Because of all the other positive reviews of the Wheaton location of Egg Harbor Cafe (#2 restaurant in all of Wheaton!), we (4 people) decided to go for our annual Christmas Eve brunch. To say the least, we were not thrilled.
We arrived a few minutes before our reservation time and they were quite busy, but we got our table immediately despite the waiting line which was a nice start. Now, I realize it was a busy holiday and expected it to be pretty crowded, and it was, but it had to be about the noisiest place I've ever eaten. I chalk it up to the interior which has a high metal ceiling which probably amplifies every sound, rather than a softer, acoustic-type ceiling material which would absorb sound better. Seriously, it was like a VERY noisy sports bar during a game broadcast, except that the one we go to sometimes, even when it's crowded, isn't nearly that loud.
Two of us who came in first were seated immediately. The waiter said he'd be right with us. The other two in our party who were parking the car arrived a few minutes later. Usually at a breakfast place, the wait staff promptly stop by to get coffee/drink orders, but we then waited for quite a while until our waiter made a 2nd appearance in the dining room to take our orders.
Then, "the Decaf Incident" happened. My spouse ordered decaf and when the waiter came back with the coffees and started to pour hers, she asked him, just to be sure, if it was decaf. (She's ordered decaf before only to get the real thing, so she checks.) He very sarcastically said he "thought she was joking" and went out of his way to comment about it a few more times, like we besmirched his family name or something. We must have breached sacred breakfast-place protocol because he made quite a big deal of it, like he was really insulted, and he wasn't joking. We thought that rather odd.
Otherwise, he did a fine job with the orders, everything was correct and he was ever-present, but that put us off a bit, unfortunately.
This is of course entirely personal preference, but I enjoy nothing more at a breakfast place than a great, homemade corned beef hash. I make my own (spectacular!) with our annual St. Patrick's Day dinner leftovers at home, and so it's a treat for me on the occasions when we do go out for breakfast, which isn't often. They don't have corned beef hash at any of the local Egg Harbor locations which means we'd likely not repeat there, UNLESS we were really bowled over by other items, which we weren't, sadly.
So in lieu of my usual, I got the Matt's Meaty Skillet, described in the menu as "loaded with bacon, ham and sausage." It was nowhere close. There was VERY little meat in my Meaty. There was easily 3 times as much potato as the combined meats. The "Harbor potatoes" are fine and all, and they were plentiful, but I didn't order (or expect) a skillet "loaded with potatoes" and then sprinkled lightly with meat. And I had to look carefully to see the jack and cheddar cheese topping as there wasn't much of that, either. Everyone else's egg-based dishes - an omelette, a Rösti, and a different skillet - were all very ordinary according to the others in our party. Worse, our food was just warm, English muffins included, like perhaps it had sat for a bit before being picked up. Nothing makes a so-so dish more unappealing than when it's simply not hot. That's something very basic any restaurant should get right, IMO. Their coffee was good, so there's that.
Oh, and as all the breakfast dishes are served with their English muffins, I expected them to be very special, like it's "their thing." But they're just average store-bought English muffins.
So, as a clever reader would have already guessed, we weren't that happy with our trip to the Cafe. Our day wasn't ruined or anything because of it, but it wasn't the nice experience out together that we look forward to for our Christmas brunch. Afterwards, I recalled that I'd been to their Geneva location several years ago but we had never returned because I don't think it wasn't all that great, either. We'd probably not return to any of their locations but we'll try somewhere new next time we dine out for breakfast.