First Watch Daytime Café serves up a smile

First Watch features breakfast and lunch daily at Cedar Center.

Until a friend invited me there for a breakfast meeting, I thought First Watch was a medical supplies store. Tucked in the back of Cedar Center near Whole Foods, First Watch is actually a café that serves up breakfast, brunch and lunch…and wonderful customer service.

The restaurant’s name is inspired by a nautical reference, referring to the first shift of the day. (Okay, now I get it.)

Service was exceptional during both occasions I visited. I actually remember my server’s warm smile as much as the tasty espresso French toast on sourdough from my first visit ($6.49 daily special).

On a Saturday morning while my husband and I waited 10 short minutes for a table, we overheard a customer complimenting his server to the cashier as he paid, setting the tone for our meal.

Our server greeted us with warmth and knowledge about the menu. She steered us well when we sought her suggestions. For example, the cranberry nut pancakes are available in stacks of one, two or three (love that!). When I asked how many I should order if I wanted home fries too, she was right on the money with a recommendation of one ($2.79), which was the size of a 10-inch dinner plate. The home fries were seasoned, not too salty, and grease-free.

First Watch offers guests other hospitable touches like free coffee, newspapers and Wi-Fi. There’s a nice amount of space between tables to permit private conversations, and booths are roomy. The décor is as friendly as the staff with warm colors and cheery breakfast artwork.

I’m the kind of girl who can eat pancakes all day, so I was pleased there wasn’t a breakfast cut-off. Other breakfast items include omelets and "crepeggs" (crepes combined with whipped eggs).

Lunch options include salads, wraps and specialty sandwiches like the BLTE, a BLT plus fried egg, cheese and mayo ($6.59).

“The Healthier Side” of the menu features dishes that are lower in fat like fresh fruit crepes ($6.39) and a turkey and egg-white power wrap ($6.99).

No trans-fats are used in any menu item, and low-carb and gluten-free options are available too. Nutritional information for every dish is available online, although I was shocked when I read that my one cranberry nut pancake contained 32 grams of fat!

In addition to the two-year-old University Heights cafe, First Watch has Rocky River and Westlake locations.

Per her grandmother, Christina Klenotic is a “good eater” who never met a carb she didn’t like. She enjoys sampling our area’s eclectic restaurants, galleries and neighborhoods.

13950 Cedar Road

University Heights, OH 44118


Open daily from 7 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.

Carry out available

Read More on Restaurant Reviews
Volume 1, Issue 6, Posted 10:11 PM, 08.27.2008