When I first heard about The Commons Kitchen, I got the vibes of a Southern-style restaurant and instantly felt like I was being called home. Then I heard about its breakfast menu, and my foodie senses really started to tingle. As a hardcore advocate of “breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” I walked all the way down to the Commons and stepped into the new diner-style restaurant where I was mildly disappointed by the menu and the food.
As one of the two customers in the restaurant, I was able to not only peruse the menu but also read it in detail. What I thought was a diner was really a hodgepodge of random Italian-style dishes and breakfast items — pizza, sub sandwiches, paninis, calzones, burgers, pasta, smoothies, breakfast sandwiches and omelettes.
I decided to try the three-cheese omelette, which came with a side of home fries and toast, along with a cup of coffee. My companion ordered a breakfast sandwich with eggs and sausage that was also supposed to come with a side of home fries, but they were missing when his dish arrived.
In regards to flavor, everything was well done — the combination of cheeses in the omelette was that perfect blend of salty and sharp, while the rye toast had an unexpected burst of bitterness. I didn’t even have to fill the coffee with cream and sugar or bring my own like I usually do when I go to IHOP or Denny’s! However, the eggs in my omelette were runny, giving them a gooey texture, and the home fries were almost raw on the inside. The breakfast sandwich seemed okay enough — my companion had no complaints, but he also ate the sandwich in three bites. Fortunately, this experience didn’t hit our wallets too hard as it only cost about $16 total.
Wanting to give the Kitchen a second chance, I ordered one of their sub sandwiches for delivery over my dreary Spring Break in Ithaca, and I was disappointed once again. I assumed the turkey bacon ranch sandwich would not only contain turkey, bacon and ranch dressing but also include the lettuce, tomato, onion and provolone cheese that was described in the menu. The sandwich I received had turkey bacon — which I am not opposed to when it doesn’t feel like I’m chewing leather — and no cheese, onion or ranch dressing. This time, my wallet hurt a little because it was $9, and I ended up eating only half the sandwich.
I don’t know if the fact that I was the only customer in the restaurant was indicative of how new The Commons Kitchen is or the poor quality of its food. However, the establishment’s service was top-notch. Everyone working there was extremely friendly and welcoming, which almost makes me forget about my dissatisfaction with the food. Almost.
Just because I had a poor experience or two doesn’t mean the restaurant is a complete bust. Maybe one of the other eight categories will carry the rest of the menu, and maybe The Commons Kitchen will improve over time.
Serves: Breakfast items but also Italian-style food
Vibe: Empty but in a “Come on in” way