Mike and I got off “the Hill” and ventured back to Bristol RI where we had had breakfast at The Station and Green Eggs. This morning it was The Bee Hive Café, 10 Franklin St. This is a very different kind of restaurant. You walk into a small entry area where you can take a regular menu, or see some of their specials for the day. Your order is taken right there, you pay, and are given your beverage and a ceramic animal! Then you proceed upstairs to the cozy dining area overlooking the roof, and a view of the bay. A couple of things to start. I got this recommendation from a friend at church, Susan, and was very excited to visit a new place. On Monday, my wife and I had several early morning errands so I asked if she wanted to try the Bee Hive for breakfast, and we headed out. Bear with me, this plays several roles in this review. Barbara is a tea drinker and she flipped over the number of choices of teas that were offered in a very nice display. Me, “Coffee, black, no sugar”. Our choices included a side of hash browns as the Bee Hive does not offer home fries. We both loved the hash browns and thought they were perfectly seasoned and the chef used fresh potatoes. Ok now back to this morning…..my choice today was different from what I chose on Monday. I chose the butternut cornbread hash house made cornbread with butternut squash, tomato, spinach and cheddar, two eggs over easy, and home made rye toast. Remember that I mentioned the ceramic animal? And although Mike tried to convince me it was a cow, it was really a rhinoceros ( the guy does need glasses, all the time ). The animal is how they know what customers get which order. I loved the hash. So different and perfectly seasoned. The toast was great and obviously home made. The eggs were fine, can’t mess them up too bad. Now to the coffee, it was bitter and very strong. I love a good coffee and enjoy it’s flavor, but the bitterness overpowered the flavor. Both of us enjoy sitting and solving world problems, the Patriots, Red Sox and anything else which comes to our attention. But we usually do this while having our second or third refill. No refills. L Granted because of the quality of the coffee, from my opinion, I would not have asked for a refill, but it would have been nice to be asked. The little things in a restaurant mean a lot to us. A waitress stopping to ask how everything was, the décor, and general ambiance mean something. In fact it also lends to how much the gratuity will be. Here you were asked to give a tip, when you paid, even before the meal. This review is long, and may seem harsh, but I loved my meal and really would go back to try their very interesting dinner menu ( Thursday-Saturday). Rating 3 out of 4 cups.
Let’s do something different today. I’m going to begin with my rating and work backwards. I give the Bee Hive 3 cups. The Bee Hive is quirky and intriguing. Ray went over what makes this place unique. That’s all fine and good though I will, in full disclosure, note that the water view first includes a rather large expanse of industrial style roofing. Just sayin’. But that is not the reason the restaurant did not rise above a three in my opinion. Quirkiness aside, I go for the food. And breakfast always starts with coffee. I/we was/were disappointed. Strong and bitter. Ray procured some sweet n low from somewhere (he reached down to get some…I am convinced he keeps a stash in his right sock. What’s in his left sock is up for conjecture) to sweeten his coffee. This brings up another component of a restaurant experience. Ray and I enjoy the personal interaction with the waitstaff. As Ray mentioned this does not happen here. If you want anything like sugar or water or another napkin you need to get it yourself. Ray does not keep extra coffee in his socks. To be honest, neither of us was inclined too ask for more. The vegetarian breakfast burrito was very good. I liked it a lot. Very tasty with nice ingredients…the avocado was lost within the many ingredients. Not being a huge avocado fan this was a plus. However, the side of roasted chick peas was bland and, as Ray noted, merely warm. For me this was not a “wow” experience like our experience the past two weeks at the Grange and Julian’s. Perhaps I may have rated the Bee Hive higher if we hadn’t visited the Providence restaurants prior to this one. It’s just that the last two weeks have shown us a different, higher standard for this type (non-traditional) of breakfast. I liked it but I know it could be so much better.