I’ll Take the First WatchFeb 01, 2017 ● By Christine Perrenot
When you are due for a health-conscious breakfast, want to meet your friends for brunch or need to get out of the office for a quick lunch, First Watch is just the spot for you. Serving breakfast, brunch and lunch, First Watch is all about making menu items fresh to order and supplying guests with plenty of coffee. Many locals need a convenient, healthy breakfast spot to stop off at after their morning workout, and First Watch has you covered!
Once guests arrive, proper caffeinating becomes a priority, and the team will welcome you with an entire pot of coffee, if you so desire! For those of us who cannot get going without a few cups of joe in the morning, this is great news. If you need to check your email, you can use the free Wi-Fi, and if you are still drawn to the smell of a newly-printed magazine or newspaper, you can grab one as you walk in. The atmosphere is inviting and provides an uplifting, delicious start to the day.
The location on Preston Road (just north of Lebanon Road) is complete with a country chic feel and atmosphere, and it is a place where neighbors can go to catch up or enjoy a relaxing morning with strong coffee as their companion. There is something to be said for the Stars Hollow pace that Rory and Lorelai set on “Gilmore Girls” every time they go to Luke’s Diner. I see the appeal to taking your time and starting your day off right. With First Watch’s friendly staff, tranquil surroundings and lighting set to a charming playlist of music, you are guaranteed to have an enjoyable, relaxing meal.
Luckily, you can order anything off the menu at any time during the day. On this particular morning, I had brunch with my co-worker, Leah. We were in the beginning days of our New Year’s resolution to eat healthier during the week, but some of the options on the menu were incredibly tempting. I started with the Kale Tonic from the Fresh Juice Bar menu. I admit, I was hesitant at first, but the mixture of kale, Fuji apple, cucumber and lemon was incredibly refreshing. Another option for anyone looking to add a little more nutrition or fruit to their diet is the Day Glow drink, complete with carrots, oranges, lemons and organic ginger.
We snacked on Avocado Toast while we perused the menu. It was somewhat tough to decide whether to order something from the breakfast or lunch portion of the menu. I was also distracted by the amazing mix of flavors in the Avocado Toast, which is made up of thick toast covered in smashed avocado. On top of the perfectly crunchy bread, there was sea salt cracked with lemon to add to the bold flavors. The dish also comes with two basted eggs. Not a bad start!
As the debate on what to order next ensued, I saw that a great lunch option at First Watch would be to order off the “2 For You” portion of the menu. Diners can get half of a sandwich, half of a salad and a cup of soup for $7.79. Choose from sandwiches like the Monterey Club, the Ham and Gruyere Melt, the Market Veggies or the Roast Beef and Havarti sandwich.
This helped me decide that I was in the mood for a classic lunch item, and I had already seen the waitress carry a plate by that was topped with a Monterey Club sandwich and a heaping side of mixed greens, so I decided to try it. Regardless of which sandwich you decide on, you can order a side of greens or a bowl of hot soup. On this particular visit, the soup of the day was vegetable. It looked delicious and warm on this chilly morning. The mixture of corn, carrots and other staple vegetables created a stew-like flavor that reminded me of a good, old-fashioned home-cooked meal. Some of the other sandwiches on the menu include the Baja Turkey Burger, the Chicken Salad Melt and the Veggie Burger. The Monterey Club was crisp, fresh and colorful, and the sourdough bread held the hearty serving of turkey meat. It was garnished with bacon (I know, not great for my resolution), avocado, organic greens, tomatoes and cheese. Perfection!
Leah ordered an extremely fancy-sounding Smoked Salmon and Roasted Vegetable Frittata. First Watch took the classic elements of a frittata and infused the dish with Wild Alaska Smoked Sockeye Salmon, house-roasted shallots and tomatoes covered in Parmesan cheese. With a cream drizzle and herbs on top, you simply cannot get over how unique the food combinations on the menu are. The ciabatta toast served with the frittata looked crispy and absolutely scrumptious. All of the omelets and frittatas on the menu are served with lightly-dressed organic mixed greens, but you can request seasoned potatoes as your side, if you so desire. Next time, after seeing how good those eggs looked, I might try the Chile Chorizo or the Inspired Italian omelet!
If you want to get a little of something on the side, or you just need a bite to pair with your morning coffee, try a healthy serving of seasonal fruit. Or, forget the diet and go all in with biscuits and gravy, hardwood smoked bacon or a bowl of soup. From mixed greens to a fresh baked muffin of the day, there will be something delicious and new for you to try each time you visit.
We had managed to order somewhat healthy dishes, even though the restaurant was filled with the sights of stacked pancakes, bacon and other breakfast favorites. Admittedly, at the risk of completely ruining our diet plan, we caved in and ordered the Floridian French Toast to split for dessert. The thick bread is powered in cinnamon sugar and covered with bananas, kiwi and seasonal berries. The colorful and sweet treat was an instant hit with us. This would also be a great dish to order for kids.
Wake up and smell the coffee! Set aside a couple hours sometime soon and spend your morning dining and catching up with neighbors at First Watch, located at 5404 Preston Road, Suite 100. The restaurant is open daily from 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Learn more about everything this dining destination has to offer and check out the extensive menu at firstwatch.com.