First Watch: 4715 N. Ocean Drive, Lauderdale-by-the-sea, FL 33308
One one of our normal Sunday morning breakfast trips, our friends Ed and Sam asked us to join them while they checked this place out. First Watch is a national chain of restaurants that serve breakfast and lunch, originally from California. The location that we went to is in Lauderdale-by-the-sea, a small beachside community just north of Ft. Lauderdale. Depending on the day you go, there might be a lineto get in as it can be popular. However the lines usually move pretty quick. Open from 7:30am – 2:30pm everyday.
Check out this video about them:
Inside First Watch there is a mix of tables, booths, and half booths. According to the restaurant manager, they make everything fresh every day and use locally sourced ingredients as much as possible. Heat Lamps and Deep fryers are not found in the restaurant, and they like to provide you with a pot of coffee, not just a cup. If you are looking to get on the internet, you can do so with free Wi-Fi, and they also provide complimentary newspapers for your reading pleasure.
The staff is very friendly and there seems to be a good amount of them at least during the time we went.
I’ll start out by saying that the menu is not like a normal breakfast menu. First Watch likes to experiment a little bit with flavors and since they are a California based company, you also get a bit of that California flare into the food menu. For us this was actually one of the things we loved about the restaurant. So let’s dig into the food.
We all had orange juice or coffee as a starter, and what is nice is that they give you a small carafe of coffee to keep you from running out. The orange juice is freshly squeezed and has a little bit of pulp in it which was perfect. Jerry chose to go with the Classic Benedict, two poached cage-free eggs atop toasted ciabatta piled high with smoked ham and vine-ripened tomato and covered with hollandaise. Served with lightly dressed organic mixed greens. For his side it was accompanied by homefries. The thing he really liked about this dish was the amount of hollandaise, it was not overwhelming like many restaurants will do and was just the perfect amount. Flavors were very good and he ate it faster than I could blink my eyes.
I opted for the Farmhouse Hash. Two cage-free eggs any style atop fresh, seasoned potatoes, bacon, avocado, house-roasted onions and tomatoes, Cheddar and Monterey Jack. Served with whole grain artisan toast. I must admit that this dish was not at all what I thought, most likely because I did not read the description. Silly me. I chose scrambled eggs and asked for the bacon to be crisp. Everything comes in a small crock style bowl. The added extra was a nice little cup of fresh fruit on the side which I loved. I wasn’t a fan of their bread and toast, but the rest of the meal was very good and the flavors mixed well together.
Ed and Sam both opted for a seasonal special that they had on the menu. (Yes in addition to the normal menu items you will find several items that change from season to season) Their breakfast was the Mexican Hash. This is basically very similar to the Farmhouse Hash that I had, but with a few differences. Inside mixed with the potatoes, was chorizo, corn, spices and beans. Avocado also topped the eggs, but Sam asked for his on the side. A nice chipotle sauce also topped the eggs and added a nice flavor, but not overly hot. You also got two corn tortillas on the side with the cup of fruit. Both of them really enjoyed their breakfast and said that it was something everyone should try at least once.
Pricing: $$ not very expensive, but depends on what you order. Food was fresh and the South Florida Eats team really enjoyed our breakfast.