Monday, April 29, 2013

Mercer Cafe

2619 E Westmoreland Street
Philadelphia, PA 19134
(215) 426-2153

After my visit to Swiacki a few weeks back, even with all of the generous tasting samples, I still had a hankerin' for some comforting breakfast food – nothing cures the hangover like an authentic greasy spoon.

After hearing the gleaming recommendations of Ed and his co-workers, we drove the few blocks south to their go-to neighborhood spot, Mercer Cafe. It has a welcoming family feel to it, and with a pharmacy attached to its side, people were coming in and greeting one another from all angles.

They serve La Colombe coffee and do a bit of coffee-shop-style-to-go service at the counter. They also have a section of the menu called "Neighborhood Favorites" where you can get cheap breakfast combos (including coffee) starting at $5.50.

I'm always a fan of S.O.S. (creamy chipped beef) - if it's on the menu, it's definitely getting ordered.

This version came just the way I like it, on white toast with a side of home fries. You can ask to add sautéed peppers and onions to the potatoes for a small additional fee ($.50), which again, I'll always order, if offered.

Look at the consistency on this gravy. It was perfection. The seasoning was spot-on, with just the right amount of salt and a hint of black peppery bite. The chipped beef was sliced paper thin and melt-in-your-mouth tender.

The home fries were also just right, with a few charred bits throughout and the peppers & onions still had a fresh crunch. It's good to get the extra vegetable fiber in where you can.

Being the lover of sandwiches that I am, I couldn't pass up their build-your-own breakfast version on a long roll. They offer kaiser, toast, bagel or croissant too, but when I hear that there's the option of anything on something that came out of Liscio's Bakery, I'm taking that, hands down. Their long & seeded rolls come from Liscio's (the rest is Le Bus) - I appreciate the attention to quality components.

Three eggs with bacon and roasted long hots. And a little pineapple.

Now, I'm not saying that I don't like a good slather of grease on my sandwich. Hell, a drizzle of melted butter here or there never hurt nobody. But this. This was maybe a bit too much for my liking.

Not that I didn't eat it, because I inhaled it. It was delicious. Delicious and messy. I had to wash my hands immediately upon completion, but it was worth the slippery struggle in every bite.

It's a great neighborhood, with great people and great home cooked food. Definitely swing by Mercer Cafe when your travels find you up on Westmoreland.

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