Gina’s Family restaurant, Fall River

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mike I had some well spent time with Ray today…talked some sense into him. Ray has NE Sports Fan Syndrome. No matter how well a NE team is doing the local fan affected by this disease feels extremely pessimistic about that team’s chances of winning. You’re welcome, Ray now thinks the Pats will win. It was a long ride…to Gina’s 950 Wilson Rd in, where else, Fall River! Wierd place for a restaurant. It was right in the middle of a residential neighborhood. Nice find, though, and worth it if just for the homefries. Let’s begin there! The homefries were amazing! Nice flavor (obviously cooked in some chourico juices) and cooked very well. Large chunks, too, which are usually not cooked through…these were. I would have liked them with some crisp on them. If they had it would have made these homefries top three all time. As it is they are way up there. The coffee was pretty good, too. Smooth, not strong tasting and no acidic after taste. Nice and hot, too, with refills for the asking. The omelette I chose, chourico hash with provolone, sounded better than it was. I was thinking spicy and got mild. The chourico was ground but I wouldn’t call it hash…it was just in small, uniform pieces with nothing else to complement it but the eggs and cheese. Not hash. Overall it was ok but I guess I was expecting more. I will give the homefries an 8.5 and the coffee a 7.5 and the omelette a 6 for a score of 7.4

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ray Back to one of our most favorite cities, Fall River, and Mike chose Gina’s Family Restaurant. This is one of those places you really have to want to go to. Not on the main roads to anywhere, and really set in a neighborhood. We wondered if the place came first and neighborhood grew up around it. Pleasant waitress got us our coffee quickly. Mike checked out any Specials, but apparently they were all lunch specials. I went with my most familiar omelet, the Western with home fries. Coffee was really hot, but it was good. I’d say above average, and the refills were plentiful. The breakfasts arrived and both of our omelets were over the edge of the plate, really large. Let’s start with the amazing home fries. Right up there with the best I have had. Both of us could tell that they used chourico grease and some butter to cook them on the flattop which made their flavor fantastic. Although my Western was oversized it was underwhelming. The omelet itself was very thin, and all of the contents were over cooked. The ham was deli type, sliced ham chopped in pieces, onions and green peppers were chopped and mushy. There were slices of tomatoes in there also, and that is not one of the ingredients of a Western omelet. Coffee, 7; home fries, 9; meal, 5; Overall, 7.

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JJ’s, Brockton, MA

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ray After many tries, I finally got to take Mike to this breakfast spot recommended by our good friend Jason Bacon. It is a hike from Rehoboth, about 45 minutes, but truly worth the experience. I love this breakfast place….so maybe I should be less obtuse, JJ’s, 610 N Main St, Brockton, MA, is just great!!! As with many of the places we go, it does not have a flashy exterior and may have a small parking area, but oh what you will find inside is top shelf. Not may places that we have been to have tables with a small bud vase and a real flower, as well as linen napkins. Classy. But that is just the beginning of the JJ’s experience. One of the Specials was Red Velvet Pancakes, makes me almost want to go back and try some. The wait staff are very attentive, and super friendly. Our waitress, Imee, was right there answering questions about everything from the menu to their homemade hot sauce. Coffee was very good, and the refills were plentiful. Both of us took several cups. I had to have the “Hash Bomb”. A multi-level breakfast served with home fries, homemade hash, sausage gravy, cheese, and topped with two over easy eggs. Every bite had several levels of flavor, including a nice little spicy zing, every so often, that I just could not figure out which of the ingredients it was from. Everything combined so very well. Trying to take this apart and weighing in on all the components would be impossible. Imee asked us about where we were from and when we told her we had traveled quite a distance, she was impressed. Later, as we were finishing, she came back with a complimentary “sweet dish”, banana bread French toast with fresh bananas and drizzled with caramel sauce. img_0110Each of us took a very small bite and it was amazing. Had to bring it back for Rev. Sarah and Kathy to share. The owner and head chef, Chef Fernandes stopped by and spoke with us for a few minutes, nice.  Ok, ratings, coffee, 7; home fries, 9; meal 9.9. Overall, 8.7. Starting the year very strong.

