Breakfast has traditionally been lauded as the most important meal of the day, and it’s impossible for me to feel fully refreshed after waking up until I’ve eaten breakfast. I often stand with breakfast hardliner Leslie Knope who wondered “Why would anyone ever eat anything other than breakfast food?” While JJ’s Diner unfortunately doesn’t exist outside of fictional Pawnee, Indiana, the borough of Swarthmore thankfully has its own breakfast spot worthy of praise. With the OneCard now being accepted at Vicky’s Place as of the beginning of this semester, there is no longer a reason to skip breakfast on the weekends.. Vicky’s Place shares Dartmouth street with other OneCard-accepting restaurants like Aria and Bamboo Bistro and is the perfect way to start a weekend morning.
Often busy on weekend mornings, Vicky’s Place is a cozy local diner full of good food and charm. Sassy signs decorate the interior and give the restaurant a unique and comfortable atmosphere. The decorative quotes, ranging from classics like “Be nice or leave”, to more specific jests like “In God We Trust, everyone else pays cash,” inside Vicky’s Place made me feel like I was eating inside a calmer and more realistic version of a Pinterest board. The dining room itself is small, and the tables and chairs are very close together. A large mirror on the main wall gives the illusion of spaciousness, but you still might bump into the person at the table sitting behind you. The size of the room is not a drawback, however, as it facilitates the cozy atmosphere, as well as casual banter with fellow diners. Vicky’s Place maintains the classic neighborhood diner vibe, and the casual ambiance makes eating breakfast at Vicky’s Place perfect for unwinding on a Saturday morning after a long week of classes. The restaurant smells of pancakes, and the sizzle of eggs and bacon are audible over the conversation of others, making it the perfect place for Swatties to relax and regroup their thoughts over omelettes and coffee.
For breakfast, Vicky’s Place offers the standard breakfast essentials. Their menu includes pancakes, omelettes, eggs, and various breakfast sandwiches. Pumpkin pancakes are also available for those with a soft spot for autumn. What makes a good pancake, however, is not its seasonal charm. A good pancake is warm and fluffy and reminds me of having brunch with my family after church on Sunday mornings, and the ones at Vicky’s Place do just that. The blueberry hotcakes perfectly straddled the fine line between melt-in-your-mouth and undercooked, and the blueberries themselves were flavorful and tasted fresh. Eggs and toast, one of the most traditional breakfast dishes, is also done well. The toast arrived at the table in a red basket and reminded me of all the pieces of toast I ate on the morning bus in high school; the warmth and perfect crispness of the slices reminded me that riding the bus wasn’t so bad, since in a way it brought me to Swarthmore. Of course, the toast arrived alongside eggs prepared sunny-side-up, and Vicky’s Place executes the combination perfectly. Their homefries are a delicious side dish that adds a dimension to both the flavor of the meal and the debate over whether or not they make sense as breakfast food. Potatoes are transformed from a lowly spud into warm and savory bites of deliciousness that satiate and impress, though I still vote no. The breakfast at Vicky’s Place is one of the top choices for Swatties on weekend mornings, but for those who sleep through their breakfast hours, they have a lunch menu as well.
Vicky’s Place easily earns a spot as one of the best places to use points to eat off-campus. I took my grandparents to Vicky’s Place when they came to visit me, and sharing the restaurant with them meant showing off a little piece of what makes Swarthmore home. The restaurant offers delicious food, and its addition to the OneCard makes it truly an off campus dimension of the campus experience. The experience is enjoyable and quick, one can get from campus and back again within 45 minutes having had a delicious and filling meal. There is something great, almost magical, about good breakfast food, and Vicky’s Place has it. As the weather turns cold and the walk to the Ville seems more and more daunting, warm pancakes and omelettes at Vicky’s Place will still be more than worth the trip.