Has your phone been going off every three minutes with texts, emails, and calls (Shout out to the people who still insist on calling me!) about Christmas? Last minute gifts. The family Christmas album. The guest list for Christmas Eve (FYI: If you're Italian, the night before Christmas is way more important than Dec 25th.). Should we tip the babysitter? How much? If you're nodding even a little, my advice is to treat yourself (or yo self) by turning off your phone for an hour or two, and taking an extended coffee/brunch break at one of the text book hidden gems below. Just tell everyone you're stuck somewhere in a line that's a mile long, waiting to check out. Totally believable this time of year.
*Shutting down your cell is key because nothing kills a coffee buzz, or foodgasm, faster than a too-smart-for-it's-own-good phone. Speaking of which, am I the only one who thinks it's creepy that FB now tells you to post the new photos on your camera roll or that "they" are making them into collages now too?
Simone's in Warren
I'd love to take all the credit for 'discovering' Simone's, but one of my fav people actually tipped me off. True story: It's light on the hipsters and heavy on the fresh, delicious food. And it only took one meal - the Mediterranean Breakfast, consisting of wood grilled bread, marinated tomatoes and two olive oil basted eggs (Photo above.) - a few months ago to convert me into a fan. It's usually packed (I'm assuming with locals?), but there are still plenty of peeps who aren't hip to it's culinary greatness. I know this for a proven fact because whenever I've posted a food pic from Simone's on IG, I get inquiries. (A recent one simply saying, "Where the f**k is this???") I recommend any of their omelettes, the wood grilled grapefruit (first time seeing that on a menu...Had to try.), and blueberry souffle pancakes. My only beef is that most days they're only open until 1:30 or 2 and they're closed on Mondays. Boooo! They are, however, open for dinner every Thurs., Fri., and Sat. night. I haven't gotten there for that yet, but pretty sure it's worth the trip. Maybe you should bring that friend who never ventures over the bridge, so that he or she will see what they're missing out on?
Pazi's In EP
You may have driven down Taunton Ave., in EP, and gone right past Pazi's. Big mistake. Especially if you're someone who loves diners. This one's a keeper. It has a retro 50's vibe with mini models of antique cars in all the windows, red vinyl stools and booths, a black & white checkerboard tile floor, and framed bl & wh photos of old time-y movie stars covering all the walls (I caught a glimpse of Dean and Jerry, but there were too many to mention.). The menu is beyond extensive (Something for everyone, including the vegetarian in your life, which, in my experience, is definitely not the norm.) and everything's named after celebs of yesteryear (I had the Harry Belafonte omelette - a veggie one with corn, beans, and salsa). The service was also fantastic. My waitress kept refilling my cup and was legit sweet and nice. Also, a laptop and flannel free zone. For now. Get there for breakfast or lunch soon before those flannels and beards start showing up and you can't get a booth to save your diner-coffee-loving life!
Ciao For Now,
Photo Credits: All photos are courtesy of me.