Sixteen years have passed since Swarthmore’s residents announced their desire for a broader selection of restaurants in the Ville. Considering that we currently have a grand total of six restaurants, I’m not sure if their wishes did much good. However, foremost among our dining establishments is Vicky’s Place, a complete mystery to most of us Swatties who rarely find time for breakfast and even more rarely time for breakfast that costs real money. This, plus our congenital fear of the unknown makes us nervous — should we go try Vicky’s? Fear not: I have gone to sample their fare; and it was good.
I went to Vicky’s on a Tuesday, just barely in time to take advantage of their Early Bird Special of two scrambled eggs, two pancakes — charmingly called hotcakes — and two pieces of bacon for $4.29. Hungry and cold, I also ordered a cinnamon roll for $1.50 and a hot chocolate for the same. I then sat and listened to a talk show host interview some celebrities about Donald Trump for a thankfully brief amount of time before my food arrived.
In comparison to Tom Jones’s Blue Ribbon special, Vicky’s outperforms by a mile. For one, their butter is actually butter — compare “buttery spread”. That concerns me, that “-y” — what could it be? Probably not good for you; definitely not tasty. The hotcakes, along with the real butter, tasted great. But if I had one regret about the hotcakes, it would be adding the breakfast syrup, that sugary ooze too honest to lie but too self-conscious to actually tell you what’s in it. The bacon was good — actually, it was basically perfect, although perhaps some might have found it too crispy. Those people I would call heathens.
Of the entire Early Bird Special, the only item that verged on disappointing were the eggs. Full disclosure: I have very high standards for eggs. The eggs were fine. They tasted okay, but didn’t look great — and at this point I began to wonder why the special came with scrambled eggs, no substitutions. Don’t most other types of eggs look more appealing than scrambled eggs by default? It’s definitely not much work to make eggs over easy — and why can’t we choose what we want, anyway? Nonetheless, the eggs were acceptable. Just acceptable.
At about this point I started drinking the hot chocolate and was pleasantly surprised by how delicious it was. It was, I’m at least 98 percent confident, made from powder, but the whipped cream really made it taste like it was worth the price.
A few patrons left and I ate the cinnamon roll., which was a disappointment. It looked great, heavily covered with confectioner’s sugar and, under that, well-glazed. I was slightly confused at the butter they gave me with it, but didn’t think of much of it. But alas, when I took a bite it was warm, dry and flaky in way that reminded me of fever dreams. I realized that I was supposed to put the butter on the cinnamon roll to counteract this, which I did under some duress — I can’t say that I’d ever had a cinnamon roll with butter before, but the roll became delicious.
So here’s my complaint: why was this necessary? You could argue that this disruption in my breakfast was minor, which it was, and ask, considering the cinnamon roll only cost $1.50, what was I expecting? Legitimate points and questions, sure, but why couldn’t the roll have been pre-buttered? Or better yet, never needed butter? In this instance, I think service was lacking — I should have been able to just eat my cinnamon roll.
Overall, I found Vicky’s to be quite nice and incredibly affordable, even though it wasn’t perfect. Although it’s a struggle getting up in the mornings and going into the Ville, I can say with confidence that I’ll go there again in the future.
Pros: Costs basically nothing, close to home, has real butter!
Cons: “Breakfast syrup”, dry cinnamon rolls.
Recommend: The special, the hot chocolate. Hearsay: corn muffins are beyond good.
Open: Until 2 p.m.
Service: Very prompt.