Generally as we travel, when it comes to dining, shopping or entertainment, we look for hidden gems. But it’s not always possible to find one.
Sometimes have to go to a chain that we have found to be tried and true. And when it comes to breakfast, it is difficult to top a First Watch.
On a recent trip to the Suncoast, we stopped by the First Watch in North Port. This was our fourth stop at a First Watch location. It really cemented our opinion that they have a high standard for service, food and pricepoint.
We had our first experience with First Watch in Sarasota last year. After browsing one of the Saturday Farmer’s Markets there, we were drawn over to what appeared to be the start of some kind of street festival.
There on Main Street is where we spotted our initial First Watch.
We could see the place was packed. Nevertheless, we decided to give it a try. When putting our name in, we were told it would be at least a half hour wait. I suggested that we go somewhere we might be seated more quickly.
It was then the hostess told us, “You can get a seat at ‘the community table’ right away.”
This is a feature that apparently is at all the First Watch locations (at least the ones we have visited). It allows individuals or couples a place to sit and dine with others. It’s like a breakfast bar, but more congenial, as patrons may engage each other face to face if they desire.
We had a chance to talk with the couple on one side and were entertained by a conversation by a group on the other side of us. This is the first time we have encountered this idea at a restaurant.
Additionally, we were surprised and delighted at the menu options. Besides their “Egg-Sclusives” and “Omelets and Frittatas” there’s a great selection of “Healthier Options.” Those include things like Avocado Toast, Power Wraps and Power Bowls.
First Watch juices are squeezed fresh daily. Their coffee comes from Huila region of Columbia where the coffee fits the growing methods and flavors they prefer.
In short – from the ingredients to the preparation – they pay a lot of attention to the items they serve.
The bottom line is that when you’re traveling and you cannot find that hidden gem, if there’s a First Watch in the area that’s the place to go. So far we have experienced locations in Sarasota, Venice, Orlando and North Port and found them to be consistent in quality and service.
Additionally, were delighted to learn that First Watch actually is based right here in Florida – in University Park, to be exact. The name is a nautical reference to the first work shift aboard a ship. First Watch restaurants are only open 7:00am to 2:30pm.
Their 6,000 employees now are spread across more than 200 locations in 26 states. Everything you need to know is at the First Watch site – but the proof or the pudding is in the eating.