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Full City Cafe – Portage

November 23, 2009

  • 7878 Oakland Drive
  • Portage, MI 49024
  • (269) 492-7515
  • Website
  • Menu

After a long weekend working, there’s nothing I enjoy more than being woken up to go eat.  J knows it’s one of my favorite things to do and it’s a good way to get me out of bed.

After working in East Lansing all weekend, I made it back to Kalamazoo just before 1:00.  By the time I took a shower and talked to J for a while, it was almost 2:00 before we got to bed which really isn’t that unusual for me anyway.  Sunday morning, I was still in bed at a little after 11.  J woke me up to go get lunch, but I didn’t really have lunch on the mind. 

A couple weeks ago, I got the idea to try Full City Cafe for breakfast.  I checked out their website and it said both locations were open Sunday.  We drove to the Kalamazoo location because we needed to do some shopping out that way, but when we got there, we found the store closed.  I inquired about the closing on Twitter to @fullcitycafe and they responded pretty quickly that they had just closed the Kalamazoo location on Sunday’s recently and forgot to update the website (it’s updated now).  Still, the menu looked delicious and it has so many great reviews that I knew the next chance we got, we were going to try it out.

That next chance came the very next weekend we were actually in Kalamazoo on a Sunday. 

The Full City Cafe location in Portage is on Oakland Drive at Centre Avenue in what looks like a fairly new strip mall.  Full City Cafe takes up two storefronts and by the crowd today, could probably take over a third and still not have enough room. 

We must have just beat the rush.  When we walked in, there were a few empty tables in the first dining room which also has the coffee bar.  We didn’t even look in the second dining room to see if there were even any seats.  A waitress was cleaning off a table, so we sat down.  Menus were brought to us and drinks were offered.  J got an OJ.  I really needed a Pepsi.  Since they didn’t have Pepsi, a Coke would have to do. 

On weekend’s, Full City serves breakfast all day until closing at 3:00.  They also have a few sandwiches including burgers, but Sunday is just a breakfast day for some reason. 

After we got our drinks, we put in our orders.  J jumped at one of the specials.  She got pumpkin pancakes and added a side of three slices of bacon.  She really enjoyed the pancakes calling them some of the best she’s ever had.  She took a bite before putting syrup on and realized there was nothing else needed to make these pancakes delicious.  .  That’s saying a lot about pancakes.  The bacon was perfect.  She likes bacon very crispy…almost burnt.  This bacon wasn’t burnt, but it was very crispy.  It was so good, she didn’t even share.  She ate about 3/4 of her pancakes and hit a wall.  She wanted to bring them home hoping they would reheat well.  They were too good to just throw in the trash.

I had a hard time deciding.  There was so much that sounded good, but I eventually settled on the Southwestern Eggs Benedict.  I’m not an Eggs Benedict expert.  I’ve only had the dish a couple times, but I’ve always liked it, so I thought I’d give this one a shot.  Full City’s take on the dish isn’t quite traditional.  Instead of an English Muffin, they use a puff pastry shell.  There are two farm fresh eggs that have been poached and covered with the Hollandaise sauce.  The Southwestern Eggs Benedict had a special Ranchero spiced Hollandaise.  It also came with chorizo (my favorite sausage) and a green chile relish.  My side choices were either American fries or fresh fruit.  I chose the potatoes.  The Eggs were delicious.  One of them was a little runny while the other was perfectly cooked.  The Hollandaise was delicious.  It had a little bit of a kick.  The chorizo was an added bonus.  I could have eaten a plate of just the sausage and been happy.  I spent the final moments of breakfast trying to hunt down some little sausage pieces that were left on my plate.  The relish was good, but I’m not an onion fan.  I picked around some of them, but it was hard to do that, so I just sucked it up and ate it.  It was alright, but minus the onion would have been perfect….but that’s just for me.  An onion lover would probably love it.  The potatoes were ok, but not my thing.  I don’t really like potatoes that haven’t been deep fried, so again, I’m not the best judge here.  J had some of them and took the rest home for another meal, so again, nothing went to waste.

We were both huge fans of Full City Cafe and its seems like the rest of Portage was too.  Minutes after we sat down, the place filled up.  Must have been a post-church crowd.  The longer we sat there, the more the lobby filled up. 

Our bill was $24, but neither of us really said anything.  Yes, it’s more expensive than Denny’s, but you’re getting a lot better food with fresher ingredients.  It’s a worthwhile indulgence. 

Besides being a sit down restaurant, Full City is a full service cafe.  You can grab a drink to go in the morning and not have to sit down.  They have a register next to a pastry case.  The drink menu is written on chalk boards above the coffee machines.  J called it a Starbucks set up in a fancy cafe. 

As we were paying for our meal, we were asked if we belong to a frequent diner club.  We said no and were offered the chance to sign up.  J said yes.  That should tell you something about Full City Cafe.  We don’t usually eat at the same place more than once, but I can already see a return trip to Full City Cafe in the future.  It’s definitely one of Southwest Michigan’s bests!   

Pumpkin Pancakes and Bacon

Southwestern Eggs Benedict

Full City Cafe on Urbanspoon

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