Check out most of the neighborhoods in town, and you’ll find a solid brunch spot. Put aside restaurants and bars that happen to have brunch, but focus instead on brunch-specicialized places. In the Italian Market, there’s Sabrina’s Cafe. Northern Liberties has a Green Eggs Cafe and Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat. In South Philly, east of Broad, there are a multitude of choices from Beau Monde to Morning Glory to Green Eggs Cafe. Spring Garden features Cafe Lift.
In Center City, west of Broad, specialized brunch options have been limited. Thankfully, this past week, Honey’s Sit ‘n Eat opened up right on the southern border of Center City, at 21st and South. It’s been a long wait, with renovation of the space taking a couple of years. The result is well worth the wait.
It’s certainly been a big hit in its limited “soft opening.” On Friday, at 11:20 a.m., the place, which seats about 70, was almost completely packed. The crowd reflected the mix of the neighborhood’s demographics, with older established residents in tables next to young professionals and those who work from home. The decor is pretty distinctive, including repurposed signs and materials from hardware stores.
Both the breakfast and lunch menu are huge, but on a first visit, breakfast is what you should get. There are several selections of eggs, pancakes, and breakfast sandwiches, featuring high quality, locally-sourced ingredients. I tried the three scrambled eggs with nova lox and onions, with home fries and a corn muffin chosen for sides ($10.50). All of it was delicious, and I’m not even a big lox fan.
I also sampled the scrambled eggs with pastrami along with a cheese and onion potato latke and biscuit ($10). You don’t often see eggs mixed with pastrami, but Honey’s version makes you wonder why it’s not more common. You don’t get cheated on the size of the latke, and the drop biscuit hit the spot.
Combining the excellent food with the helpful and friend servers and staff, and it’s hard to imagine the big crowds at Honey’s tailing off any time soon.