With coupons burning a hole in our pockets, we hit Christe's Restaurant in the Southgate Plaza for breakfast before shopping.
Our last visit was years ago, but we timed it right because the restaurant has recently reopened following two weeks of extensive renovations. The decor is beautiful, but we've heard the new entrance can be jammed during busy times and the noise level has gone up.
A stacked stone fireplace behind the hostess stand welcomes guests. The modern feel includes soothing earth tones and slick lighting. Christe's has kept a diner counter, moving it toward the back, and the menu is still diner-esqe, with reasonable prices and breakfast served all day.
Settling in with big mugs of good coffee, we perused the menu. We liked that categories are whittled down to good solid basics.
Breakfasts are numbered 1 through 5 ($3.99 to $7.99) ranging from a simple egg, home fries and toast to corned beef hash with home fries and toast. The No. 6 is Christe's Special with two eggs, ham, bacon or sausage, home fries and toast ($6.99).
Breakfast sandwiches ($4.99) are an egg and American cheese served on English muffin, plain bagel, Costanzo's hard roll or croissant with home fries. Add bacon, ham or sausage ($6.99).
For the hungry, a Hearty Man Breakfast ($8.99) comes with three eggs, bacon and sausage, home fries, toast and two pancakes. It's so large, it arrives on multiple plates. The requisite steak and eggs is $8.99; French toast or pancakes range from $3.99 to $5.99.
Two of us veered into the omelets section, all are three eggs with home fries and toast ($6.49 to $8.99). As expected, Christe's masters the omelet drill. Significant Other's usual Polish kielbasa and cheese was filled with smoked sausage (he longs for someone to use fresh somewhere, someday).
My chicken souvlaki was perfect, with lots of chicken, feta, peppers, onions and pepperoncini. I upgraded to “All The Way” home fries for 99 cents. The nice and chunky home fries come with or without onions. I added onions, peppers, cheese and gravy for poutine style. Melted cheese, hunks of peppers and just enough gravy elevated the breakfast standard to sublime.
Eggs Benedict ($6.99) was delicious, with just enough hollandaise on two perfectly poached eggs. Eggs Benedict and the Country Club Omelet (turkey, bacon, cheddar-jack cheese and hollandaise) are served only until 3 p.m., we assume because of the hollandaise.
Christe's also serves lunch and dinner. From the salads, Diana’s chopped sounded delicious with romaine, grilled chicken, red onion, red pepper, almonds, Craisins, mandarin oranges and blue cheese served with grilled cinnamon toast ($8.99).
Homemade soups ($2.49-$3.99) are set daily offer interesting options, like Monday’s carrot dill bisque, Thursday’s mulligatawny or Friday chowders that include Manhattan.
Sandwiches, clubs and melts ($6.99 to $8.99) hit all the comfort notes — fried bologna and onion, turkey, patty melt, hot roast beef — but with surprises like a roasted portobella mushroom sandwich.
The same goes for dinners ($9.99 to $12.99). The menu features things like spaghetti and meatballs, liver and onions and twin pork chops, but also wild caught salmon.
Service was excellent. With our bellies full (not the best scenario for trying on pants) we headed to shopping vowing we won’t wait as long as we did to make a return visit.
1056 Union Road, West Seneca, Southgate Plaza
Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday to Saturday.
Daily specials: Monday goulash ($9.99), Tuesday roast turkey ($10.99), Wednesday sirloin tips over egg noodles ($9.99), Thursday fried chicken ($10.99), Friday fish fry ($10.99) and Saturday steak specials.
More: Cash or credit card. Kids menu ($2.99 to $3.99).
Gluten-free: No specific gluten-free menu, but egg items, salads, burgers (minus the roll).
Wheelchair-accessible: Yes, but new entrance is small and gets crowded at busy times.