I had heard from the owners of another restaurant in the Millcreek area that Millcreek CafÃ© & Eggworks was a place I oughtn’t to miss. The omelets there, I was told, were especially noteworthy and they made a great cup of coffee. Unfortunately, I don’t drink coffee and breakfast is my least favorite meal of the day. I vastly prefer cold pizza to eggs Benedict in the a.m. Still, my job is to seek out those eateries that don’t suck. So if it meant having to travel to Millcreek for breakfast, travel I would. And did. Seated next to one of the big windows on our first visit, Tayler quickly caught our attention.nn
It struck both my wife and I as unusual that a gal who could easily command the best model runways in Paris or might have just stepped out from the cover of Vogue would be so diligently cleaning the tall metal chairs and tables at Millcreek CafÃ© & Eggworks. In a culture where most attractive men and women live primarily for their one shot at celebrity stardom, the fact that this beautiful young lady was so immersed in such an unglamorous task was, well, nourishing somehow. And rare. Her focus on the tedious task of wiping down the tables and chairs was that of a Zen master. And she didn’t seem the slightest bit pissed off or annoyed about having to do the job.nn
“Yeah, she’s great!” said Cortney, Tayler’s mom, who along with partners Rick and Bill own and operate Millcreek CafÃ© & Eggworks. Each time I’d visited Millcreek CafÃ©, I had observed Tayler’s complete immersion in cleaning tables and such and had commented upon it to her mother. Her outer beauty notwithstanding, Tayler’s the type of worker that most restaurateurs would kill to have just a couple of. It’s illustrative of the type of restaurant Millcreek CafÃ© & Eggworks is: A very friendly, welcoming place where all the employees seem to take their jobs seriously'an honest eatery.
Breakfast is served throughout the day at Millcreek CafÃ© and lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. I’ve never been there when the place wasn’t bustling. It’s located on 3300 South where, going back a ways, Skipper’s and then Speedy’s CafÃ© used to be. But you wouldn’t know it. Cortney, Rick, Bill and their staff gutted the building and created a very modern, clean-looking, somewhat minimalist space. The walls are painted mostly in warm yellow tones and are filled with the art and photographs of local painters and picture-takers. There’s a freestanding metal counter in the back near the kitchen with a handful of seats for folks who want to enjoy their short stack of pancakes ($2.99) solo. Large, north-facing windows insure that the cafÃ© gets plenty of natural light during breakfast and lunch.nn
The omelets at Millcreek CafÃ© are very good indeed. For $6.99, you can custom-design your omelet with a choice of three items from a list of about 20 different fillings. Included in the price is toast or an English muffin and way-better-than-average hash browns with a scrumptious crispy top. I found a mushroom/green pepper/tomato omelet to be especially pleasing: light and healthy, yet decadent somehow.nn
Speaking of decadent, Millcreek CafÃ© and Eggworks serves up chicken-fried steak ($7.99), biscuits and gravy ($5.99 with two eggs), and yes, eggs Benedict ($8.25). Try them all, but don’t miss the breakfast “wrap” ($5.99). It’s a large tortilla stuffed with airy scrambled eggs, slices of sage-infused sausage (or ham, bacon or chicken'your choice) and cheddar-jack cheese. Now, the wrap is very satisfying as is, but I highly recommend that you spring for the extra $1.25 to get it smothered in Millcreek CafÃ©’s yummy chile verde with big chunks of melt-in-the-mouth pork. My only criticism is that the breakfast wrap isn’t more smothered (smothered, not just covered) in that cherished chile verde, and that it isn’t offered by the bowl at lunchtime. That would really seal the deal.nn
However, at lunchtime, I did manage to sink my teeth into one of the best Reuben sandwiches I’ve ever encountered. Millcreek CafÃ©’s Reuben ($6.75) is served panini-style: grilled pastrami, Swiss cheese, crunchy sauerkraut and Thousand Island dressing on pressed, grilled bread. All the sandwiches, paninis, burgers and wraps at Millcreek CafÃ© come with a large side of french fries, and every dish is garnished perfunctorily with parsley and an orange slice. I’ve only seen one person actually eat the orange, a high-chaired tike who went at it like it was a Julia Child roasted chicken.nn
The wraps and salads at Millcreek CafÃ© & Eggworks are excellent, and I’d steer you towards a melding of the two: The chicken Caesar wrap ($6.75), stuffed with tender shredded chicken, fresh lettuce, tomatoes and mushrooms, along with shredded Parmesan and mozzarella cheese. Like the dressing on my remarkable Reuben, the chicken Caesar wrap is dressed very lightly with Caesar dressing, not drenched in it.nn
Conveniently located just a smidgeon from Interstate 215, Millcreek CafÃ© & Eggworks is destined to become a hotbed for hungry skiers and riders on their way to the slopes. And why not? The food is very good, the service is quick and friendly and the place is spotless. The tables and chairs are so well tended by Tayler that you could â€¦ uh, eat off them.nn
MILLCREEK CAFÃ‰ & EGGWORKS
n3084 E. 3300 South
nBreakfast and lunch daily
n7 a.m.â€“2 p.m.