Friday, November 27, 2009

How to Start the Morning Off Right: Peach Valley Cafe Review

Breakfast, ah breakfast. The most important meal of the day. My favorite meal of the day. It’s too bad my schedule doesn’t allow me to eat breakfast as often as I’d like. And when I say schedule, I mean my sleeping schedule. And when I say sleeping schedule, I mean I’m really just too lazy to get out of bed early enough to eat breakfast.

But when I do, one of my favorite stops is Peach Valley Café in Lake Mary/Heathrow.

Peach Valley is upscale and inexpensive, and the food is down-home and exquisite. You’ll find all your breakfast favorites on the menu – scrambled eggs, pancakes, biscuits, French toast, omelets, sausage, and bacon - but it’s served with a little more panache and a little less grease than at the typical greasy spoon. Service is also a little more professional, but not any faster.

I must say, the pancakes are my favorite in the whole area. On my most recent visit, I ordered the double stack of Buttermilk Pancakes ($4.75) with a Sausage Patty ($2.75) on the side. As usual, the light, just-thick-enough pancakes filled my entire plate. Topped with a dollop of butter and a sprinkle of powdered sugar, they bring a smile to my face every time the server puts them down before me. The sausage was nearly as good: hand pattied with a wonderful sage kick. I know there’s a whole breakfast and lunch menu available, and I hear it’s pretty good, but I order the pancakes every time.

On this visit, I was accompanied by my 80-year-old aunt. She’s a woman who grew up in Southern Georgia, and is no stranger to biscuits and gravy. You gotta figure she’s tried a few orders in her lifetime. Somewhat surprisingly, after enjoying The Buttermilk Drop Biscuits & Sausage Gravy ($4.90), she proclaimed them some of the best she’s ever had. I sampled a little off her plate, and yes, they were pretty darn good.

The biscuits were extremely dry and crumbly. Too dry to eat on their own, but when topped with the creamy sausage gravy, they became moist and velvety. The gravy was loaded with crumbled sausage chunks and was more brownish-orange in color than the standard white to gray. All together, it’s a very unhealthy, but blissful dish.

Well, come to think of it, my 80-year-old aunt has been eating biscuits and gravy all her life, and she's healthy as an ox. Maybe it's not that bad for you after all.

Peach Valley is normally packed for breakfast and lunch, and not open for dinner (closes daily at 2:30; 3:30 on weekends). Sure, the regulars at Denny’s are a lot more fun to people watch than the regulars from Heathrow at Peach Valley, but the pancakes never taste this good (well, maybe they do at 2 o’clock in the morning).

4 ½ Hotcakes out of 5

Peach Valley Café

In the Shoppes at Oakmonte
1210 S. International Parkway
Heathrow, FL 32746

Peach Valley Café on Urbanspoon

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Lake Mary Food Critic said...

I agree, Peach Valley Cafe is my favorite breakfast/brunch spot. You have to try some of their other menu items, too. The Chicken Pot Pie is hands down the best I've ever had with large chunks of tender chicken. I've never had a bad meal at this place. Thanks for reviewing it and reminding me I need to get back there again soon!

Eating Orlando said...

Lake Mary Food Critic,

I will definately be back for the Chicken Pot Pie. One of my favorite dishes.

Peach Valley Cafe over First Watch?