Disclaimer: This post was written and these photographs were taken in February of 2020 before the pandemic hit the states. Be sure to check their website to refer to what restrictions are in place and as always, stay safe and responsible!
We came across Bittersweet Kitchen after Han watched an episode of Check Please, Philly and saw the people on the show raving about how delicious their meal was. On one particular Saturday where we had a little extra time to spare, we decided to hop in the car, drive down to Media, PA and try the restaurant for ourselves. Before we get into our experience and what we feel you should know before you go, allow us to share a bit about the cafe.
Bittersweet Kitchen is a cafe located on 18 S Orange Street in Media, PA. The cafe describes itself as a “homey cafe featuring an eclectic lineup of New American chow, including all-day breakfast and lunch.” After spending some time in the cafe, you immediately see why it’s described as such. It’s a cozy cafe where the servers are polite, welcoming and make you feel as if you’re walking into a familiar place, even if it’s your first time. When you’re waiting for a table, they offer you free coffee while you wait and a place to sit until a table opens up. We’ve been to our fair share of cafes, but that’s the first time any place we’ve been to has ever offered us such hospitality while we waited for a table.
Speaking of the wait, this brings me to one of the things we think you should keep in mind before you go.
PREPARE FOR A WAIT
Unless you get there early, around the time that they first open, prepare for a wait – especially if you want a table. It’s one of the most popular cafes in the area because the food is incredible, the ambiance is comfortable, and the servers are great. As a result, however, unless you’ve added your name to the waitlist or unless you come early, you’re probably going to be in for a little bit of a wait if you go on a Saturday or Sunday. Our wait was around 30 minutes, but they really do a great job at accomodating you while you wait to make sure you’re comfortable if you decide to stay. From the free coffee to checking in with you to let you know how many more tables are ahead of you, they’re so considerate that it made even our 30-minute wait a comfortable one.
IT’S A BIT SMALL:
This is not a negative thing, because Han and I love cozy cafes. In fact, one of our favorite cafes that we used to frequent a lot when we lived near Manayunk is smaller than this establishment. However, if you’re going for the first time, it is important to note that it is a small space. They are very accomodating to large groups as I’ve seen them place several tables together, but I would recommend calling an hour ahead if you’re planning to bring a party with more than four people, so they can accommodate your group.
THE PORTION SIZES ARE GREAT:
One of the other things we loved about the cafe is the size of the portions. I have been to some restaurants where the portion sizes are so small that you leave feeling like you aren’t getting what you paid for. However, here I feel like the portion sizes are large enough that you leave your feel not only feeling full, but you leave knowing the price you paid is justified for the amazing meal you just had.
If you are planning to sample some of the other items from their menu, feel free to do so, but keep in mind that you’re getting full portions of each thing and will probably end up taking some of it to go. I was very close to trying the s’ mores pancakes they had as a special that day, but I did not because I saw the portion sizes of the dishes they brought around to tables while they were waiting.
Speaking of the food…
THE FOOD IS INCREDIBLE:
I know “incredible” is a word I personally use often to describe food that I enjoy, but we both enjoyed our meal very much. I got the Huevos Rancheros which included a tortilla fried like a tostada, roasted potatoes, two eggs, pico de gallo, guacamole, onion, and their housemade chili. My husband got the Southern Pileup which included potatoes, fried egg, and biscuits with their homemade sausage gravy. Both of us left feeling satisfied with our meals and very, very full.
For our drinks, after getting our fillups of hot coffee, I ordered their cold brew coffee, which I believe is made in house. I am not entirely sure what brand of coffee they use, but even without sugar and just cream, I was pleased with the taste of their coffee. The flavor was robust with a little acidity, but not so much that it tasted tart. Even when I eventually added sugar to it after a few sips, it was still delicious.
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WOULD WE RECOMMEND IT?
We cannot speak highly of our experience there and we would highly recommend that you visit if you’re in the area. If you are looking for a cozy place to visit while visiting or traveling through Media, PA, you will absolutely love this place. Everything from the food to the service was one that will have us coming back for future brunch, date days and with friends.
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