Valentine’s Day falls on Monday this year. For an early celebration, on Friday night I asked M if he would like to have Saturday breakfast somewhere special. “Do you have a place in mind?” he asked. I nodded, and showed him the website. Ten minutes later, he said “Looks like we should get there early.”
Jumbars had long been on our list of places to visit, recommended by more than one reader of BITV. The café was established in 2003 by Chef Paul Hoffert and his wife, Mary. The café’s name and many of its recipes, originate from Mary’s great-grandmother, Anna Jumbar.
Around 8:20 am, we walked into Jumbars and took a table against the south wall. The café is small, seating roughly 30 to 40 people. Floral tablecloths, local paintings, and vases of fresh cut boxwood all contribute to a cozy charm. At the front is a walk-up counter that displays some of their delectable homemade pastries and breads.
Our waitress brought us menus, followed by coffee and tall glasses of water. Although we’d already had a sneak preview of the menu on Jumbars’ website, we took our time perusing the many offerings. Assorted omelettes, and homemade breads caught our eye. M chose a New England Omelette with a homemade English Muffin. I chose a Garden Omelette.
As we waited for our food we chatted quietly about the past week and the spring to come, in the way of old married folk. Around us singles read, while friends and other couples talked. At the table behind us, grandparents had their two-year old grandson for a Saturday morning outing. The well-mannered boy thoroughly enjoyed his whole wheat waffle with Nutella and bananas.
Our breakfast soon arrived. “The jams are on the sideboard,” said the waitress. We each made a trip up front to choose from assorted jam pots of homemade preserves. Also on the sideboard was a huge selection of teas.
M chose the New England Omelette, three eggs filled with maple sage pork sausage, thin slices of Granny Smith apple slices, and cheddar cheese. His order surprised me. He normally stays away from omelettes because of their dryness but he said he liked the description and was willing to chance it. “Moist and delicious,” he said. “Fantastic!”
My own Garden Omelette was among the best ever. The inside was moist and stuffed with small cut pieces of broccoli and tomatoes, and the perfect complement of cheddar cheese.
The omelette came with one piece of whole wheat toast, cut in two, but that’s all I needed. It was hearty and filling, easily the equivalent of two pieces of store-bought. With a few dabs of homemade blueberry jam, it was perfect!
Throughout our meal in this most pleasant café, our coffee cups were kept filled with fresh ground Dean’s Beans organic coffee. Rich and superb! As we finished, more people arrived. I was glad we’d arrived early.
Our bill for a New England Omelette with breakfast potatoes and a homemade English muffin, and a Garden Omelette with breakfast potatoes and a thick slice of wheat toast, and two cups of coffee came to just under $20 (plus tip).
Of all the restaurants we have visited for breakfast over the years, we both agree that Jumbars is by far, among the best for food quality, preparation, atmosphere, friendliness, and service! Congratulations to the Hofferts for creating a true gem in Bethlehem.
Jumbars is located at 1342 Chelsea Avenue in Bethlehem. 610-866-1660. The café is open for breakfast and lunch, Tuesday through Friday, 8 am to 3 pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 8 am to 2 pm.