Main Liners take their brunch seriously. Visit Sabrina’s Cafe on any weekend day and encounter hungry regulars converging on the sweetest spot around. The overwhelming demand has led to 90-minute wait times (or more), lines out the door and unqualified success for owners Robert and Raquel DeAbreu, who now have four Sabrina’s locations.
Robert escaped the chain-restaurant grind to open the first Sabrina’s on Christian Street in Philadelphia in 2002, naming it after his daughter. Locations in the Art Museum District, the Italian Market and University City followed.
Responding to persistent customer requests for a suburban location, the DeAbreus recently debuted the latest Sabrina’s in the former Sam’s Grill, a beloved 16-year-old eatery that closed abruptly in late 2012. An unassuming addition to the Wynnewood Shopping Center, it has a whitewashed facade and makes the most of a narrow, brightly lit 2,400-square-foot space. Funky accents include a wall-length, black-and-white-polka-dot booth, wildly patterned lamp shades, and a City of Brotherly Love chalkboard mural (Benjamin Franklin included). It has a diner-inspired feel, with a sophisticated sense of fun.
From his open kitchen, executive chef Lance Silverman turns out over-the-top-indulgent menu staples and an array of specials. Breakfast is served all day, and the home-style dinners are textbook comfort food.
In his 14 years as a chef, Silverman has never offered the same weekly brunch special—and that’s not about to change at Sabrina’s. Impressive, eh?
The stuffed challah French toast—with its crispy exterior and feathery center—is a perfect brunch choice. Pumped with cinnamon-laced farmer’s cream cheese, it arrives on a pool of vanilla-infused syrup.
Reliable menu fixtures include egg-white frittatas, eggs Benedict, sharp Wisconsin cheddar omelets, and terrifically yolky huevos rancheros. Among the limited-edition attention-grabbers on our visit: a Twin Peaks-inspired, XXL breakfast burrito filled with snappy achiote-orange chicken, poblano peppers, pepper-jack scrambled eggs, and pumpkin-spiced mole. The Simpsons-esque Eat My Short Stack was accompanied by an addictive caramel-banana butter.
For dinner, the massive meatloaf is easily two meals in one. It’s loaded with hunks of high-quality turkey bacon, blue cheese, and caramelized apples, and doused with a rich mushroom-onion gravy.
Matching Sabrina’s homey vibe, the service is relaxed and professional. Coffee s refilled posthaste, and mimosas are an option if you bring your own champagne. And don’t be surprised if a staffer calls you out for finishing your plate without ever putting down your fork. After all, at Sabrina’s, well-mannered gluttony is a thing to be celebrated and embraced.
THE SKINNY: Seriously indulgent brunch options, better-than-Mom’s dinner selections, reasonable prices, and eclectic weekly specials make the Wynnewood Sabrina’s a comfort-food mecca equal in status to its Philly sisters.
Details: Sabrina’s Cafe Wynnewood Shopping Center, 50 E. Wynnewood Road, Wynnewood, (484) 412-8790, www.sabrinascafe.com.
•cuisine: American comfort fare.
•atmosphere: Elevated diner vibe.
•hours: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Sunday-Monday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Tuesday-Friday.
•extras: Breakfast served all day; brunch served until 4 p.m.; dinner begins at 5 p.m. Vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free options.