People whizzing down Forest Avenue may miss it, but Brea Lu Cafe does exist, and serves breakfast all day! The small brick building sits alone at 428 Forest with a banner running down its side that reads “BREAKFAST” in large red lettering. Inside the cafe are high tin ceilings and plenty of old varnished wood. Large potted plants fill the front windows and shelves filled with books and old coffee mugs line the walls. Wooden booths and tables provide the seating. An old-fashioned soda bar is located towards the back of the restaurant and offers stool seating as well. Beyond the bar and tables is an open kitchen with a large iron stove and a single cook scrambling eggs and toasting bread.
I arrived just before 9 a.m. and was happy to run into two friends who are students here at USM. They had stopped in for an early morning breakfast before heading to class. They praised the Cafe’s convenience to campus. After chatting, my waitress seated me at a warm booth away from the window. She was a friendly gal who was aiming to please. Right away she suggested the breakfast burrito special: scrambled eggs with spinach and cheddar cheese wrapped in a red chili pepper tortilla topped with salsa. This scrumptious concoction also came with a side of home fries ($5.25). I took her suggestion and sipped mediocre coffee until my food arrived moments later.
The large burrito was wrapped in a florescent pink tortilla and topped with chunky red salsa and grated cheese. The home fries were seasoned but lukewarm. They tasted as though they had been sitting a while. The burrito, however, was delicious. The chili pepper tortilla wasn’t too spicy but added a good zesty flavor to each bite. The salsa was also an added flavor that went exceptionally well with eggs, spinach and cheese. Other breakfast options include “Egg Sandwich Allstar” with home fries ($3.25), “Hungryman:” three eggs, home fries, and two pancakes ($5.95) and a daily special of two eggs, toast and home fries ($2.60). They also have some weird omelet choices on the menu. For example, there’s a peanut butter, mushroom and cheese omelet, as well as a pineapple, ham, sour cream and cheese creation ($4.75-$5.25). You can also build your own omelets for $3. Each added topping is 60 cents and includes a wide variety of vegetables and meat.
Brea Lu also offers lunch, providing soup, salads, sandwiches and burgers. Homemade pies and desserts are also available.
Convenient, reasonably priced and comfortable are all words that describe this easy-to-miss cafe. With its interesting food creations, Brea Lu offers a way to test your taste buds. Perhaps, however, the cook should make sure even the simplest breakfast item such as home fries is ready to taste.
Staff Writer Katie Gallagher can be contacted at [email protected]