Eat Your Breakfast!

Mary Ann Fitzmorris August 20, 2019 05:00 Breakfast

If I could get into a time warp, the very last button I would push would be the Seventies. Yuck. Which is probably why we never go to Mande’s in Mandeville. I don’t think a thing has been done to the place since it opened.

Over the weekend we went back to get a fuller picture of what goes on there for breakfast, as part of the breakfast series we do. On the last visit the food was fine but not exceptional, and the service exceptionally bad. I credit that to a surplus of people wanting to eat there. It was full to capacity and beyond.

That day I had a breakfast combo which included a pancake, and I thought the pancake tasted fine but not exceptional. Tom had a Benedict. What I have been looking for in this series is places that are doing breakfast circa 2019, even if they have been around since 1959. (None of them have.) 

What I have noticed is that there are a few oldies, but whether they are goodies depends on who you ask. The concept of breakfast has really evolved since a lot of these places started serving it: Ricobbono’s Peppermill in 1976, Russell’s Marina Grill in 1985, and Mande’s in 1978.

Of these three, the most modern is Russell’s Marina Grill, which has menu items that are currently innovative. But this piece is about Mande’s which has a board of specials when you enter, I’ll give them that, but the imagination extends out to a fried oyster Benny. After a real examination of the menu, which we didn’t do last time, there wasn’t anything especially modern about this menu. Mande’s is depending on its longtime customer base to keep it solvent.

I have no idea how things are going-they are quite busy, but there are now 12 places serving breakfast on the north shore (we counted this time), and some of them quite good. Like Dakota, who used to be the north shore’s only fine dining game in town, there are now many other options for breakfast.

This time both of us got Benedicts. Mine was Sardou, with a bleak-looking oyster artichoke layer over fresh tomato on English muffin. Tom liked his fried oyster Benedict pretty well, and his cappuccino even more. And he liked our little server best of all, because she listened to his jokes. With a smile, even though she was very busy. 

I will say one thing about Mande’s that I especially like. They are serving country potatoes that are not these uniformly-cubed and fried imposters that restaurants insist on calling hash browns. That’s the good news. The bad news is that they came to the table ice cold. Too bad. They would have been good with some salt and heat. These potatoes are mixed with caramelized onions and roasted till crisp. They would have been a great addition to any breakfast plate in a prime state.

It was a fitting coincidence that we went to Mande’s on the 50th anniversary of Woodstock. The restaurant has a hippie vibe, or is it biker? Or both? Either way, it is a blast from the past. And the pace of service makes me think they may be doing some time travel to fetch our food. Don’t go here in a hurry.


340 N  Causeway Blvd Mandeville


7-2  seven days