UPDATE: Sadly, Angie’s Front Porch Cafe has closed. RIP Angie and Angie Jr.
And now, part two of our exciting two-part series, DRUNKEN NEW YEAR’S EATING ADVENTURE!
With our group woken up from a post-partying four hour nap (only slightly interrupted by a fire alarm), plus one member, and some of our ranks mildly hung over, we were ready to partake in a slimy, greasy buffet style continental breakfast, courtesy of the hotel we were staying at. We all met downstairs bright and early at 10 o’clock, and to our dismay found that our complimentary breakfast was not so complimentary after all. We were supposed to pay for that crap!
Okay, so I don’t typically expect free things to be given to me left and right, but one of my favorite parts about staying at a hotel is the free crappy breakfast! Even if it is just a box of off-brand cereal and a pack of Swiss Miss cocoa, it’s like the hotel is saying “Thanks for staying! Have a great day!”, and I like that. It seems more and more hotels want you to pay for their subpar breakfasts, and I say no! Uh-uh. I refuse! So instead, we decided to spend our money on something decent. A quick Google later, and we were on our way to Angie’s Front Porch Cafe, in downtown St. Pete.
We had called ahead, so by the time we got there, one of the women who ran the place (Angie? Angie Jr.?) was setting up our table outside for us. Both the women in charge were extremely nice, very helpful and accommodating. Also, flirtatious. One suggested that we pay in ‘kisses’, and continually hit on one of my friends, to the point that we considered letting them just have him in lieu of paying. They were immediately welcoming, as though we’d known them for years, and the resulting atmosphere was much like a breakfast with family.
Inside you were able to get your own drink (hot or iced tea, lemonade, and four types of coffee) and help yourself to the expansive buffet, which featured just about everything you might look for in a breakfast. Best of all, all of the food is bought locally, fresh and delicious, and prepared that morning. In fact, they were just restocking everything when we got there, and they were going to restock again as we left. And the whole time they were working to prepare the food, they were able to check in on us and make sure everything was going well. They were great hosts.
I got a full plate of just about everything, as is my custom at buffets. And let me assure you, everything was delicious. My friends can tell you, I’m not much of a breakfast person, but if I had access to Angie’s cooking every day, I would convert. Three types of meat, eggs, grits, french toast… they had everything. And each item was perfect. My favorite was the ham, which was tender warm and delicious, of which I wish I had an endless supply. They also had biscuits and sausage gravy, which regrettably I did not try, though my friends informed me that it was some of the best sausage gravy they’d had. This is all you can eat, for under ten bucks. And this is just the Sunday Brunch Buffet; they also have an entire lunch menu of different items.
You really get a sense of community at Angie’s Front Porch Cafe. The women told us about the different characters they’d see nearby (the cafe is right in front of the Historic Round Lake Park), and I think all of the other people present at the cafe were regulars. But whether it’s your first visit or your twelfth, the ladies make sure to treat you like a regular yourself. They also host something they call “Friday Fiesta“, with a different theme each week dictating what food they prepare, as a sort of weekly neighborhood meeting. This is exactly the type of place I like best – one that contributes to the community, and helps it grow. Buying locally, getting to know each customer’s names. If you get the chance, even if you don’t live in St. Pete, find time to stop by Angie’s. You won’t regret it.