My boyfriend, B, and I have been making a point of having weekly brunch dates. Our first date was at Rachel’s Cafe & Creperie, and since then we’ve tried cooking brunch at home and going to a few recommendations from friends. But after my coworker sent me a guide to the best brunches in Central PA, B and I decided we needed to hit every place in Lancaster on the list. If you’re planning on coming to Lancaster anytime soon, make sure to check back for my upcoming reviews. And if you’re not planning a visit, may I just say that while the Amish might not be that interesting, the local food certainly is!
To kick off our brunch tour we chose to go to Commonwealth on Queen. I admit that part of the reason this cafe got my vote was because of the “Queen” theme. I’ll always be a royalist at heart…. B was equally as eager to try it after he read the menu online. Even before we got there, he was rhapsodizing about all the yummy things he saw on the site—including specialty coffee and teas, which are the ultimate selling point for him.
The place itself is equal parts homey and modern. I couldn’t help but thinking that it looked vaguely like how I’d style my dream apartment. A lot of white space with beautiful furniture and fun accents. Very much my cup of tea and I enjoyed just taking in the scene. I can imagine myself taking my laptop back and just enjoying the cozy setting filled with interesting people all the while sipping on good coffee or treating myself to a scoop of ice cream.
Desperate for caffeine, I decided to go with their bottomless, serve-yourself coffee, while B couldn’t wait to sample their espresso. Our coffees were both delicious and B the Coffee Snob said that they did a very good job with the espresso. Normally I would have selected something a bit more adventurous, but I was so desperate for coffee that my caffeine-deprived brain wouldn’t let me peruse the menu in peace.
As for the food, everything was tasty and exactly as you would hope. I hadn’t eaten any avocado in awhile (too expensive, goes bad too quickly) and I was instantly excited when I saw avocado toast on the menu. B and I decided to share an order on sourdough bread, and it was a much needed taste of avocado that I’d really been missing since I stopped purchasing them.
I’m a self-proclaimed Leslie-Knope-esque waffle fanatic and couldn’t wait to try Commonwealth on Queen’s Belgian waffle. A few weekends ago, B and I went to On Orange, another hot spot for brunch in Lancaster, and I ordered their oat flour waffles. They were good and rather tasted like oatmeal waffles, but nothing can beat a good Belgian waffle in my book.
Instead of going the sickening sweet route I usually take when it comes to waffles, I chose a savory option and had the maple bacon variety. And I have no regrets about that! The waffles were perfectly fluffy (the sign of a well incorporated egg white) and the bacon wasn’t too crispy or chewy. I was in waffle heaven.
B ordered the Spinach and Mushroom medley, which I think looks disgusting, but apparently photographs well. He raved about the eggs being poached perfectly—a culinary skill that’s evidently not easily mastered. As someone who is just learning to like eggs, I could barely stomach the sight of the puffy little balls. On the other hand, he was really pleased with the flavor combination and was very pleased with his choice. Sometime between sampling the egg and commenting on the superb texture of the bread, he said we would definitely be coming back.
Prior to going for brunch, I heard that the prices were a bit high for the food they gave you, but overall I found the pricing equal to pretty much anywhere you’d go for a good quality brunch. That being said, if you’re looking for a traditional brunch in a welcoming atmosphere, Commonwealth on Queen is the perfect place for you.