Refined flavors and ‘creative nostalgia’: State Café is a brunch must

State Cafe’s menu is all about full flavor, with a menu full of delicious, hearty meals. (Photo Courtesy of The State Cafe and Grill Facebook)

Even with its tall old-school vertical sign, a passerby could potentially miss the otherwise unassuming Easton staple located across the street from the State Theatre. However, just ask anyone on campus where to go for a celebratory breakfast or a fun brunch, and someone will certainly mention State Café.

After opening the thick wooden door, you are met with a busy yet calm open kitchen. In fact, if you don’t pay attention, you may not even notice the focused cooks. The room has a relaxed artsy feel, enhanced by some whimsical posters and creative pieces of art on the wall. Although the servers are perpetually busy during breakfast, they are still quite attentive and take care of customers well.

Their menu is all about full flavor, and subtlety is hard to find here. I say this with the best possible intent, because the result is a menu full of delicious, hearty meals that will have you returning. 

Whether you are craving something savory or sweet, State Café has you covered. The omelettes are excellent and filled with locally sourced ingredients that give a nod to classic diner omelettes while also adding a slightly more refined flavor profile. The frittatas follow suit and are an equally excellent choice for those looking for another savory option.

However, I am a fiend for sweets, and this place has some of the best creations in town. The immediate standouts are the enormous pancakes and the decadent banana bread French toast. The pancakes are so immense and thick that an order only comes with one. They are always filled with some sweet treat that takes them over the top (for the better). Be on the lookout for their seasonal pancakes because they are always worth a try. With some warm maple syrup, you are liable to shed a grin as if you were a child.

While State’s pancakes are wonderful, I prefer the insane French toast. The banana bread French toast is smothered in a rich caramel sauce and topped with chopped walnuts. It is a sweet tooth’s dream and defines the creative nostalgia of this menu. The cooks take you back to the sugary breakfasts from your childhood and then add a creative spin to make the dishes unique to State Café. 

I wish this praise could continue for their lunch menu, but unfortunately it is here that the restaurant falters. The service was no different than usual, and the menu looked promising with numerous twists on classic sandwiches and burgers.

I ordered The Cuban Version, which was the restaurant’s take on a classic pork and ham sandwich. What I got was a dry, flavorless slab of pork slapped between two pieces of bread with a house-made coleslaw and mustard. The coleslaw was rather tasty, but the dry pork ruined everything.

I had a total of three bites before put down my sandwich and watched my friend finish his pastrami French dip. While the rest of the menu may be okay and may even be worth a try, I cannot personally recommend State Café for lunch. 

Overall, State Café is a restaurant that must be on your brunch rotation. I have taken parents and friends here for breakfast various times, and everyone has left satisfied with the menu’s wonderful delights.

Thankfully, the prices are not too expensive, making it student-friendly as well. Parking can be a hassle since there is only street parking. Also, they do not take reservations so plan on waiting for a table, especially on the weekends.

This place definitely ranks as one of my favorite breakfasts and is a must for Lafayette students.

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