Sunday, February 8, 2015

Busy Bee

I always passed the Busy Bee on my way to Rochester Art Supply and other points west and I was never 100 percent sure it was still open despite the jaunty awning sign. It was a quiet December morning when I finally made it into the Busy Bee and found it to be not so busy, but it was indeed open.

There were a couple of people in one of the booths, but otherwise the only activity was from the cook cleaning the grill, the waitress wiping down surfaces, and the ancient chrome coffee maker wrestling with itself. "Serving downtown since 1958," but last (partially) updated in the '70s the Busy Bee is a feast for the senses! A lot of steel and chrome in the kitchen, vintage counters and stools, and the dining area lined with booths. Looking up from the booths the walls are faux half-timber/plaster giving the place a more ale house feel than diner. This was now two months ago so many details have escaped me, but mostly I remember it feeling well-worn but maintained and cozy for it.

I was blown away by the first sandwich option: Fried egg and cheese on an English Muffin for, get this, 92 cents!! I can only guess that this offering is to help out the area panhandlers with a hot breakfast for a dollar. Or it could just be that all their prices are ridiculously fair. Either way, it's hard not to feel good about a cheap diner breakfast.

I opted for the second sandwich option and decided not to go through the bread rigamarole with the waitress and just get the hard roll. I have finally made peace with the Rochester hard roll: It tastes fine, I even like them, but I still contend they don't hold up very well in a breakfast sandwich. For $2.70 I am not going to argue. I ordered one with bacon and home-fries to go.

A couple minutes of taking in the yellow ochre, brown, and chrome my food was bagged up and ready to go. I got to my office and dug in: Fried egg a little hard but not overdone, bacon was crispy, cheese appropriately melty and salty. That's a breakfast sandwich. Home fries were good, though were a little starchy slimy. Salt, pepper, and ketchup are an easy fix.

Busy Bee Restaurant
124 Main Street West, 14614
Sandwich cost: $2.70
Rating: A classic Rochester breakfast sandwich

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