One of our favorite weekend traditions is Sunday brunch. Craig LaBan had given Cafe Estelle the 'Best in Philly' for brunch and of course, we had to see for ourselves what the hoopla was all about.
We had driven past this little gem as it is set back off the street in the middle of a parking lot. I didn't know what to make of the place, upon arrival. The cafe resembles more of a sterile cafeteria, and the seating space is rather cramped and small, which backs up into the lobby of an apartment building. I could tell by the hustle and bustle of the place that this had to be a good place.
The food was fresh and delicious, two thumbs up that almost everything is prepared on site and the fresh ingredients come from the local farmers. I was plesantly surprised that their Brunch menu had a lot more 'breakfast' items then lunch items:)
I decided on the Eggs Benny and the homemade scrapple. The Eggs were wonderful, BUT the star by far= the scrapple!! I try not to think about what is actually in scrapple, but the waitress told us that they know everything that goes into it, since they make it on the premise, so it's not 'as bad' as the prepackaged scrapple and I had to agree, I could definately taste the difference.
My husband had the eggs and pancakes and he couldn't finish his ginormous portion (which rarely happens) and agreed that this was a great pick.
All in all, a great brunch spot, you even have brunch on Saturdays here!!
Citysearch Editorial Review. A kitchen that serves breakfast and lunch with an earthy philosophy complements a dining room with a homey, all-inclusive feel. It may be a simple gesture yet it speaks volumes: there are freshly cut flowers in the bathrooms. There are also fresh flowers on every table; daily editions of "The New York Times" and the "Inquirer" ready for the reading, and waitresses who bring house-blended fruit smoothies after a brief mid-meal absence just because they “feel bad for neglecting you.” These small details add up to one overriding sentiment: the owner cares about ensuring a pleasant experience for all of his customers. There’s nothing unwelcoming about this large, sunny, one-room space, whose entryway waits for breakfast and lunch diners behind the lobby of an obscure residential building that hides its own portal beyond a parking lot on a nothing kind of street. But once inside, the locally grown, planet-friendly coffees, tea and entrees; vegan soups and house-cured and smoked meats and fish that grace eggs, sandwiches and salads put smiles on the faces of most of the customers of all ages, backgrounds and zip codes who come for business breakfasts or brunch with friends. Or maybe it’s just the flowers.
Best brunch in the city.
Went to Cafe Estelle for the first time after Craig Laban's review and could not have been happier to find this gem. Everything we've ordered from Cafe Estelle has been fantastic. The stuffed french toast is out of this world - I'm not quite sure how the chef manages to make it.
My favorite dish - the croque madam - excellent ham, excellent brioche french toast, nice frisee salad on the side.
Great choices of coffee. Some people may scoff at serving their coffee, but I enjoy creating my own perfect coffee/milk combo. (And the bottomless cup is a great deal, as they will let you have a mug while you wait for a brunch table on the weekends).
We've recommended this restaurant to several people and they all love it. I wish I could say more. You really should google the Laban review from the Philadelphia Inquirer (he is a great reviewer who is always honest - in fact I enjoy reading the negative reviews more than the positive ones).
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