Upper Montclair may be holding its annual sidewalk sale this weekend but it's certainly not the only commercial strip in town that continues to draw hordes of customers.
Walnut Street, with its array of popular shops and restaurants, is definitely a nice part of town to check out.
And if you do, stop by Red Eye Cafe at 94 Walnut Street, a homey 34-seat eatery with loaded bookshelves and vintage lighting.
Open only since last May, owner Anthony Brinton, who spent more than a decade at Cafe Eclectic in Montclair, already has built a loyal following with a substantial cafe breakfast and lunch menu.
The offerings include a nice mix of salads such as the Walnut, which includes roasted walnuts, argula, pear, goat cheese, and house balsamic, for $7.95, and Farm Fresh, which includes tomato, bacon, avocado, boiled egg, and vinaigrette on spring mixed greens, also for $7.95.
According to the menu, fresh local produce is used June through October.
There's also a pleasing variety of sandwiches, everything from ham and brie to grilled eggplant, as well as three sides: slaw, corn salad, and spinach.
Friends who frequent Red Eye say there's nothing better than the Blue Velvet sandwich, which includes house-roasted beef with pickled blueberries & shallots, cream cheese & arugula, all on ciabatta, for $8.95.
This Montclair Patch editor had the pulled pork sandwich, which was the special of the month priced at $7. My only complaint? That the delicious sandwich filled with roast pork, gruyere cheese, and pickles wasn't bigger!
(The slaw on the side, however, was a bit too tart for my taste.)
When it comes to breakfast foods, Red Eye serves sandwiches such as the Elvis, which is banana, peanut butter & honey on multigrain toast, for $5, and also omelettes with various fillings accompanied by hash and toast for $6.95.
And one of the best items of all? The Sweet Scramble, or cheesy scrambled eggs with onion jam & arugula on an English muffin, for $5.50, washed down with a Dirty Chai for $4.
What a nice way to wake up!
Red Eye's slogan is "Food Coffee Comfort" and, from the ravings of satisfied customers, it delivers on all counts.
94 Walnut Street, Montclair
Open seven days a week. BYO.
7 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. weekends.
Dinner served nightly 6 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Delivery till 6 p.m. ($15 minimum).