A 2 Z Cafe

This Breakfast and Lunch joint has a Mediterranean flair and a pretty well‐rounded breakfast and brunch menu, and after passing by and reading several other reviews, we decided it was time to try it out for Sunday.

We arrived just after 9am and managed to beat the other churchgoers; we would have had to wait for a while had we gotten there much later. Our waitress was friendly and seemed to manage her tables well, so we were offered a warming cup of coffee just moments after sitting down. One other little touch I really liked: they set a caraffe of ice water on the table, so we didn’t have to keep asking for refills.

Chris went for the omelette special (bacon, tomatoes, portabella mushrooms, basil, and goat cheese) and was pleased. It came with a dish of fresh fruit (including mangoes!) but nothing else. At the very least, we thought it should come with breakfast potatoes or toast.

My Eggs Benedict was a special treat. I don’t get to order this very often (usually because it doesn’t work as well with Egg Beaters, but I splurged) and it was worth the wait. While the Canadian bacon was a little on the salty side (yes, I know…it’s supposed to be salty, but this was a little much), the sauce wasn’t overwhelming and my dish did come with potatoes and fruit as well.

The breakfast and brunch menu is pretty typical…lots of omelettes, eggs several ways, some French toast and crepe options, and everything we saw looked tasty. The lunch menu was intriguing as well, with several seafood and pasta dishes that certainly warrant a visit at a later hour.

Iaria’s

Pronounced “eye‐REE‐ahs.” Saying anything else will earn you funny looks. A noisy, bustling, busy old family‐owned hole‐in‐the‐wall filled with happy people. Killer eggplant parmesan (an indicator dish, if you ask us). Also serves pizza and lots of pasta.

Update 4/29/2005:
We visited Iaria’s again after a hankering for Italian hit, and it was so much better this time! The dining room was still noisy, but the food was much better than I remembered it.

The minestrone soup that is included with all entrees is fantastic and was just what we needed to warm up after coming in from a cold, crummy spring evening. My spinach ravioli and meatballs were excellent. The standard tomato sauce (the smooth kind, not the chunky marinara) must have, as Chris put it, “had some crack in the sauce, it’s just. that. good.”

Chris’s chicken marsala (the old standby) was also delicious…a little sweet, but not too sweet (I like it sweet, Chris likes it more savory). The mushrooms were meaty and hearty, so he seemed pretty happy. As much as he tried to only eat half and take some home, he failed and managed to finish.

Jon ended up in the Clean Plate Club after ordering eggplant parmesan (his old standby) and Christine enjoyed her mushroom ravioli and inappropriately large sausage.

Our waitress was friendly and attentive, even with a full dining room. We enjoyed the evening immensely and I’m looking forward to our next return trip.