which was perfectly sweet and delicious. You don’t see too many places doing this, and I’m really not sure why not. The good thing for Avenue Eatz is that it’s memorable, and it sets them apart from everyone else. It also gives the customer the impression that this place really cares about giving me the freshest food (more on that in a second) and drink available. Very smart.
Another cool thing is that they use bread that’s baked fresh in-house daily, including the Babka that they were offering in one of their current specials (the Cinnamon Walnut Babka French Toast). They had loaves of the Cinnamon Walnut, and also Chocolate Babka on the counter for sale. Now I don’t know much about Babka, but I know that chocolate baked into bread cannot be a bad thing!!
Inside the deli case along the front counter are several quiches that looked absolutely gorgeous and fresh. Local and imported meats, veggies and cheeses loaded these beauties. The quiche is a regular item on the breakfast menu so I WILL be back for some of this!
There were also some beautifully sweet pies on display. The homemade pies are actually one of the things that this shop is known for. We were offered a sample of their Coconut Cream Pie, and I kid you not you guys, I was amazed at how delicious it was. I don’t think I’ve ever had coconut cream pie that was as good as this before (and I LOVE coconut cream pie!). It was too bad that we were headed to the movies after breakfast to gorge ourselves for two and a half hours on M&M’s and Milk Duds, because I would have loved to have had a piece (or two) of these.
As I said earlier, the creativeness of the menu is what originally attracted me to this place. To start with, Avenue Eatz offers a “Bacon of the Month” option to all of their dishes. Apparently any dish that uses regular bacon, you can substitute the special bacon for. You can also order it as a side. More bacon, special bacon, different bacon…whatever. If it’s bacon, I’m in. They were offering several other specials that day, including something called the Ron Burgundy (“What? You pooped in the refrigerator? And you ate the whole wheel of cheese? How’d you do that? Heck, I’m not even mad; that’s amazing.”….nevermind). You guys, this thing is serious….a bacon & egg-topped burger with coffee-flavored ketchup and cheddar cheese all cradled inside of a warm, buttermilk cinnamon roll.
I didn’t think I could handle all of that on this morning, so I moved on to the regular menu.
The regular menu is full of many other unique (albeit a bit less eccentric) breakfast sandwiches, big fluffy omelettes, and some “Specialties” like Pancakes, French toast, an egg combo breakfast and a huge burrito. If this place had biscuits & sausage gravy, I don’t think I’d ever leave. (Pro Tip: Avenue Eatz uses fresh, seasonal ingredients which means that their menu and specials change occasionally. Keep an eye on their website and their social media accounts for updates.)
Our server was a cheerful and extremely pleasant young lady who took very good care of us. She invited us to help ourselves to the self-serve coffee bar (they serve Gold Peak Coffee…a product of the Coca-Cola company) which was fully stocked and kept full the whole time we were there. It would make a whole lot of sense for a great little local spot like to this to feature some great locally roasted coffee, but overall the java was ok. Our food came out pretty quickly even though the restaurant was packed. I was impressed. The wife and boy were too embarrassed to allow me to stand on my chair, but I got this money shot anyway.
Mrs. Grub Guy zeroed in on the Crab Oscar ($6.50), which was a delicious blend of crab meat, cheddar and Old English cheeses melted with tomatoes and a fried egg and seasoned with Old Bay seasoning. It was served on their house-made pretzel roll. She said the crab & cheese blend was sooo yummy. She compared it to a really good crab salad, only hot. She said the Old Bay added some spice to cut the sweetness of the cheese and crab, and it really tied it all together well. The pretzel roll was fresh, had a good chew, and was really flavorful. She also ordered a side of potatoes ($3.00) which were good but got cold really quickly, which might have my fault because I wouldn’t let them eat until I was done taking photos.
Steven almost went with the Breakfast Burrito, but ultimately decided upon his old stand-by. The House-made Brioche French Toast comes in two sizes, the Tall Order (3 for $8.00) and the Short Stack (2 for $6.50), and came with some yummy cinnamon-sugar whipped butter and maple syrup. Obviously, he loved this because…well, what’s not to love about brioche French toast? Overall it was a splendid version of a breakfast classic.
I ordered the Morning After ($6.00), a really great sandwich made up of hardwood-smoked bacon, scrambled egg, sharp cheddar, Hass avocados and topped with a spicy Sriracha mayo. This normally comes on the pretzel roll, but I asked to have it made on a house-made brioche roll instead (all sandwiches come on your choice of bagel, country white bread, wheat berry bread, rye bread, brioche roll or pretzel roll). It was pretty much the perfect breakfast sandwich, with all of my favorite ingredients. The roll was buttery, soft, fresh, and filling. Great stuff!
Finally, because we all secretly wanted to order and devour the Cinnamuncher ($6.50) ourselves, we decided to order one for the three of us to split and sample. The menu lists this unique sandwich as a thick-cut tavern ham steak with imported Gruyere cheese & a runny egg served inside a house-made, buttermilk cinnamon roll. Our server said that this is one of their most popular menu items, and it’s easy to see (and taste) why.
This was really, really good. It wasn’t as sweet as I thought it might be, which was probably a good thing. The dough, like all of the other bread we had already sampled that morning, was super fresh. It was a heavier, thicker-type cinnamon roll which held all of the other ingredients well. Definitely a knife and fork-type sandwich. We all really enjoyed it. The only bit of constructive criticism I might have is for the wording of the menu. It’s actually a pretty far stretch to call it a “thick-cut ham steak”…at least ours wasn’t. I’d say more like a “hefty slice” is more appropriate.
Avenue Eatz gave my boy a really great birthday breakfast. He was very happy, and full when we left, as were we. The whole experience was really nice, from the fresh and creative food to the friendliness of the staff and owners who welcomed us and made us feel like they genuinely appreciated us being there. This is definitely the kind of local place that local people love to support. I know we’ll be back for sure.
Avenue Eatz is located at 128 W. Lancaster Ave, Wayne, PA 19087 (MAP). They’re open Tuesday – Sunday, 7:00am – 3:00pm. For more info, check out their website or visit them on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!!