Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Hinge Cafe

2652 East Somerset Street
Philadelphia, PA 19134
(215) 425-6614

Hinge is a Port Richmond landmark. It's part funky brunch spot, part coffee shop, and part diner. It's also pretty damn good, and a great place to revisit some of your childhood favorites, done right.

The coffee was bottomless and surprisingly delicious. I guess I had a preconceived notion that a breakfast on Somerset would involve cheap coffee. Not the case. I was beginning to get even more excited for the food. Oh, the food? Well I have a real weak spot for creamed chipped beef (also known by it's less appealing name Shit on a Shingle), so that was obviously going to have to be one of my choices. Also, I blame my years out West for a breakfast burrito addiction, so that would have to be numéro dos. First off, the SOS. At Hinge, it is served over your choice of bread (white, mulitgrain, or rye) and crispy potato wedges. Oh hell yes.

The portion is very generous, and the addition of fresh parsley is a welcome step up from the traditional & mediocre diner-style chipped beef – it added just a bit of freshness to this historically cream-and-salt-heavy dish. Taken as a whole, this is without a doubt my favorite in the city. In fact, it is the best I can remember eating, ever. It is not overly done up with gourmet ingredients, and it is not a bowl of salty beef with unseasoned heavy cream sauce. It is a well seasoned, hearty, throw back to the chipped beef of my childhood. Apparently I have just become "that guy," memorializing the golden days of yore.

The white toast and potatoes made each bite a contrast in textures, while the seasoned creamy sauce ended up being licked from the bowl. Delicious.

The breakfast burrito came with a topping of melted cheese, and served with a side of sour cream and salsa.

I opted for the super spicy version, stuffed with poblano peppers, chorizo, scrambled eggs, black beans, onions, and corn. This was a solid breakfast burrito, again, well executed without the typical haughty brunch atmosphere and prices. It was also the size of a brick. I felt like Man vs. Food on this one.

It was surprisingly spicy, and packed with flavor. It could also be a filling two-meal order, but I went for it in one and failed by about 3".

When it comes down to it, Hinge Cafe is what brunch should be. No long lines, overly complex menu items, snobby service, or menu items costing more than I like to pay for dinner entrees. Only solid, well prepared breakfast food with a bit of finesse, and a welcoming environment for a morning of drinking coffee and shooting the breeze. Plus if you sit there long enough, you could have a late breakfast there and walk down the block for some of the best pizza around.


Hinge Cafe said...

Thank you for capturing what we've been trying to do. We take pride in the freshness and appeal of our food, as well as the satisfaction of our customer experience. We are appreciative of your expose: it is feedback such as yours that inspires us to continue our culinary art.

The Hinge

hawk krall said...

Dude! That SOS looks amazing! I've yet to have a perfect "modern" SOS (Hawthorne's was close but too salty) and this looks like the spot.

Philly Phoodie said...

I have to say that SOS IS amazing. Potatoes + white toast = heaven.