Lina’s – Breakfast Review

Lina’s Buttermilk Pancakes/DSC07730 Lina’s Homefries/DSC07734 Lina’s Broccoli, Tomato and Mozzarella Omelet/DSC07738 The Famous LinaDSC07728

I love to cook, I love to eat. I love to talk to cooks whose food I love to eat. And as a cook, I am very particular about where and what I eat. So, I am happy to dedicate this column to Lina, the cook whose food I love to eat!

My friend, Mela, and I have been going to breakfast for years. It started with four friends, Sandy, Jeannie, Mela and I. Sandy and Jeannie moved away a few years ago, and Mela and I continued the breakfast tradition. Once a week, on a Saturday or Sunday morning, Mela and I will try to have breakfast together.

I am an early bird, so early; the birds are not even up yet! My husband is not. He loves when I go to breakfast because he can be left alone with his coffee and his crossword puzzle for a few morning hours. By the time I get back home it’s after 11:30 in the morning and he can handle my hyper ness better.

Mela and I love to try different places to eat breakfast and critique them like food experts. We are very high maintenance when it comes to ordering our breakfast. The best thing about Mela is she will share breakfast with me. I always like to share everything, so, I get more variety that way. She likes wheat toast, I like rye. I like waffles, she likes French toast. We both like omelets, but different kinds. After years of sharing breakfast we have it down to a science. I am like Sally, from the movie, “When Harry met Sally”, when I order. I want to make sure that I get my butter from the little, individual plastic pats that actually say butter and not the fake butter in huge metal containers that looks way too yellow and smooth to be butter. It never is. My omelets have to be well done. I hate a runny omelet with uncooked egg. Enough said. I think you get the picture now, how I can traumatize a waitress. Rest assured, I always try to be polite and friendly to the waiter and waitress, after all this person is handling my food.

Which brings me back to Lina’s breakfast. Mela’s cousin Ray told her to try Lina’s Caffe Del Monte this past summer. We have been spoiled. Mela and I only want to go there for breakfast now. Lina is like a friend besides being a wonderful cook. Her buttermilk pancakes are the highest I’ve seen and so light and fluffy. We split the 3 pancakes in half and then sometimes Mela and I take half of our halves home, they are so large. The home fries are perfect. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, seasoned just right with oregano and cooked in a frying pan. But the most delicious of the three is Lina’s omelets. She cooks her fresh broccoli and tomatoes in olive oil just right.

There will be no recipes this time, because great cooks like Lina are reluctant – and rightly so – to share all of their cooking secrets. Instead, I decided to take pictures of the delicious breakfast we were about to devour so I could share this visual delight with my readers. Sometimes it’s just not polite to ask for someone’s recipes. Lina volunteered that she uses oregano in the potatoes, because I tasted it and I figured out the olive oil too. Lina was born in Italy and moved to United States years ago. She serves only breakfast and lunch 7 days a week but no dinner. Dinner should be eaten at home with the family. I love her. The people that come to her caffe will sometimes stand at the counter and drink their espresso, just like in Italy. If they sit down to eat, and Lina is not too busy, she sits down and has a conversation with you. Caffe Del Monte is a family affair and has been in business for 21 years. Lina’s son, John, is there with her, working side by side, serving, talking and doing whatever needs to be done. But Lina is definitely the cook. We talk food every time I visit. When I leave, I usually buy the biscotti from the big glass cookie jar on the counter. Biscotti baked by Lina. My biggest compliment to this day, is from Lina. She baked my biscotti recipe from this website and gave me some when I came in for breakfast. They were great. Caffe Del Monte is the place to get home cooking from a wonderful cook and mom, Lina!

Caffe Del Monte, 321 N. Main Street, Port Chester, NY (914) 937-0108 – Tell Lina, Somebody’s Mom sent you!

9 thoughts on “Lina’s – Breakfast Review

  1. my mom is just as picky as you too when it comes to restaurant food. I miss those breakfasts too! I remember when they were at my house and coming out and sitting with you all – fun 🙂

  2. After seeing the pictures posted on somebody’s, had to visit Caffe Del Monte. Met Lina, so warm & friendly. Had that amazing looking broccoli,
    tomatoe, mozzarella omelet, wow it was great! Lina kept refilling our coffee cups too. For the price, it was a steal. Thanks for sharing this new breakfast spot.

  3. Hi Marianne,

    Wanted you to know that we made it to Lina’s this morning for breakfast. We told the waiter that you sent us and Lina came out to meet us later on. They both said to say hi to you. I had the pancakes and John had an omelet with home fries and toast. We shared our meal and still took home more than half of the pancakes. Lina asked if we were disappointed in the meal, but we were happy to report that everything tasted as good as it looked on your website. We’ll be back for sure! Dolores

  4. Lina, I love you, Franco and Johnnie.

    I have been coming in toa the caffe for more than 10 years..time flies dear friend.

    I see you 7 days a week 7:00am weekdays and later on weekends. You make me smile, you make me laugh and you fill my belly…with the best food!!!

    I am lost when you visit Italy..
    You make us all happy!!
    Marie, Lou..and of course the grandkids.. Alyssa and Gavyn.

  5. I just finished my pasta and meatballs and iced cappuccino from Lina’s, and I couldn’t be happier!

    I’ve been going to Lina’s/Caffe del Monte for so long it feels like my entire life… I suppose it practically has been all my life! My father was an everyday regular, and he would take me with him to the hidden gem of Port Chester. I quickly became addicted to their iced cappuccinos, bacon egg and cheese sandwiches, and Lina’s sauce in all it’s forms (my fav is with pasta and meatballs, though the chicken and eggplant parm and steak pizzaiola wrap). This is DEFINITELY the best breakfast, lunch, and coffee shop in town!

    Lina, Franco, and John have all been like family to me since I was in elementary school. I love them with all of my heart and value all of the friendship and kindness that they have given me and my family over the years. I will be a customer for life, and I guarantee anyone who stops in will understand why and join the family too.

  6. Good heavens! My eyes almost popped out when I saw these pics — I love to “copy” restaurant recipes and am thinking about writing a cookbook based on my hobby. Anyway, I’m drooling now!

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