My daughter and I had been at UNH for an early morning hockey clinic and stopped at Big Bean at 11 am for a late breakfast/early lunch. She'd earned all the calories in her mouth-watering biscuits & gravy, eggs and homefries, but I enjoyed my omelet with tomatoes, fresh basil and local sausage just as much. The menu offers omelets, benedicts, scrambles, pancakes and french toast, breakfast sandwiches, lunch sandwiches, salads, and smoothies, espresso drinks, and specialty teas. The bi-weekly specials, currently named after Adventure Time cartoon characters, were especially tempting.
I requested my omelet without the feta that came in it, and the kitchen messed up and sent it out with feta. Our server said, Oops, there's been a mistake, whisked it away, and a new omelet appeared in just a couple of minutes. Clearly getting the new order out was the kitchen's first priority, and the waiter took almost half the cost of the omelet off our bill. It was the best service I've had in a restaurant in ages!
The ambiance at The Big Bean is relaxed, warm and friendly. There were mostly families and groups dining when we were there. At the next table a dad and his two-year-old twins were finishing up pancakes and fruit. The twins were testing to see if they could scream a little bit without being whisked away--alternating little screams and giggles. Everyone took it in stride. The two-year-old from another table came over with her parents to be introduced. When the dad finally coaxed the twin who was determined to stay that they had to get home to mom ("If you stay you'll end up in the kitchen washing dishes" and the toddler paused and thought about it--could be fun! you could tell she was thinking) the waitress swooped in and swept up the crumbs and crayon bits so that a family with much older children on the way to a vacation in Waterville Valley could sit down.
This is a family restaurant in the best sense--the caring service and relaxed vibe were irresistable, and the food was first-rate. Everything about our dining experience here made us feel good. The next time we drive through the area, we will try to time our trip so we can stop for breakfast or lunch at The Big Bean.
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