Checked out this café on 101A for the first time today; it's in the old J. Beaners location. I had some time to kill and brought my laptop to take advantage of their free Wifi along with coffee and breakfast.
A white board directs you to seat yourself anywhere and wait for a server to come to you. The restaurant is separated into two sections: one with standard table and chairs for dining, the other with "bar" type set-up and stools, which is where I sat with my computer. The first problem is that it took over 10 minutes for the waitress to acknowledge my presence. There was one other gentleman in the bar area at the time, and the waitress--she seemed to be the only one working--was refilling his coffee and chatting with him in between waiting on the customers in the dining area, but seemed not to see me until I fought to make eye contact with her on one of her trips behind the counter to the register. And therein lies the crux of the problem. This one waitress had to do everything: she was taking orders, pouring coffee, serving the food, clearing plates, taking the checks and giving back change, in addition to serving the take-out customers. Frankly, that's ridiculous. Anyway, by the time she got over to me, she had her pen poised take my order, then sheepishly realized I'd never been given a menu. Not off to a good start.
I had coffee and ordered Eggs Benedict. I pretty much order this everywhere whenever I go out for breakfast; I can't resist it, though they offered "Farmers' Wraps", omlettes, and pastries as well as other breakfast standards. It took just under 20 minutes for my food to be brought to me. One of my eggs was slightly undercooked, but it was otherwise unremarkable. (Not that I was expecting anything out of this world; I'm well aware that this is not an overly complicated dish.) It was just...fine. Nothing special, nothing horrible. It was served with roasted potatoes and a half slice of orange, for $6.99. The next problem: the waitress never came back to ask how it was, or if I wanted anything else. She didn't reappear until I was 5 minutes past finished with my meal, when she came to clear the plate. She did refill my coffee at that time, which was nice (45 minutes after the first cup). She never came back with the bill; maybe she didn't want to rush me as I nursed the second cup of (weak) coffee and surfed the net. I eventually got up and presented myself at the counter to pay. By that time, a second waitress had appeared, so maybe other customers didn't have to wait as long as I did; I can't say for sure.
As I said, the food wasn't anything to write home about, but what I ordered wasn't exactly earth-shattering. If I had been more adventuresome, I might have been more impressed with what they had to offer. If they work out their staffing issues, and make better coffee, it could be a nice place to linger.
Cassidy's Grille & Coffee House
25 State Route 101A, Amherst, NH 03031
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