Belvedere Coffee Shop

Written by on May 21, 2011 in I Eat America, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(No website found at time of publishing, but you can check out: – Virginia Beach, Virginia

How I heard of this place: When we checked into our hotel last night, the casual, friendly grandpa assisting us recommended it when I asked for a good breakfast/brunch place in the area. He began to point out the “healthy” restaurant at the Sheraton, then thought to ask, “Do you want healthy food or diner food?” I immediately responded, “Diner food!” and he obliged. The Belvedere Hotel it was. The unobtrusive, rectangular, white sign above the doorway to the diner read, Coffee Shop in black, italicized letters resembling a diner sign out of the 1950s. Inside, it was no different!

Type of cuisine: A diner through and through, the menu, offered to patrons at the café as well as via room service to guests at the Belvedere, serves breakfast and lunch. A typical American style – eggs, bacon, pancakes, toast, hash browns – or an omelet, Western style, with ham, cheese, green bell peppers and onion, or breakfast sandwiches with the same ingredients are available, as well as light, fluffy, buttery, pancakes. Sandwiches, burgers and the like are available for lunch. Beverages include sodas, juices, drip coffee (in regular or decaf), tea, hot chocolate, chocolate milk and milk.

Ambiance: Walking through the first gate to the pool area, then a second, nearly hidden gate into the Coffee Shop, one almost wonders if he is in the right spot. And sure enough, he is! A sweet, elderly man, probably in his mid- to late-eighties hold the door open for me and my dining companion, both of us in our mid- to late-thirties, but proclaims, “Come on through, Sonny! I always hold the door for an old man.” And then turns to me and winks as he walks through. Walking through the blue doorway, we are offered seats at the counter by our robust waitress, probably in her fifties, pen behind the ear and plates of food to be delivered to one of the six bright blue booths. We sat in the middle of the nine or ten blue, plastic, spinning stools at the white, linoleum counter. The booths are set to the right, along the wall as you enter the space, reserved for parties of two or more, and fitting up to four comfortably. The last booth, at the far right corner of the establishment, has only one bench, for two people, looking out the large window over some greenery and the expanse of the Boardwalk and Oceanfront. Absolutely stunning, the sun glistens in the water, the waves crashing against the shore and the tan-colored sand inviting you to rush out immediately after consuming your meal. To the left of the space, directly ahead of you as you enter is the cash-register, promoting California-made chocolates ( with pieces of French toast, Tortillas with Lime & Salt or dark chocolate (53%) with Ramen noodles. The kitchen, in plain site is just ahead, lined with the counter for additional seating. A mirror on the wall opposite the window facing the Beach hosts a large mirror, providing a semblance of expansive space, but, in actuality, showing how small the establishment truly is. Two waitresses, one cook, a prep-cook and a bus boy all work the row of space granted to them among the cozy and packed supplies on the counters, shelves, walls and in freezers, refrigerators and cabinets, leaving no space unfilled. The temperament is extremely casual, service friendly when the waitresses feel like it, and the food greasy goodness.

What I ordered: I selected the third of the three, preset breakfast specials ($6.75): two eggs (any style, I chose over-medium), two pancakes, bacon (sausuage or ham were also options) and coffee (tea or soda). My dining companion decided on the Western Omelette ($6.50) with green peppers, onions, tomatoes and bacon with a toasted English muffin (for me), a side of three slices of bacon ($2.85), and a cranberry juice.

What I loved: The pancakes were light and fluffy, large and soaked up the fresh maple syrup beautifully! The omelet was cooked thin, the vegetables sautéed just enough to get soft but still maintain a level of crispness, with an abundance of cheese. My eggs, cooked over medium, were butter-crisped on the edges and running and smooth in the center, creating the perfect medium for my well-buttered English muffin. Truly, it was a diner, simple, no frills, greasy goodness.

Why I loved it: Although we did not have the opportunity to sit there on this visit, I most enjoyed the idea of the two-person booth at the window, whose one bench faces the ocean. The food, the wait-staff, the cook, everything about this place reads diner and a great one, at that!

Cost: Low ($6-$8 per breakfast entrée)

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