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Cheap Eats; Weber's Grille puts classic spin on breakfast, lunch

The folks who run Weber's Grille do just two things -- breakfast and lunch -- but they do them well.

All the classics are on the menu, including pancakes ($3.25 to $4.25); the 1-1-1, which is one each of an egg, bacon, sausage, French toast or pancake and home fries, for $4.75; and the 2-2-2, which is two of the above for a mere buck more. But there are also some unusual choices, from the hot pepper scramble, which starts with eggs and includes tomatoes, onion and hot pepper cheese for $5.50, to a sausage and gravy breakfast with biscuits and home fries, $5.75 for a full order and $4.50 for a half-order.

The lunch menu leaned toward the classics too, with various kinds of burgers from $5.75 to $6.50, fried bologna and onions for $4.50 and salads, from $3.25 for a house to $5.99 for chicken finger, chicken fajita, julienne or tuna.

On the Sunday morning Ruth, Dan, John and I visited, the place was busy but the tables turned over pretty regularly, so there was no wait. The 10 tables were covered with bright oilcloth, the eight chairs at the counter looked far more comfortable than the usual stools.

Check out the specials board near the door, right next to the community events bulletin board, a touch I always like to see in a community eatery. The specials board listed four or five menu items at reduced prices. Weber's didn't have to add a bunch of new things -- they knew what people like, and were just giving us a price break.

Included in the specials was Eggs Benedict ($6 rather than $6.75) and the dish was a thing of beauty: two poached eggs perched atop slices of authentic Canadian peameal bacon, layered on toasted English muffins and topped with creamy Hollandaise. At home, we make this with the yolks slightly more liquid, but we know restaurants have to put food safety foremost. The Hollandaise's creamy flavor helped.

A meat-lover's scramble (usually $6, on this day $5.75) was similar to an omelette but more freeform than flat. It was jam-packed with ham, sausage and bacon, and every bite contained delicious bits of meat.

Both of the above were served with toast and home fries, which were generous piles of clearly made-in-the-kitchen, unprocessed potatoes cut into chunks and cooked until soft. Onions were an offered option, and were also cooked to perfection. Those who like their home fries crispy might quibble, but these were fresh and good.

The Weber's Mountain ($6.25) was aptly named. It started with a pile of home fries, topped with a generous layer of cheese and three eggs made any way. We chose scrambled, so the eggs were laid atop the mountain of spuds like a blanket, keeping the cheese molten. At least half of it -- and some of the meat-lover's scramble -- went home with us.

A short stack of French toast ($2.75) was the perfect size, made of thick-cut bread and sufficiently eggy. We asked for a side order of corned beef hash ($2.85) and it was served slightly crispy and just as tasty as expected.




3 pennies *out of four)    

"Lots of hot food"    

WHERE: 13193 Broadway at Exchange, Alden (937-9706)    

HOURS: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily.    


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