■ Mama’s Kitchen — menu
We were in the mood for breakfast on a recent wintry late Saturday morning, so after a quick Internet search we settled on Mama's Kitchen, on the corner of Sylvania Avenue and Secor Road.
We were the only patrons during our visit at the cozy, family-run diner, which is a shame because it serves some hearty and delicious food, and there's no doubt it's homemade. After looking at the generous menu — it looks like Mama likes to cook just about everything — my two companions decided to eat lunch. It was around noon, after all.
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I ordered the country omelet ($7.99), which was enormous. The omelet occupied the entire plate and it was filled with hash browns, gooey American cheese, sausage, and onions. Plus, it was covered with Mama's sausage gravy. I had never seen anything like it, but it smelled so good I couldn't help but dive in. Each bite revealed yet another delicious flavor combination and the gravy, which I could have eaten by itself, just made everything taste even better. At the end, I savored every last drop by sopping up the gravy with my toast.
My lunch pals had the bacon cheeseburger ($6.99) and Italian sub ($6.99)
The cheeseburger was a half-pound giant and wasn't messing around as it was greasy and juicy and hit the spot, quite frankly. It was served with french fries, which were also top notch.
The sub was a bit of an anomaly. Along with deli salami and pepperoni, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, and banana peppers, the the thickly sliced ham was the real deal and served hot right off the flat-top grill. That was a nice surprise, but the Italian dressing seemed to be missing and in its place was mustard, which was disconcerting.
The service was friendly and fast, and because the dining room was empty we could hear the staff talking amongst themselves. They're definitely related and know how to cook some good food.
The hours of operation are a little confusing: the menu indicates the restaurant opens at 6 a.m., while its Web site and Facebook page say 7 and 8, respectively. Also, there are several dinner items listed on the menu, as well as 12 specialty pizzas, but the diner closes at 3 p.m. daily. We were disappointed we did not get to sample some of those items because we're sure we would have been impressed. Maybe next time ...
Note: The restaurant does make deliveries.
■ Nautica Coffee — menu
We were in the neighborhood on a recent weeknight to visit another restaurant when, to our surprise, we discovered it had closed.
In stepped Nautica Coffee, located at Mayberry Square in Sylvania.
Nautica Coffee is what it is, a homey clubhouse that serves myriad coffee drinks, sandwiches, baked goods, and ice cream.
It's a nice spot to enjoy a winter's evening, with plenty of chairs and tables to sit and drink a coffee, stab at a scone, and read one of the dozens of books available to borrow.
My friend and I each ordered a bagel sandwich ($5.99) and a hot dog (two for $1.99).
The Nickoli came with pastrami, colby cheese, lettuce, red onion, a honey mustard sauce on an everything bagel, while the Samiewich featured a chicken breast with provolone, red onions, cucumbers, green peppers, black olives, and Chipotle sauce with no zing on a plain bagel.
Both sandwiches were more than adequate and the hot dogs were a reminder that spring will arrive someday, right ... right? We also took home a mini Oreo ice cream pie ($3.99) which, alone, made the trip worthwhile.
What kept our experience at Nautica from being ordinary was the service. The young man who was cook, waiter, and cashier on this night was overwhelming polite and helpful.
We're here to tell you, good manners still matter. We're glad we found our away into the Nautica.
Contact Bill of Fare at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Star ratings are based on comparisons of similar restaurants. The Blade pays for critics' meals.