Sunday, June 14, 2009

The 'Lost Deli' Is Now Found...By Me!

As always, when we have out-of-town guests, we are faced with the sad fact that there are not many choices for breakfast in the Harford County area. Sure there are fast food joints, bagel & doughnut stops, coffee shops and some commercial chain restaurants like Waffle House, Bob Evans, Cracker Barrel, etc…. but I am talking about a cheerful, cozy, locally-owned place with a full breakfast menu (preferably w/ outdoor dining in warm weather) to leisurely enjoy our morning meal.

We typically don’t go out for breakfast (none of us are really morning people), unless we are on vacation, so having guests gives us the perfect opportunity to be tourists in our own hometown…which brings us this early Sunday morning to the Little New York Deli on Main Street in Bel Air. It certainly fit the criteria – full breakfast menu, locally owned, outdoor sidewalk seating and you couldn’t get more cheery than the black & white checkerboard accents throughout the place.

The food here was pretty good too, and not very pricey - which is what really matters to us these days. I believe by the time we were done our group of 9 had tried everything on the menu; from several different omelets and egg dishes, to pancakes, French toast and waffles. Not to mention sides of toast, bacon and sausage along with coffee, tea, and juice.

There is certainly room for improvement here and I would start with three suggestions...
#1: No more Styrofoam cups – it upsets environmentally conscious customers (such as myself) and for those dining in - real cups saucers, as well as a waiter serving the coffee and tea, would add a great touch to the already wonderful atmosphere.
#2: Nothing makes a breakfast sunnier than FRESH SQUEEZED JUICE. Either do it yourself, or purchase in bulk before the weekends - orange and grapefruit will do - and will make a huge difference.
Finally #3: please please please – offer REAL butter and REAL MAPLE SYRUP! Nothing ruins a great piece of French toast like margarine and log cabin.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like this place and want to see more places like this succeed in Harford County. We really need more dining options (especially more with outdoor dining!) to open up and we could use better quality of food at our already established locally owned restaurants. There really is no excuse with all the surrounding farms and their abundance of fresh, local produce, meats, dairy, etc.

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