The women at Take 2: A Resonance Café are getting up a little earlier these days.
The downtown restaurant, which opened as a lunch-only eatery three and a half years ago, recently added breakfast hours and four breakfast dishes.
“The powers that be have wanted to have breakfast for some time,” said chef Lia Lewis, who runs the kitchen. “We’ve started with a small menu of things I wanted to do.”
The café is part of the Choose to Change program of Resonance Center for Women. Outside of Lewis, it is staffed by formerly incarcerated women who are making the transition back to a normal life.
Lewis is starting with four items — a breakfast strata ($6.49), banana nut bread cinnamon toast ($5.79 for two pieces), giant cinnamon rolls ($4.79) and fruit and granola parfait ($4.19).
Each dish was tasty during a recent visit, but the strata delivered the biggest flavor. It included baked layers of egg, cheese, green chilies and tomatoes, served with a balancing act of fire-roasted salsa and sour cream.
The banana nut bread was dusted with cinnamon sugar, toasted and topped with whipped cream. It was a perfect partner to a strong cup of coffee.
The cinnamon rolls were the richest of the lineup, featuring rolls filled with cream cheese and cinnamon, then topped with cream cheese icing.
The parfait included vanilla yogurt with mixed berries and spiced granola with a side of banana nut bread.
Two slices of bacon can be added to any dish for $1.99.
“There are a lot of things we can’t do because we are limited with the equipment we have,” Lewis said. “We might be able to add some things as we go along.”
Breakfast is served from 7:30-9:30 a.m. and lunch goes to 2 p.m. Monday-Friday.
Lewis has been at the helm for one year and has tweaked the lunch menu. It features salads, a variety of spuds, soups, desserts and sandwiches, including such choices as garden veggie, sirloin au jus, club, Reuben, B.L.T., prime rib meatloaf and grilled cheese with tomato bisque. Some soups and pies are available for takeout in a display case.
“In a couple of months, we are going to launch a new menu, and we are going to do some physical stuff with the room, too,” said Lewis, whose resume includes stints at Bodean Seafood, McGill’s, Polo Grill, Flavors, Riverside Grill and teaching at Platt College.
The dining room includes a long communal table that seats 12, plus 10 four-tops and a wall counter that holds six diners.
Take 2 no longer has a serving line. Everyone lines up at the cash register, places an order and food is brought to the tables.
Lewis said working at Take 2 has been a rewarding experience.
“I enjoy working with the women,” she said. “One of the ladies wants to pursue a culinary career, and I’m super excited about that. She loves the kitchen.”
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