They say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, setting the tone for what lies ahead. Notably, lunch and brunch are also pivotal to ensuring that we have the energy to make the most of our time. First Watch understands this. With a commitment to fresh, high-quality ingredients and a menu that caters to various tastes and dietary preferences, the chain has become the go-to spot for morning meals. This being said, First Watch isn't open for dinner so be sure to fill your tank early.
Having grown from a single location in Pacific Grove, California, to over 500 outlets across 29 states in the past five decades, First Watch has been a huge success. The daytime dining restaurant prides itself on all-time favorites such as French toast, eggs benedict, and pancakes, as well as more niche offerings like its Power Breakfast Quinoa Bowl and the A.M Superfoods Bowl with chia seeds, granola, and fresh fruit.
Whether you're a First Watch regular or a newcomer eager to try its fare, we have gathered insights from countless customer reviews to bring you a roundup of the chain's best and worst dishes. Keep reading to find out more.
Buy: The Traditional
Those who love dier breakfast will love The Traditional at First Watch. And while it may not be the healthiest start to the day, the dish is hearty and bound to keep you full for many hours. First Watch's take on the classic comes with two eggs from cage-free chickens done to your liking and a choice of bacon, chicken sausage patties, smoked ham, turkey, or pork sausage. The dish is paired with whole grain toast (or gluten-free toast), house preserves, and seasoned potatoes.
The Traditional has received predominantly positive feedback from customers, with many praising the restaurant's crispy bacon. One patron calls the dish "very tasty," explaining, "Bacon was amazing and cooked to perfection. The eggs were scrambled perfectly." While another customer wasn't taken by the whole grain toast, they said that they enjoyed the rest of the meal, adding, "I especially like their 'well done' bacon. It is ... very good." The consensus from customers is that this dish is on point and awesome.
Buy: Bacado Omelet
Let's face it: Bacon and avocado are a match made in culinary heaven. Crispy and smoky, bacon is a perfect complement to the buttery texture and mild flavor of ripe avocado. Add the gooey goodness of melted Monterey Jack cheese and sandwich the lot in a sheath of eggs, and voila: you've got First Watch's Bacado Omelet. This epitome of breakfast indulgence is served with sour cream, homemade pico de gallo, artisan toast, house preserves, and organic mixed greens with a lemon dressing.
The Bacado Omelet from First Watch has garnered positive feedback from customers. One happy reviewer praises the dish, saying, "[It was] a well cooked bacon and cheese omelet (plenty of crispy bacon) with a slice of avocado on top. It was served with some excellent whole grain toast and strawberry jam." Another reviewer agrees, commenting, "We are frequent visitors here! While there is a great menu to choose from, my husband and I never stray from the Bacado Omelet." The only slightly negative comment comes from a patron who says that the gluten-free bread they had with their meal was a little dry.
Avoid: Pesto Chicken Quinoa Bowl
Quinoa is rich in antioxidants, fiber, and other nutrients such as protein, zinc, and folate. As such, it's not surprising that the grain has gained widespread popularity among the health-conscious for its nutritional benefits. With so much going for it, one might expect that First Watch's Pesto Chicken Quinoa Bowl would be well-received by customers. Unfortunately, this hasn't been the case. Despite its health benefits, many diners have said that they found the dish disappointing.
Aside from quinoa and chicken breast, the Pesto Chicken Quinoa Bowl comes with kale, feta cheese, shredded carrots, roasted tomatoes, and fresh herbs, all topped with basil pesto sauce and lemon white balsamic dressing. While the ingredients are on point, some have said that the dish was underwhelming, with one reviewer saying that they found themselves going back to their go-to menu items after sampling the dish. Some of the more disparaging reviews of the plate have taken issue with its preparation, pointing out that it was overcooked, soggy, and wet.
Buy: Power Wrap
Not just healthy but also tasty, the Power Wrap at First Watch is a palate-pleasing fusion of fresh protein and veggies. Served in a sun-dried tomato-basil tortilla, the wrap comes with turkey, cage-free egg whites, roasted cremini mushrooms, spinach, and mozzarella cheese. The dish is delivered to the table with a side of pico de gallo and fresh fruit.
