Restaurant Review: Sabrina’s Cafe

I hadn’t been to Sabrina’s in at least a year, so when Tall Guy and I were looking for a brunch place last weekend, I didn’t hesitate to suggest  it.

I’ve only ever been to the Sabrina’s by the Art Museum, so that’s the only one this post will deal with. You can find information about their other locations on their website.

To start off, you should know that it’s near impossible to get seated right away when you go for brunch. Generally, the wait isn’t too terrible. We got there around 1:30 pm last Sunday and waited about 40 minutes to get seated (the hostess originally told us there was a 30 minute wait). It was pretty nice out, so waiting outside wasn’t a big deal (there isn’t a whole lot of space to wait indoors), but Tall Guy and I were starving, so of course it seemed like we waited forever.

I’ve always loved Sabrina’s decor. They have a really funky tiled wall by their bar seating and the coolest (possibly hand painted?) hanging lamp shades. I never seem to notice anything other than that since the place is always so crowded!

Speaking of how crowded it was… The tables are kind of cramped. There was a very thin aisle between our table and the ones next to us, which meant me basically joining our neighbor’s meal each time I had to get in and out of my seat. The table itself was a little too small for my liking. It was fine when we just had water glasses and coffee mugs, but there was so little room for our entrees that the side of the plates stuck out over the edge of the table and into our laps. One of my pet peeves when dining! I get that places want to maximize the number of people they can serve at once, but there are few things more annoying than doing the “tableware shuffle” (as I like to call it) just to fit everything on the table at once.

Brunch… And a Show

While waiting for our food to arrive, a couple was seated next to us. We had seen them earlier walking along the sidewalk, each with a coffee mug in their hands. Tall Guy and I immediately thought it was weird that these people were walking around the streets of Philadelphia with their own ceramic coffee mugs, but didn’t think too much more of it until they ended up sitting next to us at the restaurant. When their waitress came over with coffee, the guy was in the bathroom. She poured coffee in his mug and it was all down hill from there. Turns out that the couple was walking around with coffee mugs filled with champagne and the waitress had just poured coffee in the guy’s champagne. The poor waitress was so confused about the coffee mugs (I mean, really, who brings their own mug to a restaurant?) and the champagne, but got it sorted out in no time (while the woman pulled the champagne bottle out of her purse and decided that no, they didn’t need to put it in ice). MAYBE five minutes later, the woman came back from the bathroom with tears in her eyes and was very upset about something. From what Tall Guy and I could gather, it appears that she came out of the bathroom and walked straight into the wall, head first. She had the waitress bring her an ice pack and everything! And for the rest of their meal she went on and on about how big the bump on her head would get and how awful it would look. Needless to say, we never expected brunch and a show and both had to actively keep from laughing out loud at the whole situation.

But on to the important part of this review… The food! Sabrina’s is famous (in my mind) for their themed brunch specials. This past weekend they had Brunch Specials: MTV Edition! A few of the best-named specials from the list included Shot at Brunch with Tila Tequila Mexi Special, Daria’s “Is It Lunch Yet?” Special Sandwich, Kurt Loder’s Special ETA Burger Update, SEG: Special Egg Sandwich with Carson Daily and Beavis’ “Great Cornholio” Special Nachos. The names were pretty awesome, but unfortunately none of the specials really stood out as something I HAD to try, so I went with an omelette instead. I got an omelette with tomatoes, bacon and American cheese. Tall Guy got a breakfast sandwich (egg, cheese, sausage AND bacon) on an english muffin. All egg dishes come with a side of fried potatoes (substitute fruit for a small fee) and mine came with multigrain toast from Le Bus bakery.

sabrinas

Tall Guy’s breakfast sandwich!

While our meals were kind of boring (by my brunch standards, anyway), they were both delicious! My omelette had quite a bit of bacon and tomatoes and the cheese was perfectly melty and Tall Guy’s breakfast sandwich was decently sized and had a good amount of sausage and bacon, as well. The potatoes were fried to perfection and served with slightly sauteed onions. They could have had a bit more flavor, but were perfect sprinkled with a little salt and dipped in ketchup. And I have to say that the multigrain toast was AMAZING. Toast is toast is toast, but Le Bus puts out a superb product. Usually I end up leaving my sides of toast untouched, but I ate every single slice of it that time. I was so preoccupied with the toast that I failed to get a non-blurry picture of my meal- whoops!

Sabrina’s has never disappointed me. While the wait is a little much, especially considering all of the other brunch options in the area, the food is terrific and the portions are huge! Tall Guy loved it and now I want to give their dinner menu a try!

Sabrina’s Cafe & Spencer’s Too, 1804 Callowhill St., Philadelphia, PA 19130; open 8am – 10pm T-Sat, 8am – 4 pm Sun-M; BYOB; Brunch reservations not accepted.

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