First Watch, an award-winning breakfast and brunch chain, has launched their limited time fall menu and we were lucky enough to sample some of the new items. The "Harvest the Season" menu includes the fan-favorite Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast, which a portion of the proceeds from the dish are donated to Share Our Strength's Dine for No Kid Hungry campaign. The rest of the fall menu includes Mixed Berry Toast, Million Dollar Bacon, Braised Short Rib Benedict, Truffled Wild Mushroom Frittata, and Butternut Squash Bisque.
One thing we love about First Watch is that all 300+ restaurants do not use high fructose corn syrup in their food and only use the freshest and finest ingredients. That's not to say you still can't indulge; one thing Dave Ernst, the chain's Regional Vice President, emphasized was that "you can be as healthy as you want or you can be as decadent as you want" while dining at First Watch.
Though we weren't able to try the Truffled Wild Mushroom Frittata and Butternut Squash Bisque, we were able to sample everything else on the fall menu. Below are our thoughts on the new menu items, which are available now until November 3.
The first thing off First Watch's fall menu we tried was a handcrafted juice called Carrot Crush, which is joining two other craft beverages, Kale Tonic and Morning Meditation, for a limited time. It's made with carrot, orange, coconut water, turmeric, and lemon. The first thing I noticed about Carrot Crush was its strikingly beautiful color – bright carrot orange and garnished with an orange slice.
Carrot Crush is refreshing and delicious. Though carrots are the main ingredient, the carrot flavor isn't too overpowering because it's balanced out with the lemon, orange, turmeric, and coconut water. Of the three juices we were sampled, Carrot Crush was the one I kept going back to.
The first food item we tried was the Mixed Berry Toast, which is a shareable thick-cut brioche toast topped with lemon ricotta cream, strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, housemade granola, and créme anglaise. The lemon ricotta cream pairs perfectly with the berries and granola, making this item a great starter for your breakfast or brunch.
From the moment I looked the menu, I had my eye on the Million Dollar Bacon. This shareable contains four slices of First Watch's signature hardwood smoked bacon baked with brown sugar, black pepper, cayenne, and a maple syrup drizzle. This dish is a true game changer. It's everything bacon should be – sweet, smoky, and just a little spicy. I will say that the one downfall of the bacon is that it is sticky because of the maple syrup drizzle, so it might be in your best interest to not eat it with your hands like I did. Or do. Honestly, this bacon is so good it's worth having sticky hands for.
We were told that the Million Dollar Bacon is such a fan favorite that it consistently comes back on First Watch's limited time offer menus. And thank goodness for that, because this bacon is what's going to bring me back for sure.
If you're craving something savory for breakfast, look no further than the Braised Short Rib Benedict. By far the most inventive item on First Watch's fall, the Braised Short Rib Benedict takes a classic Eggs Benedict and gives it a decadent make over. While Eggs Benedict is traditionally an open-faced English muffin topped with poached eggs, ham, and hollandaise sauce, this dish is made with Parmesan-crusted ciabatta topped with red wine-braised beef short rib, arugula, house-pickled onions, two poached cage-free eggs, and Parmesan cream. It is served with First Watch's fresh seasoned potatoes.
Besides the Million Dollar Bacon, the Braised Short Rib Benedict was by far my favorite item I sampled from the fall menu. The eggs were perfectly poached and the braised rib and Parmesan cream satisfied my craving for something savory, while the arugula and pickled onions evened out the dish with some freshness. I'll definitely revisit First Watch before the fall is over to have this again.
Finally, the Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast. This is First Watch's tried and true fall menu item that makes a comeback year after year. And for good reason. Not only is the pancake absolute scrumptious – it literally tastes like a pancake and a slice of pumpkin pie had a baby – First Watch also donates 10 cents for every Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast sold to Share Our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign. So if you're a pumpkin spice lover and want to indulge in a delicious pancake and help end childhood hunger in America, the Pumpkin Pancake Breakfast is for you.