Want to go?
WHAT: Ala Carte Café
WHERE: 225 Madison St., Port Clinton
HOURS: 5 a.m.-1 p.m. daily
Ala Carte is one of my favorite places for breakfast and lunch in Port Clinton.
For the last 30 years, whenever we are close, we always stop at Ala Carte. The business has been there about 50 years, and the newest owners have been there 22 years. Our server on this particular trip has been working at the restaurant for 19 years, and we remembered seeing her there many times, so that tells me it must be a great place to work.
The couple at the next table told us they have been coming for breakfast for 24 years. While we were chatting, the other lady server told us they serve lunch at any time, so I could have a perch sandwich for breakfast if I cared to. However, the one thing I come here for is the wonderful fresh-baked Belgian waffles — they have been made the same delicious way forever. I’m told the owner’s daughter is the one that keeps the batter and baking consistent. I enjoy my waffle with a large sausage patty (that I share) and lots of coffee. I am normally a tea person, but I love their coffee, and always have several cups.
If you have noticed in past Local Flavor columns, my husband only orders all kinds of omelets. He says he is a good judge of them and grades them on how large they are, how many veggies they have and how well they are cooked. The western omelet is his favorite.
Ala Carte also has famous homefries – theirs are up with the best. We shared a full order, and it’s more than enough. (To give you a little perspective, a full order will feed four.)
As we waited for our breakfast, we looked to the back wall where the big whiteboard lists the daily specials. On the right, you’ll see which items are included in box lunches, and most of their deli items can be purchased by the pound.
The breakfast menu promises something for everyone, including meat and egg sandwiches, 8 oz. sirloin steaks or two pork chops. You can even have dessert for breakfast with one of those wonderful waffles, piled high with pecans, ice cream, chocolate syrup, whipped cream and a cherry on top. Yum!
The lunch menu consists of many traditional favorites, like sandwiches served with chips and a big slice of dill pickle.
On our way back through Port Clinton on a Saturday morning, I really want that perch sandwich. It’s 10:30 a.m. and the restaurant is so full that people are standing around, so I went to the counter and asked if I could order a perch sandwich to go. As busy as they were, a nice, cheerful lady said it wouldn’t be a problem at all and took my order. I didn’t want to take up room, so I waited outside on a bench. Soon, she brought it right out to me. That’s real service, considering how busy they were.
I know we will always stop there whenever we’re close. I hope they stay in business a very long time.
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Local Flavor is our weekly food feature, which chronicles the gastronomical adventures of a mystery food lover.You can find past Local Flavor columns HERE