No matter how hard we tried, we couldn't find any negative feedback about the Power Wrap, with patrons consistently praising its taste. One pleased reviewer says, "It was quite tasty, and it was served hot enough to warrant caution when taking a bite." Another diner wasn't only happy with the dish but also the sides, commenting, "I dipped the wrap in the fresh pico de gallo and green chilies to give it a little heat, because that's how you kick it up a notch for breakfast and that's how I roll. The wrap was amazing ... tasty to the last bite and filling."
Buy: Farmhouse Hash
If you're watching your calorie intake, you may want to give the Farmhouse Hash a miss. With 1,350 calories and 82 grams of fat, the dish isn't exactly a light and diet-friendly option. However, if you're looking for a hearty and indulgent treat, this might be the perfect choice for a special occasion. The Farmhouse Hash consists of two cage-free eggs done to your liking, bacon, avocado, seasoned potatoes, roasted tomatoes and onions, a blend of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese, and a whole grain toast.
First Watch's Farmhouse Hash has received mostly positive feedback from diners who don't mind a few extra calories in their meal. One happy patron calls the menu item "so good," adding, "The potatoes are always tender. The roasted peppers are tasty. The cheese and bacon make everything blend together nicely." In a similar vein, another customer says, "Go ahead! Splurge on the calories and fat content. You won't be disappointed at all by ordering the Farmhouse Hash ... I had mine over easy and it was perfectly cooked."
Avoid: Farm Stand Breakfast Tacos
When it comes to Mexican food, many chains need to step aside and leave things to the experts: actual Mexican restaurants. First Watch is a perfect illustration, highlighting the fact that those seeking authentic Mexican flavors may want to consider exploring restaurants that focus specifically on this type of cuisine. And it's not for the lack of quality ingredients. After all, the chain's Farm Stand Breakfast Tacos are made with wheat-corn blend tortillas, Cajun chicken, chorizo, scrambled cage-free eggs, avocado, pico de gallo, seasoned black beans, and a blend of cheddar and Monterey Jack. It's rather the execution that's lacking.
First Watch's Farm Stand Breakfast Tacos have received a lukewarm reception from reviewers. One diner calls the plate "standard issue," saying, "The wheat-corn tortillas don't add much flavor and they're a bit crumbly. The Cajun chicken and chorizo both add a little punch of spice and plenty of flavor, but they completely drown out the scrambled eggs ... These tacos are by no means bad, but there's nothing special about them." Another customer echoes this sentiment, commenting, "[It] tasted like something I could have whipped up in my kitchen in about six minutes. And also it probably would have tasted more inspired than this meal."
Buy: Elevated Egg Sandwich
Sandwiches can vary greatly in both ingredients and quality. Some rely on letting great ingredients shine, while others boast unique and unexpected flavor profiles. The Elevated Egg Sandwich from First Watch accomplishes both. It all starts with a buttery brioche bun as a base. The layers that follow include an over-easy cage-free egg, smashed avocado, gruyere cheese, lemony arugula, and a splash of mayonnaise. The dish is served with a side of seasoned potatoes.
Most reviewers have praised the Elevated Egg Sandwich, with the only complaint being that in one instance the yolk was cooked all the way through. One satisfied diner says, "The bun on the sandwich was mouth-watering, while the egg and other items on the inside of the bun ... satisfied your palate. [The] side included the house potato. Nicely done and just the right amount of crispiness." Another patron concurs, saying, "Very filling! Eggs cascading over the other ingredients giving that delicious savory egg flavor throughout. The moist soft bun helped hold this massive sandwich together. The lemon dressing [had] enough acidity to cut the fat. The potatoes ... were seasoned to perfection."
Buy: French Toast
First Watch offers two different versions of French toast, both with two slices of thickly-cut brioche bread. The classic take on the dish comes with powdered cinnamon sugar, a generous dollop of whipped butter, and a warm mixed berry compote. Meanwhile, the chain's colorful Floridian French Toast is served with powdered cinnamon sugar and wheat germ, as well as fresh kiwi, banana, and seasonal berries.
Whether you opt for the classic or the Floridian version of the dish, First Watch's French toast offerings are bound to hit the right flavor notes, or at least that's what the chain's patrons say. One happy diner found the dish very filling, adding, "The French toast was amazing! I usually go to a restaurant or cafe and they serve 'cinnamon french toast' but I can never actually taste enough sweetness from the cinnamon itself within the French toast. The cinnamon French toast should be the specialty at this restaurant. The cinnamon was very overwhelming but in the best way possible."
