There aren't that many places anymore that have a breakfast special of two eggs, toast and coffee for $2.99, but if you happen to be visiting or passing through North Collins, we have one for you.
The Three Star Family Restaurant looks to be a community favorite, from its friendly greeting to its easy-on-the-wallet menu. The front door of the one-story building opens into a room that is comfortable and bright, with plenty of tables, several of which were filled with couples, families and groups on the Saturday around noon when Paula, Tom, John and I stopped there for a late breakfast/early lunch. Our overall experience was good, with a few spots of excellence and just one glitch.
But first, speaking of dishes – the actual dishes our food was served on were marked with the logo of The Executive, which sent us all on a trip down memory lane discussing the long-ago Executive Inn on Genesee Street across from the airport, which, in its later years, also housed the Playboy Club. The Executive closed decades ago, but its oval china platters live on, holding homestyle food at the Three Star. There was nary a chip or crack in sight, and the platters were thick enough to hold plenty of heat.
The menu offered the usual breakfast and lunch selections, along with some Greek dishes, including a souvlaki breakfast for $7.25. But that was along the upper limit of menu prices, with most things much less and some things extremely reasonable. A quarter-pound three-star burger with fries, for example, was $3.99.
We started our selections with a cup ($2.25; bowl $2.99) of the soup of the day, turkey noodle. It was the best turkey noodle soup I have tasted outside of my own kitchen, where the whole carcass goes into the pot after a holiday meal and simmers for hours. Packed with bits of turkey, slices of carrot, diced onion and soft egg noodles, it was stellar.
The half-pound sirloin burger, served with fries ($5.99) was made with very good meat that was not served well by its roll, which was slightly stale. The burger was cooked perfectly, meaty and juicy despite being, as ordered, cooked through. It was, in fact, described as delicious. The fries were crispy and hot, just perfect.
Also nicely made (and quite a bargain at $6.25) was the hungry man breakfast, which arrived on two plates. It consisted of two pancakes, two eggs, a pile of home fries and several strips of bacon. We like our home fries slightly crispy, and these filled the bill. The cakes were perfectly cooked, golden and fluffy inside.
Unfortunately, an order of blueberry pancakes with bacon ($5.25) looked fine on the outside but had raw batter in the middle. Blueberry pancakes are certainly more tricky to cook than regular ones, especially if you use cold or frozen berries. But that's no excuse. We flagged down the server, who took them back to the kitchen and new ones were cooked and arrived after five long minutes. The second time around, they were delicious, packed with small, flavorful berries.
The Macedonian omelette ($6.25) was an unusual combination, and utterly delicious. The eggs were filled with diced onion, cooked peppers, tomatoes and mushrooms and topped with a generous sprinkling of feta cheese. It was so tasty that we'll be looking for it on every menu we scan from now on.
> RESTAURANT REVIEW
Three Star Family Restaurant
Where: 10770 Main St., ?North Collins (337-3872)
Hours: Open from 6 a.m. to ?8 p.m. Monday through Friday and 6:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday. ?No credit cards accepted.Wheelchair-accessible: Yes.