The Patio Café
is located at 1156 Front Street in Conway, in what used to be Something Brewing. It’s been around for a couple of years now, but it was only last week that the awning proclaiming the previous name of the restaurant came down. Serving a variety of lunch and breakfast items, The Patio Café has quickly become a staple for both ends of the spectrum—retired folks coming for an early coffee and college students coming for a late brunch after a late night. They also serve lunch.
The Patio Café bakes much of their pastry selection, including muffins, cinnamon buns, and challah bread. Their challah bread serves as the base of their French toast, which I’ve had, and will have again.
In fact, I’ve had a pretty broad selection from their menu, and while their lunch items are perfectly good, it’s their breakfast that really shines. Their eggs benedict is downright famous at a summer program at which I teach yearly—both the spicy and the regular versions.
Today I had the regular eggs benedict, and it was a perfect Sunday starter, as always. The eggs were perfectly poached, a fairly difficult feat to accomplish—at least in my book. The fresh Hollandaise is always well-drizzled, never drenching, and their ham is sliced to a perfect thickness for the dish.
I don’t know about you, but I could eat potatoes in one form or another for basically every meal. To my delight, the hash browns at The Patio Café are well-browned on top, meaning you get some good crunch in each bite, just as the original food critics always intended.
My friend ordered the sausage gravy on biscuits, which I hadn’t tried before. I tried a bite this day, and was thrilled to find their biscuits very shortening-y. The scratch-made gravy was rich, with huge chunks of sausage throughout.
Breakfast is a win at The Patio Café, and their lunch is worth eating as well. They’ve undergone a shift in management (not ownership) in the last year, and the results are clear—previous wait times were insanely long, but so far seem to have been drastically cut, and the wait staff is consistently friendly. On the downside, I did ask for a glass of water three separate times to two separate people, yet it never appeared. My coffee was kept full, however, so perhaps that was the trade-off.
The atmosphere is relaxed—I am always comfortable in the most casual of weekend clothes, and were I ten years younger I might be happy to show up in pajama pants. Of course, part of why I love going there is because it makes me feel like a college student again, without the requirement of going back to college. And during pleasant weather, the giant patio provides lots of shade to listen to the guitarist who comes in the morning on weekends to play a little set.
If you want good food served in a funky little space, swing in here. The parking’s easy, the coffee fresh, and the patio worth the drive.