One of the reasons Big Pink has remained a popular neighborhood haunt over the years is its neat, contemporary coffee shop ambiance. Light streams through floor-to-ceiling windows, and lofty ceilings add to the airy feeling. Dining outdoors on this peaceful block south of Fifth Street is just cool. Plus portions are huge and the extensive menu offers something for just about any taste or mood.
Breakfast, for instance, brings a choice of 20 items, from waffles to breakfast burritos to matzoh brei. It also brings coffee in a cup the size of a soup bowl -- fresh, strong, hot, and refilled often ($3). Our waitress was friendly and efficient. When we pointed out that the spoon used to stir coffee had stuff stuck onto it, she replaced flatware and brew right away.
Well, that's the good news...
Our order of French toast arrived as a six-stack of thick, dry Texas bread cooked too darkly on the outside and with raw egg spots inside ($8.50). That the maple syrup is fake was neither surprising nor, in this case, relevant. We abandoned the bread and split a hefty five-egg omelet.
The omelet is priced $8.50 on the menu, which then reads: "Choice of fillings: Cheese, tomato, onion, spinach, peppers, brie, bacon, mushroom, avocado each item add 1.00." Guess it seems clear enough, but I missed that "1.00" at the end, somehow assuming that at least a couple of ingredients would come gratis. My fault for not reading properly, but $12.50 still seems steep for a cheese, mushroom, spinach and onion omelet. The large half-moon of staunchly cooked eggs was tasty, home fries alongside were lukewarm, and white toast was the only option we were given for bread.
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So that's $27 right there. Add $2.43 restaurant tax plus 20% tip and it's $18 per person for either French toast or omelet with coffee. If you instead suffer a plain omelet, it would then come to $16 apiece. That sure seems like a lot of green for a Big Pink breakfast.