August 15, 2013

Eat and Run: Cathy's Place, North Berwick

Even at lunchtime, it just makes sense to order from the breakfast bounty.

From staff reports

Breakfast. It's what's for lunch.

click image to enlarge

Ashley Worell of Cathy’s Place in North Berwick shows off a plate of scrambled eggs with home fries, bacon and toast.

Shawn Patrick Ouellette/Staff Photographer

CATHY'S PLACE

WHERE: 42 Main St.,

North Berwick; 676-1185

HOURS: 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. daily

CHEAPEST GRUB: $2 for a muffin

WAIT: Five minutes

HANDICAPPED ACCESS: Yes

RATING: ***

Based on a five-star scale

At least, at Cathy's Place in North Berwick, it feels like breakfast is the meal of choice. The little country-style cafe, situated in the heart of the village, is open only seven hours each day, from 6 a.m. to 1 p.m. And while lunch options are available, breakfast seems the only real choice.

I stopped in about 11 a.m. and quickly ordered homemade hash and eggs. I could have had a hamburger, hot dog or grilled chicken sandwich. But those selections felt like a half-hearted afterthought, available only for those folks with a serious disinterest in eggs, pancakes or French toast.

First things first -- I took a table off to the side, and quickly observed five older men seated at a counter engaged in a serious discussion about their health problems and health care. It was a classic example of local guys who know each other chewing the daily fat over coffee.

A young waitress immediately greeted me, filled my cup with coffee and took my order. I exaggerate not even a little when I say that my food arrived in less than five minutes. It actually might have been three.

So fast, I didn't even have time to finish the story about the disgrace of Alex Rodriquez in the sports section.

I had two eggs over easy, home fries, homemade wheat toast and corned beef hash, with a blueberry muffin split down the middle and grilled.

I liked the eggs because the whites were not runny but the yolks were. Perfect for dipping my toast, which was lightly buttered and very soft. It was excellent homemade bread, and I really appreciated its fluffiness.

The home fries were diced into tiny potato cubes and lightly grilled. They were not at all greasy or heavy.

My only disappointment was the hash. It included bits of red and green peppers and lots of black pepper, which I did not mind. But there was another spice in there that I could not identify and did not particularly like. I generally love corned beef hash, but didn't love this. Rare for me, I left some on my plate.

The highlight of the meal may well have been the blueberry muffin. I learned to love grilled muffins at Becky's Diner in Portland, and this one was in that league. It was fresh, well-endowed with plump berries, and perfectly grilled. Again, as with the home fries, there was not a hint of grease from the grill or excess butter.

I bookended my meal with the muffin. I ate half before I tore into my eggs, and finished the other half when I had enough of the hash.

I was given a full thermos of coffee so I could refresh my cup as needed. Start to finish, I was in and out in less than 20 minutes.

When I got up to pay my bill, the elderly men were still talking about what ailed them. I left a happy camper, content with my late-morning breakfast and eager to share my breakfast story with the world.

The staff of GO anonymously samples meals for about $10.B

 

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