RVA Breakfast: The Continental Westhampton

 

Boyfriend and I have been in a bit of a breakfast rut. It’s not a bad rut, we really like where we go…but it’s always the same handful of places. Helen’s, Dairy Bar, Dot’s Back Inn are at the top of the list and for good reasons (which you can read about in their linked reviews!). This means that we rarely try new places unless forced to.

Recently, we wanted to go out for breakfast and needed a place that opened earlier than 10:00AM on a Saturday. Dairy Bar opens at 8:00AM everyday, so that was an option. But it was a too-typical option. With some help from the internet, we landed on The Continental Westhampton. It’s a short drive from the museum district, at the corner of Libby and Grove Avenue in–you guessed it!–the Westhampton neighborhood. We’d gone to breakfast there a year or two ago with Boyfriend’s sister and (now) fiancé. Our experience was middle-of-the-road. As I remember it, we were starving and cranky and I had blue residue in my ears from the Color Run earlier that morning.

Continental Westhampton opens for breakfast/brunch at 9:30AM every Saturday and Sunday, making it one of the only non- “dingy diner joints” open for breakfast at a reasonable hour. You know, for productive weekend people looking for a fancier-than-homemade meal to start their day. Not all of us are into wasting our weekend daylight with multi-hour brunches that don’t even start at 11:30AM.This restaurant is named for the 70-year institution Phil’s Continental Lounge that previously occupied the space, and has since moved down the street to a smaller location. To describe The Continental Westhampton shortly: It’s a retro diner with a more polished look and edgier menu. Yes, there is crushed ice(!) and enough breakfast creations to make ordering a difficult decision.

Coffee

If I’ve learned one thing over these last few years of being a breakfast enthusiast, it’s: You win some, and you loose some when it comes to coffee. At one restaurant, you can have a mug of great coffee one day (or hour) and then the next a mug of terrible coffee. It’s something I’ve come to live with. The Continental has typical diner coffee. It tastes like coffee, does the warm-caffeine-comfort thing, and isn’t normally too bitter or watered down, so I can’t complain. They also serve OJ in these skinny Collins glasses, which makes me giggle.


Sweet Dishes

I rarely order French toast, but I chose to here. The deciding factor: whipped Greek yogurt. It’s a magical thing, although confusing upon first bite. Another nice touch was the layering of mixed berries between the uber-fluffy toast slices in the stack. How many times have you ordered pancakes or French toast topped with berries and feel like you got ripped off? This dish makes up for those other places. My one gripe is them not having real maple syrup. Actually, I don’t even really care about real maple syrup, just don’t give it to me packaged like drive-thru ketchup on the side of my plate. It was not good quality (surprised?).


Bacon

My French toast came with bacon. It was crispy (good) and thin (fine)…and not really warm, to tell you the truth (blah). This is similar to the coffee win-lose acceptance. I’m just happy my meal came with BACON.


Breakfast Carbs

I can’t remember if they have biscuits here (alas, no online menu to reference!), but they do have pop-overs that can be ordered as a side and are incorporated into dishes like the eggs Benedict. Potatoes aren’t normally included is this “carbs” section, but *executive decision* they should be. At The Continental, most breakfast entrees come with well-seasoned breakfast potatoes (cooked on skillet, not fried). They aren’t always warm but taste how diner potatoes should. And for an up-charge you can get sweet potato fries. Sweet potato fries for breakfast? Why not!

Savory Dishes

Like most places, the majority of their brunch menu is savory items. They have a few different egg Benedicts (including a vegetarian and smoked salmon option), frittatas/omelets, skillets, and even breakfast NACHOS with a fried egg and chorizo. But more often than not, since we’ve started going here Boyfriend gets…


Feature: Breakfast Corn Dogs!

The Roosevelt also has breakfast corn dogs, but these two are nothing alike. (Sorry, but The Roosevelt’s will always be my favorite.) The Continental’s breakfast corn dogs are all-around fatter and less gourmet, remaining true to the corn dogs persona. The breakfast entree comes with 3 deceivingly small corn dogs, thick sausage wrapped in a winter jacket of fluffy fried pancake batter. Again, the packaged syrup almost ruins this meal for me; but less picky people may view it as convenient for dipping. Your call.

Either way, the fried sweet/savory combination is hard to deny.

See you there tomorrow?

One Response

  1. Holy moly, this looks like breakfast eutopia! You are making me hungry :)

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