First Watch brings a new side of breakfast and lunch to Hoover

The extensive breakfast and lunch menus include everything from healthy to hearty dishes. (Reporter Photo/Molly Davidson)

The extensive breakfast and lunch menus include everything from healthy to hearty dishes. (Reporter Photo/Molly Davidson)

By MOLLY DAVIDSON / Staff Writer

HOOVER—First Watch, a national breakfast and lunch franchise, will make its Alabama debut in Hoover. The restaurant will open its doors to the public on May 20 in Chace Landing.

First Watch isn’t your average breakfast place. The menu has a variety of dishes to satisfy everyone from the health conscious to those looking for a hearty comfort meal.

“If you want to be healthy and have avocado toast and a kale tonic, you can do that,” First Watch Corporate Chef Shane Schaibly said. “But if you want to have a stack of chocolate chip pancakes, you can do that too.”

It’s all in the details at First Watch, from fresh ingredients to how the food is plated, everything is aimed at improving the customer experience and taste, Corporate Chef Shane Schaibly said. (Reporter Photo/Molly Davidson)

It’s all in the details at First Watch, from fresh ingredients to how the food is plated, everything is aimed at improving the customer experience and taste, Corporate Chef Shane Schaibly said. (Reporter Photo/Molly Davidson)

Fresh ingredients are a staple at First Watch. Fruit and vegetables are sliced daily at each restaurant and juices are fresh squeezed on site.

“We’re bringing in fresh produce daily,” Jason Savoie, general manager of the Chace Landing First Watch, said. “It’s a lot cleaner.”

While fresh ingredients help, the key to a delicious meal is in the details, Schaibly said. First Watch uses cage-free eggs and incorporates imported cheese, such as Wisconsin Gruyere, and fresh-baked breads into classic breakfast and lunch dishes.

“It’s the little things like that, it’s in the details,” Schaibly said. “Those little things make a huge difference.”

The expansive First Watch menu includes anything from traditional omelets to healthy fresh fruit crepes. One perennial customer favorite is the Elevated Egg Sandwich—an over-easy egg on a brioche bun, topped with bacon, Gruyere, avocado, mayonnaise and arugula.

Another bestseller is the Avocado Toast—whole grain toast topped with avocado and sea salt, served with two eggs.

Quinoa bowls have also been a hit, First Watch franchise consultant Carmen Rundell said. The restaurant’s award-winning Pesto Chicken Quinoa Bowl includes quinoa, kale, shredded carrots and roasted tomatoes covered by chicken breast, pesto sauce, feta and herbs.

While the menu largely remains the same through the year, seasonal specials are regularly rolled out.

“That (seasonal special) program really allows us to be at the front of the trends and stay relevant,” Schaibly said. “There are some really cool and exciting things in the pipeline.”

First Watch is opening three other Alabama locations after the Chace Landing restaurant, one on U.S. 280 in Greystone, one in Vestavia and one near Montgomery. The restaurants are opening in former Egg and I locations. According to the company’s website, First Watch acquired Egg and I in 2015.

Although the First Watch restaurants will have a different menu and a new “urban farmhouse vibe,” some things, such as the staff, will remain the same, Savoie said.

“I’m excited,” Savoie said. “We love what we do, that’s why we’re in this business.”

First Watch restaurants will be located at 4741 Chace Circle and 5479 U.S. 280, suite 128 in Hoover. Hours are 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. daily. For more information, visit Firstwatch.com.