David Lange wrote:Andrew, I see what you mean with "limited". With only 41 selections on the menu, the menu seems pretty sparse. I guess the 74 locations that they now have must be doing something wrong.
Maybe it's me; if so, I apologize. I've been to restaurants with only a dozen items on the menu, but where each is so unusual and wonderful sounding that I can't wait to order, and seen others with 41 items on the menu that all appear variations on a theme, not different, not unusual, maybe (for breakfast) a step above Bob Evans but that don't manage to excite me. First Watch is just not exciting. When we go I don't say to my wife, "boy, I'm really looking forward to their Everything Muffin" as I say entering Wild Eggs.
I put the First Watch menu in the category of not boring but at least to me definitely not exciting or "fun".
(by the way, as the on-line menu says, not all selections are available at all locations . . . in fact, I've been to four locations, and none had anywhere near that many choices - most had 1/3 to 1/2 of them)
As I said, what they do they do well. When we're in Cincinnati, we go frequently, as there is a location around the corner from some relatives. In Cleveland, we bypass it for either The Original Pancake House or one of the local deli's. It's not in Chicago, but could never compete with Toast, Orange, Yolk, Walker Brothers Original Pancake, or literally dozens of local pancake houses.
No question but there are a lot of worse chains out there, that are still at least as successful with as many locations as First Watch. I can't defend people's taste in restaurants. It certainly provides comfort food, nothing truly "risky", and loved by the masses, but given a choice between First Watch and Wild Eggs/Verbana/Toast/several others in town there is no question where I'd go.