Throughout my two years at school in Wallingford, Connecticut, I have learned one thing: Wallingford is full of surprises. As you make your way down the main drags of the bustling town, one may not find five star bites to eat, but in a select few places you will find five star heart and soul. In one place in particular this sense of heart and soul is most prevalent, the Center Street Luncheonette. Not only do they drop a little bit of love into each dish that they serve, but their breakfast food is pretty flippin good (get it?).
Every Saturday or Sunday morning my two friends and I make the short trek from school to the Center Street Luncheonette (18 Center Street, Wallingford (203)-269-3447) to enjoy breakfast food at its finest, and be a part of a truly pleasant, comfortable atmosphere. The booths of the restaurant are not only filled with students from school with the same hankering for delicious foods as we have, but also people coming from Wallingford and far beyond to experience the glory of the Center Street Luncheonette.
During my past two meals at the Luncheonette I have been trying to take down the “Big Man’s Breakfast” (the Mac-daddy of all breakfast creations). The Big Man’s Breakfast is just as monstrous as the name leads it’s consumers to believe, and true to its humungous size, the dish packs huge flavors.
The “Big Man’s Breakfast” is made up of a short stack of pancakes, two thick-cut slices of Challah French toast, three eggs, four slices of buttered toast, two slabs of bacon, two sausages, and a hefty pile of spicy home fries.
The pancakes are moist, fluffy, but a touch dense for my liking. The secret is to add a small dollop of salty butter, along with a cumbersome amount of syrup (to loosen the tender pancakes and create the ideal pancake consistency).
The Challah French toast is perfect. The toast is thick cut, but as you allow your fork to delve into the delicate creation, a soft, spongy steaming center is revealed to its consumer. Not only does the French toast boast a warm, pillow-like center, but the bread’s outer layer is crispy and crusty (which allows this aspect of the dish to flaunt a hard exterior and soft interior — optimal consistency variations).
Eggs are a staple to a classic and satisfying breakfast. These wonderfully seasoned sunny side up eggs (represented on the plate), are a bright and vivid white, with a bouncy, tender consistency, while the golden-hued yolk is warm and runny (the perfect sauce to dip toast into). Although the sunny side up egg is a common food to find in a breakfast joint, few are able to truly perfect the egg. One is truly able to say that the eggs at the Center Street Luncheonette are Eggs-cellent!
The buttered toast is a simple and seemingly unimportant aspect to a breakfast dish, but the toast actually serves one of the most important roles of all the items that exist on the plate. Not only is the toast the ideal vessel to sop up extra sauces or put spare food scraps on to make a sandwich, but the toast allows one to cleanse their palate between bites of food. The Center Street Luncheonette does their toast right, soaked in hot butter.
The bacon and sausage provide the consumer with the necessary amount of salt for an enjoyable dish, along with yielding a much needed crunch to an otherwise soft dish. The bacon and sausage are crisp, crunchy and are smothered in grease, just the way they are supposed to be.
Usually I am not a huge fan of home fries, but the home fries at the Luncheonette are on the road to changing my mind. The home fries are soft, succulent, and tender but pack a startling amount of spice and succeed at waking you up early in the morning.
Unfortunately, I was unable to conquer the “Big Man’s Breakfast,” but the Center Street Luncheonette did conquer my heart, and I know it will conquer yours. I would give it ZZZZX- 4 and 1/4 Z’s out of 5- A Must Go!