Breakfast Alley has a new addition in Galloway, and Chef Eric McCauley’s creation — No Reservations — is making people notice.
And rightly so.
No Reservations, in the former Shea’s location on New York Road – not to be confused with the original location that now houses Tony Beef – offers a creative, fun and inspired breakfast and lunch experience that rivals any spot in South Jersey.
And that’s because McCauley has the experience, passion and energy to deliver the culinary goods. No Reservations’ breakfast menu is ridiculously fantastic. It’s one of those menus that you want to order everything off of, whether it’s fruit-stuffed french toast, over-the-top sugary pancake creations or even healthy options that few others can compete with. No Reservations is the real deal.
“Romanelli’s added breakfast, the Cracked Egg, the Sunryser … they call it Breakfast Alley,” McCauley says. “But this is my breakfast with a twist. Shea’s did it right. There’s no reason to reinvent the wheel. It’s just my way, my version of it, my menu.”
BreakfastMcCauley has all of the bases covered here, from fun, playful, sweet gluttony that rivals the Sugar Factory to healthy eating.
It all starts with cage-free, organic eggs in everything that requires an egg, from the four-egg omelets to scrambler bowls and everything in between.
“They are big omelets, and I have big to-go boxes, too,” McCauley says with a laugh. “Most places use three eggs in their omelets with extra-large eggs, but it was important for me to offer the better eggs. I see a difference in them, and that quality comes with a little more price. They are a little smaller, so I am willing to give that extra egg.”
The creativeness is abundant. The Cali Bomb ($11.50) is the No. 1 seller with baby spinach, tomato, fresh avocado and sharp cheddar; and the South Philly ($12) boasts scrapple with fried onions, long hots and aged provolone. They are served with choice of toast, potatoes or sliced tomato.
“The best thing about omelets is ... ‘Hey, what do you want in your omelet,’” McCauley says.
In addition to plain pancakes ($7.50 short stack, $8.50 full stack), there are eight options including the popular Cinna’ Swirl ($9, $10) with brown sugar swirl and icing drizzle; the Jersey stack ($12, $13) with pork roll and bacon cooked inside; or the Ice Box Stack ($10.50, $11.50) with fresh banana, vanilla pudding, chocolate sauce and graham crackers.
“That one doesn’t sell as well as others but they are good right out of grandma’s ice box,” McCauley says. “The batter uses fresh flour, buttermilk, eggs, melted butter … we go the extra mile to make fresh pancake batter using good, quality products. They are not too thick, not too thin.”
The french toast ($8, $9) starts with Hudson Bakery’s nice, thick, challah bread and is also offered in eight different varieties that differ from the pancakes. McCauley is particularly proud of the Blueberry Yum Yum ($10.50, $11.50) to the point that he is offering it free as his restaurant’s 50 Bites selection. It features fresh, warm blueberries, lemon mint mascarpone and buttery crumble. Other options include the Cap-N-Crunch Berry Stuffed ($11, $13) with cream cheese filling, crunchy coasting and topped with strawberries and blueberries; and the Caramel Apple ($10.50, $11.50) with warm Granny Smith apples, crushed peanuts and caramel drizzle.
There are also sandwiches, scrambled egg bowls, fruit bowls and hearty classics ranging from homemade sausage gravy and biscuits ($8 for one, $13 for two) to steak and eggs ($23) with a 6-ounce prime steak to creamy chipped beef ($9.50), aka S.O.S.
“Let’s Avocado Toast” plays on the drinking theme with Cheers ($11), fresh tomatoes and chopped bacon; and Mazel Tov ($14) with smoked salmon, cucumbers, capers and red onions. And there’s even a vegan section as No Reservations uses vegan eggs and butter for the three-egg platter ($9.50) with breakfast potatoes or sliced tomato; vegan cakes ($11, $12), nutty-tasting pancakes with butter, whipped cream and maple syrup; and the meatless scramble ($14) with spinach, zucchini, tomato and cheese. The vegan sausage is also awesome.
“We can accommodate all,” McCauley says. “We have a separate cooking area for gluten free and vegan orders.”
The highlight of the breakfast menu for us was the Biscuit Benedict, four choices of classic eggs Benedict served over homemade buttermilk biscuits instead of an English muffin. The Benny Debate ($8, $12) replaces the Canadian bacon with pork roll; the Market Street ($9, $13) offers Habbersett scrapple, grilled Vidalia onions and baby spinach; and the Sinatra ($10, $14) was our favorite with prosciutto di Parma, long hots and fresh bruschetta.
LunchThe lunch menu is much smaller but McCauley says it’s a work in progress.
“Breakfast is No. 1 for us,” he says. “We keep it simple for lunch, and we will expand it. We are still figuring things out, and we want to grow, and you will see some great lunch concepts and even expanding my hours.”
That said, the lunch menu does have some great offerings. Hearty soups ($4 to $6) include minestrone, tomato bisque, New England clam chowder and lobster bisque, while a variety of salads continue the healthy trend.
Sandwiches include the Jammin’ Jerk Chicken ($11) on a toasted brioche with pickled onions; the Veganwich ($12) is a grilled cheese on multi-grain bread with grilled zucchini and tomato; the kobe burger ($12) comes on a soft brioche roll and “Homecourt” burger sauce; and Mom’s Chicken Salad ($11) is made just how McCauley liked it as a kid with mayo, celery and love.
Diners can even choose from four platters, ranging from an antipasto ($15) to crab cakes ($18) with pasta salad to organic marinated chicken breasts ($16) with balsamic glaze, fresh bruschetta and sautéed spinach.
Reservations some day?McCauley says he can see expanding his restaurant to feature dinner, possibly in a Dinner Club environment — maybe with reservations — but he is taking it day by day since he is only open three months at this point.
“It’s a daily grind,” McCauley says. “We work hard, and I see a brand in the making and hope to have multiples in the future. It’s a dream come true. What chef doesn’t want to own their own restaurant? I’m just a guy who makes my way through who still has a lot to learn and tackle each day. I wake up every day and make pancakes.”