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mike Road trip! And we took the LONG way, oh boy! Ray reminded me that, “There are two extra lights if we go the short way”. Glad I brought snacks. JJ’s. I have heard SO much about this place…been there once, but it was closed. So, about two hours after leaving 139 we found it. This is not an easy review. After a lot of build up anticipation was high. First impressions were amazing. I will describe the decor, the place settings, the staff and our experience with them as understated elegance. Every aspect of our time there was obviously, deliberately determined by management. Example: After we were greeted and brought to our table the waiter paused and did not place my menu down until I was seated. A little thing, yes, but nice. Service and coffee were prompt and handled by a personable, outgoing waitress. Another plus. The coffee was good, a couple steps above average. JJ’s is a little bit pricey and has some unique breakfast offerings so I decided to go with something a bit unusual, a salmon bennie. Ray was paying so why not. Actually, we both wondered if salmon would work well in a bennie, but what the heck. It doesn’t, at least not for me. Regretted it from the first bite. My fault, not JJ’s. The salmon overpowered everything. It also had no seasonings and, I felt, may have been canned. Normally, this is where a nice, runny, liquid gold deliciousness would come in. Just stir around that yolk and everything tastes better. This is where JJ’s made a mistake and still made a fan out of me. While ordering, Imee, our amazing waitress, specifically asked if I wanted the yolks runny or cooked longer. Runny, if course. They weren’t. (Sigh) Ray noticed the moment I opened up an egg. However, a few moments later Imee also noticed and immediately asked if they could make it right. Seriously, wow! How attentive must you be to notice if someone’s eggs aren’t as runny as they should be? I was impressed! Again, details. The homefries, like the coffee, were several levels above average. I enjoyed them despite the salmon flavor which pervaded everything. Honestly, despite what you may deduce from this review, I would really like to return to JJ’s and try something else, preferably without fish. I cannot emphasize enough my admiration for the friendly, efficient, very well trained waitstaff. The chef even sent us a sample of the banana French toast with caramel sauce. Diabetic considerations only allowed me a bite but, wow, it was amazing! So, take my score and dismiss it and if you are ever in Brockton go to JJ’s. Coffee and homefries a seven each and the bennie a five for a score of 6.3

Buford’s, Pawtucket

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mike Have you ever seen the movie Elf? In one scene Buddy takes Jovi to a restaurant to try a cup of coffee while blind folded. “It’s a crappy cup of coffee,” she says. In another scene Buddy sprays passion fruit scented perfume into his mouth. Remember the look on his face and the noise he made? Today, Ray and I decided to recreate those scenes in honor of our first review of 2019! We traveled to Buford’s Restaurant at 474 Pawtucket Ave in Pawtucket today. We’ve had a range of experiences in Pawtucket. Some have been really good. Some have been really bad. The coffee was that bad. Ray may have mentioned Jimmy’s…it was worse than that. I ordered an OJ and Ray asked for water to have something to drink. We even tried a second sip. Ray bowed out as I soldiered on for a third but that was it. Neither Ray or I got the star word “kindness” but we agreed not to bring Sarah and Kathy coffee from Buford’s even though they’ve been dropping subtle hints, like, “Why don’t you guys bring us coffee?” (Ask anyone you know from Rehoboth Congregational Church what a star word is) What about breakfast? Well, the homefries were ok, which is a grade above meh. Very little crisp and less flavoring. And the sausage was ok, too. Short, fat links you can pick up in the freezer section. Nothing bad but not special, either. I liked the OJ. The waitress was pleasant and up for a little banter which is always a plus. But she kept offering us more coffee. Hmmmm. So, and this is generous, the coffee gets a zero. Harsh, but you weren’t there. The homefries and overall breakfast get five each for an overall score under three and a half. (Sigh) On a positive note the only way to go from here is up, right?

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ray  Our first breakfast of 2019 and it was truly memorable. I can honestly say that I have never experienced a cup of coffee like this EVER.

After Mike’s plan A was closed, he moved on to plan B, Bufords, in Pawtucket. Now it is a little odd to find a fireplace in a diner, and only one person sitting at the counter, especially when most breakfast places usually have a steady stream of customers. The one person at the counter was there when we came in, and was still there when we left. Must have been a regular. I didn’t see him drink any coffee, but if he did he is certainly a better man that either of us. Granted, Mike and I are real aficionados of a good cup of coffee, and really look forward to that first cup. Most of the time we give a pass to the first sip, figuring that our mouths are not ready for it, so we usually give the second taste highest factor in rating. I nearly gagged on the first taste. It was awful!! After several moments to compose, I reluctantly took that second sip. Ackkkkk, yuck, bruff….just the most undrinkable cup of hot something I have ever had, and I drank Army coffee!!! I ordered a Western omelet, the only other omelet on the menu was “make-your-own”. Never saw such a limited set of choices for omelets. While there, the waitress offered refills, and poured one for Mike before he could decline, and I immediately held my had over the cup, not fearing the hot liquid. I asked for water, please. The western came with home fries. Those home fries were average. Not much else to say about them, boiled potatoes with a little seasoning, and very little crispness. The omelet was dry, flat, and the ingredients were very salty. I look at this experience with the hope and knowledge that we can only do better, please, I cannot envision anything lower on the breakfast diner scale. Coffee, 0 (only because it came in a cup); home fries, 5. Overall 2.5. Onward…..

2018 Breakfast Pick !!!

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The Breakfast Boys would like to announce the winner of their “2018 Breakfast Pick”. As was the case last year, the winner is from Fall River, the Javahouse, at 139 South Main Street. We met with Katy on Sunday and presented her with our very special plaque. This is not your usual breakfast/lunch diner, but we feel that you will be very pleased with any meal you choose.

Onward to finding our hidden gems of breakfast places for 2019!!!