First Watch - Viera - 3 Stars.
Before I ate here I was unaware this was a chain. In fact this company owns the Egg and I, which suffers from the exact same issues as First Watch. There are a few chain restaurants that have decided to think outside the box and use economies of scale to provide an excellent dining experience. Sadly, First Watch is not one of those chain restaurants. I would venture to say McDonald’s actually works harder to provide fresh, creative offerings tha...n this place. That said, First Watch does make a half-hearted attempt with a fancy sounding menu. I want to be clear. This is NOT bad, it just is not great. Compared to some other breakfast haunts, First Watch provides a friendly, open environment. Our server Hayleigh, handles service like a champ. She gets my nomination for top service staff in Brevard. Her talents are greatly wasted at a chuk-a-luck joint like this.
I ordered a chorizo omelette and lemon curd ricotta pancakes.The lemon curd is an interesting twist on pancakes. It takes what amounts to a bland pancake recipe and peps it up with the curd. Without the curd these pancakes are below average.
The omelette had a smattering if chorizo and American cheese product. The eggs were overcooked but serviceable. The chorizo gave it a significant enough kick to get this review to 3 Stars, but only by the skin of their teeth. Big Boy says average, just average.
Chef Mario's Cafe - Eau Gallie - 4.5 Stars.
After my last two Italian restaurant reviews where my life was threatened, it’s refreshing to find an Italian restaurant that engages in aboveboard conduct and delivers well conceived, flavorful food that is executed with perfection. We came on Valentine’s Day so it was crowded and the service staff was not well prepared for the onslaught. Several tables left before receiving their food. I assume this is a one-off occurrence. I coul...d be wrong. Thankfully, I do not rate on service and luckily for Chef Mario, because the service was so bad.
However, the food is truly amazing. We started with a crab cake topped with pesto. The crab was seasoned perfectly and the pesto was tangy, fluffy and pleasurable. Next came the Caesar salad. Homemade dressing dripping with fresh garlicky punch. You can see the tiny garlic chunks in the photo. Unlike its competition it is not hard to accept everything here is lovingly made. There are no cut corners.
The main course of Veal Marsala was a passion du jour of succulent morsels of veal in an elaborate, complex Marsala sauce. These medallions of divine meat were placed atop a mound of fresh homemade pasta cooked exquisitely.
There is no substitution for an intense desire to please. Chef Mario pulls that off with ease. Big Boy gives a strong recommendation to Chef Mario. Try it you will like it.