Holy cats! Gambardella’s is now doing breakfast, and it’s fantastic!
It was just luck that I discovered it, too: I’d had to walk to an ATM before traveling, and my walk back took me along Second Avenue past this classic Fairbanks restaurant. Their door was open, and they’d put out an “Open” sign. I stopped in long enough to find out why, then brought my family back later. (Maybe it wasn’t just luck: I’d never have noticed it if I’d had to drive.)
They have a simple enough breakfast menu: pastries, eggs, bagels, toast, omelettes, coffee, juice, et cetera. Our portions — my wife got a breakfast burrito with eggs, cheese, and bacon, while I got a frittata with sun-dried tomatoes, onions, and broccoli — were modestly sized, not too large; at the same time, the prices were none too high, in the $3-$4 range (omlettes were $7-$8). My experience with many breakfast restaurants is just the opposite: both portions and prices are excessive, and I wish they’d just cut both in half. We also each had a latte — only 99 cents through May 29!
Not only were the food and prices reasonable, but Gambardella’s itself is a beautiful environment in which to have breakfast. The building is colorful, a bright spot in a sometimes-dreary downtown plagued by too much gray and beige. Their interior is comfortable and has high-enough class to make your breakfast feel like a dignified affair — though, as I said, not the prices that would keep you out. (My only quibble with Gambardella’s is their soundproofing: it’s very noisy at dinner. But not at breakfast.)
I’m not in the restaurant-review business, nor in the promotion/advertisement business. But, when something comes into town that gives people something to walk to, gives people a reason to get out of their cars and experience their own neighborhood, that’s exciting. Of course, The Diner (on Illinois) and the Co-op Diner (in the Two Street Co-op) have been serving breakfast downtown for years. What makes this special is that it gives people of no special means a chance to enjoy a morning of beauty and elegance (with somebody else doing the dishes) right in their neighborhood.
Gambardella’s is serving breakfast 7-11 a.m., Monday through Friday. Stop by soon, and help keep this touch of elegance afloat!