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Review: A Tale of Two Breakfasts

by Michele Pesula Kuegler | December 15th, 2010 | Restaurant Reviews
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As parents of tweens and teens, my husband and I often have weekend mornings to ourselves.  Between sports practices, sleepovers, or just wanting to sleep late, it often is just the two of us for a good portion of the morning.  Being early risers, that gives us a good chunk of time for just us.  On mornings such as this, we tend to do a little work early in the morning and then head out for breakfast and errands.  As we have come to love Lull Farm in Hollis, we usually make that part of our weekend morning trip, which means our dining destination will be in the same vicinity.

The first restaurant we visited was Hollis Country Kitchen.  A restaurant that has been around for years, we knew to expect a wait.  However, as we were a party of two and most other diners were in larger parties, we were able to be seated more quickly.  Cutely decorated with artwork and country items, it presented well.  However, decor and quick seating may have been the highlights of the restaurant.

What wasn’t the highlight was the service, which was lacking.  While the restaurant was quite busy, we were surprised by numerous errors.  First, we both drink coffee, which we were served, but refills were hard to acquire.  Our waitress never stopped by our table, and waitstaff for other tables appeared to fill only their patrons cups.  One of the owners came to talk to a neighboring table, which was nice for them.  It wasn’t so nice for us, as his backside was facing us for the whole ten minutes that he talked.  (Ten minutes may not seem long, but when all you can see is someone’s backside it is quite a span of time.)  Additionally, our waitress didn’t remember what our order was and served it to another table.  Much to those diners’ credit, they protested loudly (we could hear them) that those weren’t their dishes.  They didn’t want to have food that wasn’t theirs set in front of them.  It was a nice effort, but the waitress ignored them and set the dishes in front of them.  Between the other couple and my husband, the three of them were able to convince the waitress to pick up the food and deliver it to us.  Honestly, the other couple was more apologetic for the error than the waitress.

Once we got our food it was good.  Nothing spectacular, but also nothing poorly done.  However, once you’ve had service such as this, food that is just good doesn’t make the grade.  So, we ate and left with no intention of returning.

The second restaurant we visited in Hollis was the Market Place Diner.  While this restaurant might not have decor that is quite as cute as the Hollis Country Kitchen, it was very clean and filled with friendly staff.  There was a short wait for a table, but once we were seated we were treated well.

During our breakfast here we had fabulous service.  Throughout our meal our coffee cups were kept full, and not just by our waitress.  Our food was delivered (to us!) nice and hot.  While we dined, our waitress made sure to check that we didn’t need anything, even though it was a busy morning with all tables full.  The food here was solid, well-done breakfast food: pancakes, eggs, french toast.

We now have been to the Market Place Diner several times and been pleased each time.  I have enjoyed their Pumpkin Pancakes (a special item) and Ham and Cheese Omelet.  My husband has had their Eggs Irish and Stuffed French Toast (another special, which was filled with sausage and cheese).  All of these meals have been delicious; the perfect start to our errands.

When it comes to the final analysis, it’s the service that has made us repeat visitors at Market Place Diner.  If the service had been better at Hollis Country Kitchen, I would think we would have given it another try, maybe alternating which restaurant we visited.  However, when you’re treated very well at one and not so much at the other, doesn’t it make sense that we now are faithful diners at the Market Place?

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