The path to Starlight Cafe in Bath isn’t clear to first-timers.

A trick: From Front Street, follow the stars to a small corner door. Behind it, anadama bread is being baked from a generations-old recipe. Sausage is popping on the griddle. The whoopie pies are flourishing.

Inside, the restaurant is almost subterranean — the windows look out onto a sidewalk and passing pedestrian calves. But there’s no gray basement gloom at Starlight Cafe. The tabletops, swirled with a near-paisley pattern of blue and green, are dressed with quaint salt and pepper shakers, a small bundle of fresh flowers and a box of Trivial Pursuit cards. (I was able to rightly answer that penguins are birds that swim but do not fly, but not a single other question.)

An older couple shared a table near the kitchen and chatted to the staff while they cooked, the way an out-of-town visitor might talk you up from your kitchen table while you flipped pancakes made in her honor. The cafe’s walls make a happy home for black-and-white photos of brash old grannies playing a fierce game of pool and bumper stickers that read, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.” A door restricted to employees doesn’t say “Employees Only.” Instead, a violin hangs on the door, and written on the violin: “Do not enter unless you plan on stocking shelves.”

Open until 2 p.m. Monday through Saturday, Starlight Cafe serves up the day’s first two meals. It being 11 a.m. when I arrived — a gray area in the traditional three-squares-a-day eating philosophy — I struggled with the menu. It was sausage versus salad, breakfast burrito versus turkey wrap.

Not wanting either meal to feel rebuffed, I chose both: a “sweet and savory” grilled cheese with provolone, goat cheese, red onion and an apricot spread sandwiched between two slices of the cafe’s homemade anadama bread ($8.50), and one giant blackberry almond pancake ($6.95 with bacon and coffee).

The sandwich oozed cheese and apricot, the flavors combining voices to say, “We make a surprisingly awesome combination, do we not?” The bread was wonderfully fat but crisp. I moved to put the half-eaten half-of-a-sandwich down to make a few notes, but my hand would not release it. I must. Keep. Eating it.

Eventually, I moved on to the pancake, the size of which overwhelmed the dinner plate on which it was served. From my overhead angle, the plate wasn’t even visible. The monster flapjack appeared to hover above the table like some edible UFO.

The sweet mush of blackberry, countered by the crunch of almond and coating of real maple syrup, led me to believe this pancake’s origin was more heavenly.

Starlight has a broad breakfast menu, including “the breakfast” of two eggs any style, choice of bacon, smoked ham or sausage with home fries, toast and coffee or tea ($6.25).

Omelets are made with Maine eggs, and can be ordered with cheese ($5.25), veggies and cheese ($6.95) or ham, bacon or sausage and cheese ($6.95). There’s homemade corned beef hash ($7.50), a breakfast burrito ($7.50) and “big as your head” cinnamon buns ($1.95).

Plate-sized pancakes (and they’re not joking) are made plain ($2.95), with blueberries or raspberries ($3.50), or chocolate chips ($3.50). They’ll even do a French toast twist to their own cinnamon buns for $4.50.

For lunch, Starlight offers “supersized” sandwiches ($6.50) that diners can build to their personal liking from a list of fresh breads, meats, cheeses, veggies and dressings. If, like me, that many decisions sends your lunch-hour brain into meltdown, there’s a handful of specialty sandwiches from which to choose, such as the grilled veggie ($7.25), turkey and spinach melt ($7.50) and grilled quesadillas ($7.50; add ham, turkey or roast beef for $8.75).

Water and coffee are available help-yourself style in the dining area, but drinks and meals can be taken to go for folks in a rush. For those who choose to dine in (and perhaps exercise their trivia muscles), Starlight is a bus-your-own-table kind of establishment where dishes, recyclables and garbage is divided into bins.

With your first visit under your belt, you’ll have no trouble finding Starlight Cafe again. And you’ll want to. But should you have any trouble the second, third or 30th time, just tilt your nose to the air and follow the scent of baking cookies and melon-sized whoopie pies. 

The Features staff anonymously samples meals for about $7.