Avoid: Eggs Benedict
The allure of eggs benedict lies in the way its ingredients come together to create contrasting flavors and textures. Firstly, there's the runny yolk of the poached egg, then you have the savory meat, and finally, the rich and velvety hollandaise sauce that ties everything together. Unfortunately, First Watch's eggs benedict doesn't quite live up to what you expect from this classic dish.
First Watch offers four variations of eggs benedict — all with two poached cage-free eggs, tomatoes, toasted ciabatta bread, and hollandaise sauce. The classic take on the dish comes with smoked ham, Florentine Benedict with avocado and baby spinach, and BLT Benedict with bacon, avocado, and lemon-dressed arugula. Last but not least, First Watch also serves Smoked Salmon Benedict with Wild Alaska Smoked Sockeye Salmon and red onion. All eggs benedict dishes are delivered with lemon-dressed organic mixed greens.
Despite the numerous versions of the dish, most reviewers express disappointment with the menu item. One diner conveys their dissatisfaction with the chain's BLT Benedict, saying, "The yolks of the poached eggs were similar in texture to a hard-boiled egg. Completely hard. No avocado. And it was cold." As if this wasn't bad enough, another reviewer goes as far as calling the dish inedible.
Buy: Avocado Toast
It's not just visually appealing — First Watch's Avocado Toast is also delicious. We are guessing it has something to do with the contrasting combination of the velvety smooth avocado and crunchy toast. Made with thickly cut whole grain toast, lemon, extra virgin olive oil, and Maldon sea salt, the sandwich comes with two basted cage-free eggs. The chain's version of the dish is topped with smashed, rather than mashed, avocado. If you're curious about the difference, smashing an avocado leaves the fruit with a chunkier texture.
Scott Joseph, who reviewed the Avocado Toast at First Watch for Scott Joseph's Orlando Restaurant Guide, waxes lyrical about the dish, saying that even the version he makes at home isn't as rich and satisfying as the one he has had at the restaurant. Joseph then goes on to reveal that First Watch uses one and a half avocados to create each plate. Other patrons also endorse the dish, with one reviewer calling it "a health and diet-aware slice of heaven."
Given its name, we are pretty sure that Chickichanga takes cues from the classic Mexican-American dish called chimichanga. Essentially, chimichanga is a deep-fried burrito, typically filled with a savory combination of ingredients such as seasoned meat, beans, cheese, and rice. So what exactly is First Watch's Chickichanga? Rolled in a flour tortilla, the dish comes with spicy chicken breast, whipped cage-free eggs, chorizo, avocado, green chilies, onion, and a blend of cheddar and Monterey Jack cheese. This is then smothered in Vera Cruz sauce and served with sour cream and seasoned potatoes.
As good as it sounds, the Chickichanga has received mixed feedback from diners, many of whom have complained about the quality of its ingredients and preparation. One customer says, "My first bite of the Chickichanga was very very disappointing. The egg part was kind of warm and [the] filling was literally cooler than room temperature. What comes to mind is [that] they had the filling sitting in the fridge right before they wrapped it in the eggs, poured sauce on it, and [served] it." Another reviewer said that their Chickichanga lacked seasoning while another found that the Vera Cruz sauce overpowered the entire dish.
Buy: Lemon Ricotta Pancakes
Pancakes are a blank canvas that can be tailored and tweaked to match any flavor preference. One of the three pancake menu offerings at First Watch is the Lemon Ricotta Pancakes, two pancakes made with whipped ricotta and multigrain batter. The mini stack is served with powdered cinnamon sugar, creamy lemon curd, and seasonal berries. If this pancake rendition doesn't sound like an ideal breakfast indulgence, First Watch also offers a choice of one or two multigrain pancakes with a variety of toppings including chocolate chip, blueberry, pecan, carrot cake, and banana granola almond crunch.
Diners have given First Watch's Lemon Ricotta Pancakes the thumbs up. One reviewer calls the dish "outstanding" explaining, "Ricotta is added to the batter to make a moist and tender pancake. A generous portion of lemon curd on top along with delicious marinated strawberries made syrup unnecessary. Possibly the best pancake I've ever eaten" Some other satisfied customers have also praised the dish, describing it as huge, fantastic, and light and fluffy.
Read the original article on Mashed.