Owl Breakfast & Lunch – Philadelphia, PA
The landscape around North Philadelphia and Temple in particular is mind boggling how much it has changed during the last five years. Higher end projects and gentrification is being pushed further up North Broad Street and are working their way up to areas that were previously plagued with only crime and blight. If the rumors are true about the Divine Lorraine Hotel finally going to be renovated, and with Bart Blatstein’s Tower Place at Spring Garden getting finished and the possibility of his Provence Casino being built, I think this trend will continue and the revitalization may be for real this time.
With an increasing population hitting the area, those people are going to need someplace to eat a nice breakfast. Could Owl Breakfast & Lunch (OBL) be North Philly’s answer to South Philly having the Melrose Diner?
OBL sits nondescriptly in the middle of the block between a Dunkin Donuts and City View Pizza on the 1400 Block of Cecil B Moore Avenue. The interior is bright, bland, slightly tiny and clean, with friendly service, and the usual suspects on the breakfast menu at reasonable prices. I chose a bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on a bagel with salt, pepper and ketchup.
The order was prepared quickly, with the bagel nicely toasted on the grill, bacon plentiful and crispy, with the egg perfectly cooked with just the right amount of condiments added. The Melrose Diner is not going to have to worry about losing their customer base to OBL anytime soon, but for North Philadelphia it is a nice change of scenery in a setting that makes you feel comfortable to enjoy a nice breakfast. I am sure if the transformation of North Broad Street continues, that OBL will transform with it to keep up with its clienteles needs.
Will I go back? If I am in the area, without a doubt. Until then, a visit to OBL is only necessary and warranted if you have early morning business around Temple to take care of and did not eat breakfast beforehand. They were good, but not something to go out of your way for with nothing else around to do just yet.