August 10, 2008

La Bellavia

By Angele Sionna

18 S. Beaver St., Flagstaff, AZ
(no menu online)

The Food (taste/flavor/quality of food & drinks)
>>>>= a favorite, can count on it being good every time

The Atmosphere (environment, wait staff, comfortableness)
xxxx= comfortable

Price (what to generally expect to pay per person per entree)
$= under $10

Value (what you get for your money)
**** = worth it - you won’t be disappointed with what you get for your money
I don’t think a morning has passed that I drove by La Bellavia on the weekend and it wasn’t packed. Finally after stopping one night to browse the menu, we decided to go the next morning. The atmosphere is inviting with flowers and two much sought after outdoor tables full of satisfied looking customers as you walkthrough the door. There’s an old fashioned feel inside with simple décor and colorful walls. The sweet aroma of pancakes, syrup and eggs filled the air, reassuring me that we made the right choice in coming here this morning.

All around the restaurant hang paintings done by a local artist, which change monthly. They’re all for sale. La Bell, as some locals call it, takes part in the monthly art walk that Flagstaff hosts.

Photobucket La Bell is known for their Swedish Oat Cakes ($4.25 for one). These huge buttermilk and oat cakes are served with a hot cinnamon apple topping. They taste like a treat, but they’re pretty good for you. (A perfect combination.) They’re so big that if you eat a whole stack of three oat cakes, they’ll take your photo and hang it on the wall… plus if it’s a weekday they’ll give you a free coffee mug too. You can also order a side-sized oat cake, which is the size of a normal pancake other places, for $2. It’s the perfect size for kids or to pair up with the Spuds Medley ($5.95), which is what we did.

The Spuds Medley ($5.95) consists of country potatoes served with two cheeses, sour crème, salsa, bell peppers and onions. While these were good, next time I’m going to opt for just the regular size oat cake instead, as it’s far superior.

Photobucket This breakfast joint also does the classics well. The omelet ($7.75) is filled with your choice of cheese plus two additional fillings (we choose cheddar cheese, sausage and ham.). It comes topped with hollandaise sauce and is served with an English muffin and a side-sized buttermilk pancake or country potatoes. (These are the side options for almost all the breakfast entrees here). The omelet was cooked perfectly… not overly dry, full of flavor and juicy without being too salty. The sausage chunks were huge instead of being crumbled, which was a little weird but tasted yummy. We opted for the buttermilk pancake as one of our sides and it was excellent: sweet and fluffy. The English muffin was also fresh and tasty.

Other popular choices… The Trout and Eggs combo ($8.95). The Idaho trout is pan-fried and comes with the standard side choices. La Bellavia also serves their own handmade pastries.

The kids menu has several great options. Among them: a Koala Bear Pancake ($3.25), three Silver Dollar Pancakes ($2.75) and French Toast Fingers ($3.75).

The best deal on the menu… the weekday early bird special. From 6:30-8am Monday through Friday you get two eggs, an English muffin, buttermilk pancake or country potatoes, all for just $3.95.

Breakfast is the big draw at La Bell and they know it. It’s served all day every day. But they also do offer a lunch menu with sandwiches, wraps and quiches.

For more photos from LaBellavia click HERE.



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