The restaurant: Even though Cary Cafe is located in a strip mall, the restaurant is quaint and cozy. There is some outdoor seating available, but inside is even more welcoming, with lanterns, real flowers in each table's vase, and softly-playing music.
The company: I was out to brunch with my fiance, who is usually satisfied with Chinese takeout or Cookout, and my mom. The restaurant's relaxed atmosphere was perfect for an informal meal.
The location: The restaurant is tucked into the Harrison Pointe shopping center near the corner of Maynard Road and Harrison Avenue. The Advance Auto Parts across the parking lot isn't too picturesque, but Cary Cafe more than makes up for the less-than-stellar view.
The meal: I've always been a huge pancakes fan, so I went with the pumpkin pancakes, which are served with the cafe's homemade sausage links and scrambled eggs. The pancakes were deliciously light and fluffy, and the sausage was some of the best I've ever had. I think my meal definitely fell into the "comfort food" category, and it put a smile on my face.
Of course I had to try my dining companions' meals as well. My mom ordered the blueberry French toast, which was stellar. The bread was crispy on the outside and not mushy on the inside, topped with blueberry compote, walnuts and a small dollop of whipped cream. The dish wasn't too sweet or overpowering, and it was another delicious breakfast option.
My fiance has never been much of a breakfast guy, so he ordered one of the lunch specials, the grilled chicken caesar wrap. It was thankfully spared the misfortune of being drowned in too much dressing, and came with crispy croutons and olives. What sets this wrap apart from the rest is the yummy salsa served with it – a mixture of pineapple, onion, pepper and cilantro.
The bill: My pumpkin pancakes were $8.95, and I got water to drink. Because they were so filling (I took one home) I think that was very reasonable. The chicken caesar wrap was on special for $7.95, and it was huge. My mom's French toast was $8.95, and with a hot tea, her meal came out at just over $10. For a freshly-made brunch, I think Cary Cafe delivers great quality for a reasonable price.
The service: I had to wait for my pancakes because the cashier accidentally punched in the wrong number when taking my order, but they were at my table soon enough. The owner even brought over a free chocolate chip cookie, which was perfectly gooey and delicious, to make it up to me. While Cary Cafe isn't exactly fast food, the kitchen finished our dishes within 15 minutes, definitely making the restaurant an option for lunch break.
The verdict: This is now my go-to spot for brunch in Cary! I can't wait to try more of the menu, especially the omelets and soups.