Arts & Culture

‘Classic’ diner delivers modern comfort food

The Classic Cafe captures the feel of a retro hangout and serves up tastes for every palette

University News Editor
Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Classic Cafe, located in West Providence, features a number of creatively named dishes such as “Up yours chicken little” and “Kiss my hash.”

This article is part of the series Herald Restaurant Week

Students looking for a brunch experience off College Hill would do well to consider the Classic Cafe, a small and personable eatery in West Providence with a menu as long as the line at the Blue Room any weekday around 4 p.m.

A few blocks from Federal Hill at 865 Westminster St., the Classic Cafe evokes  1950s diner culture, with comfortable red leather booths and a collection of old photos and posters adorning the walls. Even at noon on Sunday, there was no wait for a table. The cafe also offers counter seating for those interested in closer observation of the food preparation.

Lunch options run from eight-ounce gourmet hamburgers to a host of sandwich varieties. Club house sandwiches as well as classic melts are available, and the menu also offers a range of large salads — across the board, serving sizes are somewhat overwhelming.

But what really sets the Classic Cafe apart is breakfast, which is served all day. Some of the colorfully named omelet creations — including “Up yours chicken little” and “Kiss my hash” — are on the pricier side, but those interested in watching their waistlines and wallets can take comfort in the fact that the eatery permits half-portion orders for many dishes. All omelets come with a side of grits or potatoes and either sourdough, white, whole wheat or rye toast.

From huevos rancheros to build-your-own omelets, breakfast under $10 comes in all forms here. Well-priced side orders include plainer choices like traditional English muffins as well as corned beef hash, sauteed spinach and eggs served any style. The classic breakfast sandwich, featuring bacon, egg and American cheese, delivered a hefty serving to anyone seeking fresher eggs than those offered on meal plan.

Some of the cafe’s choicest breakfast options can be found in the “on the smaller side” section of the menu, including a satisfying tasting plate of French toast, bacon and a fried egg for just $4. The bacon was not as lean as it could have been — a string of disconcerting fat ran through all three pieces — but the French toast was spot-on, with complimentary maple syrup, melt in your mouth sweetness and a dollop of brown sugar. The combination plates in the “on the smaller side” section still provide respectable portions and are easier to stomach than the otherwise massive servings.

Customers should also consider ordering a single pancake, which is about twice the size of a Verney-Woolley Dining Hall waffle and much more authentic. Adding blueberries costs an exra 69 cents is worth it for the experience of forking away a thick slice infused with fresh berries and a drizzle of butter and syrup.

Students rebounding from a late night will appreciate the cafe’s free coffee refills. The wait was moderate in the crowded restaurant, but  service was efficient.

Classic Cafe is open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekends.


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