Review: The Farmhouse - Gilbert, Az
Would you drive forty miles one-way for breakfast? Very few places are worth it, but we feel The Farmhouse is. We live at the north end of the 51 and are more than willing to drive down to Gilbert Road just north of Elliot.
When Tara and I started going out, we looked for interesting places that we both might like. We wanted to do breakfast way back, and found The Farmhouse listed on several Best Of lists. We've been to it lots of times, but being the hard-working folks we are, we tend to sleep in on weekends, so making it to Gilbert in time for breakfast takes some advanced planning. Luckily, if we miss The Farmhouse, Joe's Real BBQ is literally across the street. :) We love The Farmhouse, but hadn't been to it in over a year. My parents came down from Maine in March '06, and we took them. Today I wanted to go to Vonhanson's Meat Market on Alma School in Chandler for some of their heavenly double-smoked bacon, and figured that was a good enough excuse to head down to The Farmhouse for breakfast beforehand.
I guess The Farmhouse used to literally be an old farmhouse, but rising land values in Gilbert made them relocate into the "downtown" area. There's a big sign hanging out front so you can't miss it. It's a fair-sized restaurant, with maybe twenty tables/booths of varying sizes and shapes. One thing I like about them is the eclectic nature of their furniture and utensils. The two larger tables look like they were taken from someone's kitchen. The silverware at the table probably will be mismatched. It just adds to the charm.
There's usually a line out front. We got there about ten to eleven, and were about fifth on the list. The wait can be much longer earlier. We only waited about 5 or 10 minutes before our name as called. It helped that we were a party of two.
We were seated along the south wall at a two top. None of the daily specials piqued our interest, so we both decided to get scrambles. In our rotation of breakfast restaurants, The Farmhouse wins on scrambles. Tara got a bacon, onion, and mushroom scramble, a side of bacon, and a coke. I got a sausage, bacon, and mushroom scramble and a chocolate milk. Cheddar-jack cheese is also include in the scrambles, and they come with wheat toast and home fries. I substituted an english muffin on mine. We split one of the cinnamon buns.
A word about the cinnamon buns. They are big. They come with an outstanding citrus-infused glaze. They are very caloric. We love them. It came out first and even splitting it, each half was almost bigger than the smaller plates we got to put them on. As usual, it was gooey excess at its best. Nicely warm, lots of cinnamon, and the glaze give you that special sugar rush your pancreas dreads. We'd barely started on the roll before our scrambles came out. We rearranged our table top and managed to fit everything on it. Barely.
The scrambles were great as well. They don't mess around with the ingredients. Huge chunks of bacon, sausage, and mushrooms were mixed with the eggs and covered with the cheese. I loved it. The home fries are full slices of potatoes with a seasoning on them and nicely browned. If you get a scramble with potatoes, you get the same home fries in your scramble. They don't skimp on the fillings. I was able to eat about 2/3 of my scramble and a few home fries. Tara did just the opposite. She ate most of her home fries and barely touched the scramble. To be honest, by the time we finished the roll, we were pretty full. The portions are pretty large for the roughly $8 we paid for each scramble. It's a great deal. The side of bacon was perfectly done. It was just crispy, but not dry. It had really good flavor. Our total bill before tip was about $28.
Service is always great as well. As busy as it always is, the waitstaff is able to maneuver through the chaos of narrow aisles and rampant kids with no accidents. They are also very friendly and professional. Without having to ask, our waitress dropped off a glass of water when she noticed I was almost done with my chocolate milk.
The kitchen also gets kudos for speed. They must have everything down to a science, because all their food comes out fast. The restaurant has always been packed when we've been there, but the food has always come out much quicker than seems reasonable. I wish I knew how they do it.
Can a better breakfast be found closer? Probably. But I'll still head down with absolutely no regrets because it's one of those places that is always perfect. And it's only 5 miles from Vonhanson's, so it worked out quite well.
I think the atmosphere is a big part of the experience at The Farmhouse. Breakfast just tastes better in a little old building like that with character. I am always pleased with the food, but I am no where near as crazy about it as my wife. She would go there every weekend if she could, lol. I find their daily specials to be consistently well prepared, as well as a decent value. You generally have to get there earlier for those though, because they always run out at some point.