Matt and I are horrible at deciding on places to eat. We feel obligated to try new, trendy, chef driven, interesting places. More often than not, though, we just want a place to get a reliable salad or sandwich.  A place with friendly staff, consistently tasty and reasonably priced food.  That’s Black Walnut Cafe for us.

It’s fun to come and watch the weekend brunch crowd – students, families, couples – relax and catch up.  The restaurant has newspapers and free wi-fi (as well as readily accessible plugs in the back).  On nice days, they have a patio which can get crowded quickly – and just got new furniture.  Though we’ve had some misses on the menu, more often than not, items are consistently good.  And almost every time we go, the manager comes by to ask how our meal is.  For a quick-serve restaurant, that’s pretty good!

Lately, with all the time Matt’s spent studying, coming here on Sundays has been a great boon.  We can grab a table & work on our computers for a few hours, with the pleasant bustle of the lunch crowd but no pressure from waitstaff to vacate our seats.  Since I don’t get to see him much when he’s studying, it’s nice to have a place we both like to hang out.  And we’re both fans of the big traditional breakfast – eggs benedict for him, pancakes or toast for me.

Breakfast is one thing Black Walnut excels at. I took the risk of deviating from my usual order last time (something I usually regret!) and had the berries & chantilly cream ($5).  I was rewarded with a bowl of the most delicious blackberries, raspberries and strawberries I had ever tasted.  The kolaches weren’t such a success and I found myself eyeballing the fluffy waffle ordered by the table over.  Next time, I want these berries on that waffle!

For lunch and dinner, I find it hard to resist their lasagne ($9), oozing cheese and covered with a tangy tomato sauce.  Equally good choices include the hot spinach & bacon salad ($10), shrimp mango pasta salad ($11), and chipotle buffalo chicken salad ($9.50), which I always snatch bites of from Matt. I’d explore more of their menu but like those items so much, what’s the point?

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