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CHEAP EATS

Villa Coffee House

769 Cayuga St., Lewiston

3 1/2 pennies(out of four)

"The locals like it"

You won't find the Villa Coffee House in the regional phone book under coffee houses, coffee shops, or coffee and tea -- retail. The operators who answer 411 calls have never heard of it.

But it's there, at 769 Cayuga St. in the Village of Lewiston, between South Seventh and South Eighth Streets. It's real, and it's spectacular.

Two adults and Ben, a 4 1/2 -year-old boy with a hearty appetite, arrived at the Villa just as the packed dining room was clearing out. This breakfast-all-day, lunch-all-day Brigadoon is obviously a hit with the locals. It welcomes diners with a golf-course motif (each table's condiments sit on a wooden tray that resembles a golf course green) and a bulletin board covered with photos of smiling people.

My eye was drawn to the "mixed eggs" -- a generous portion of scrambled eggs mixed with hash browns for $3.80, to which customers add mix-ins from the long list, for 30 cents each. I chose onions, ham and mushrooms, but could have had a stunning variety of vegetables, meat or cheese added. The platter of mixed eggs stretched from fork to knife across the place mat, flanked by six slices of toasted Italian bread.

The little guy's mom ordered the day's special for $4.75, a chicken parm sandwich and a cup of cream of mushroom soup. The soup was packed with huge slices of mushrooms in a tasty, possibly chickeny base, far from the pasty flour broth sometimes served. Ben employed both a fork and a spoon to subdue the soup, but left room to make a dent in his Superbird turkey club sandwich. At $4.50, the Superbird also covered one of the expansive platters. Ben's mom and I praised the club sandwich's bacon, well-done but not burned, and the french fries, crisp on the outside and flaky on the inside. Ben just kept eating.

The open-faced chicken parm sandwich looked a little lonely on its plate, after the impressive heft of the mixed eggs and Superbird, but Ben's mom said it was good. The chicken patty under the generous cheese melt was not snappy or tough.

Half the Superbird went into a doggie bag for later. Our tab, for three adult meals that did more than satisfy, was $19.27. It's well worth seeking out.

7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily; handicapped accessible.

This breakfast-all-day, lunch-all-day Brigadoon is obviously a hit with the locals.

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