In the sea of chains flooding Palm Harbor and surrounding Tampa Bay areas, East Lake Cafe stands out as a worthy local breakfast choice. Skip the bland popular chain breakfast offerings in favor of a nice hometown cafe which offers excellent fresh food, great service, as well as a nice relaxing setting.
Since opening in 2003, East Lake Cafe has become a local favorite. East Lake serves breakfast and lunch dishes every day from 7:00am-3:00pm.
The menu at East Lake includes traditional breakfast and lunch favorites along with a few specialties offered throughout the week. All allergies can be accommodated and substitutions are not a problem.
The servings at East Lake are very hearty and prices are moderate. You will find all your favorite breakfast dishes on the menu: Eggs Benedict, a variety of omelet combinations, skillets, pancakes, French toast, crepes, and breakfast sandwiches.
The Garden Variety Omelet was excellent. The omelet was stuffed with a great mixtures of asparagus, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, and red onion. I really enjoyed this unique pairing of veggies.
Omelets are served with potatoes and toast. The home fries were the highlight: what a delicious treat! So crispy and nicely seasoned! I opted to skip the toast, although you have your choice of white or wheat.
If you are craving something sweet, the crepes are pretty delicious. Try the light and lean featuring fresh berries and lowfat vanilla greek yogurt.
Locally roasted Kahwa Coffee is offered in addition to Barnie's Coffee. Smoothies, juiced, Bloody Mary's, and other alcoholic drinks are also available.
The lunch menu includes an assortment of cafe favorites such as sandwiches, wraps, burgers, soups, entree sized salads, and a selection of entrees (Country Fried Steak, Chicken Tenders, Fish and Chips, and Today's Catch to name a few).
Desserts are not your standard freezer fare, but rather come from a local bakery. East Lake has partnered with Cakes by Nomeda to provide a variety of delicious, fresh dessert options such as: New York Style Cheesecake, Big Apple Pie, and Nomeda's Signature Cake.
The service at East Lake Cafe is very friendly and relaxed, which is what separates a great local restaurant from a rushed chain. Our server was able to accommodate our dietary preferences, and even double checked certain ingredients with the chef. We did not feel at all rushed during our breakfast.
East Lake offers both indoor and outdoor dining. Although they are located in a strip mall plaza, the outdoor patio is surprisingly nice. Surrounded by lush tropical landscaping, it feels like a nice oasis away from the congestion of US Hwy 19. On one negative note, they do allow smoking. Kind of a bummer for those sensitive to (or simply do not like the smell!) of cigarette smoke.
I recommend arriving for an early weekend morning breakfast in order to take advantage of the cooler temperatures. The restaurant was not overly crowded and we enjoyed the peaceful surroundings.
Overall, East Lake Cafe is a great choice in the area for a relaxed breakfast or lunch dining experience. Don't go here expecting to get in an out in ten minutes. Enjoy the quiet outdoor setting along with a fantastic omelet and a great cup of coffee. It's the perfect way to start your weekend! Hopefully in the future they will ban smoking for the comfort of all guests!