Putting The B Into breakfast

Restaurant Spotlight: Bentley's Restaurant
By Leslie Poster
Tuesday, April 12 2011 08:39:11 PM

On a quiet Sunday afternoon in Falls Church, diners can sip coffee at the breakfast counter and pick their favorites from the menu at Bentley's, much as they've been able to for nearly 40 years.

The Arlington Boulevard restaurant is housed within a large brick building, with green awnings bearing the first initial of the Bentley's name (which, they tout, puts the "B" in breakfast). Inside, in shades of green and brown, the old meets the new in an eclectic mix of what once was, and what is now. Elegant wood tables line long halls, neighboring charming, vintage spring green booths and breakfast counter stools. And whether diners opt to sit at the updated tables or stick with the old standby diner booths, they are still treated to a time-tested menu of diner food staples and breakfast classics.

While the menu features expected diner fare, the real treats are offered on the breakfast menu. For breakfast, customers can choose from pancake, waffle, omelet and egg-and-meat plates, most for less than $10.

In one of the restaurant's namesake dishes, eggs Benedict becomes eggs Bentley. The Bentley's Delight features poached eggs and sausage atop an English muffin, coated in an impossibly creamy and buttery hollandaise sauce, which is served with either grits or hash browns.

And while Bentley's will serve up eggs any way a customer might like - from perfectly poached to fluffy and scrambled - the pancakes definitely steal the show.

The pancakes are offered in a variety of fruit-and-nut combinations, but when the Bentley's buttermilk base is so spot-on, there is little need for embellishment. The pancakes, served with whipped butter and syrup, are an ideal blend of a light flour taste, taken over by a rich butter flavor. While syrup amps up the already sweet pancakes, it should be used in moderation so as not to obscure the phenomenal texture of these light, fluffy cakes, which dissolve happily on the tongue.

With a number of platter options available, almost any diner can be satisfied with the pre-selected meals, but affordable side options make the meal more customizable, so that customers don't go home before having their favorite breakfast treat - like the must-have corned beef hash, served up crispy with plenty of the delicious cured meat thrown into the mix.

To wash it all down, the restaurant has a few coffee, tea and juice options, most of which are served with unlimited refills (even, surprisingly, the juices), which allow customers to leisurely enjoy their meal and their conversation.

While many restaurants offer breakfast at any time of the day, served up with diner flair, few feel so connected to the all-American tradition of cozying up to a table and enjoying home-style favorites. And the pinnacle of that tradition, the Sunday afternoon brunch, can be celebrated nicely with the crowds that make their way to Bentley's.

Bentley's Restaurant is located at 6654 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church. For more information, call 703-532-4100 or visit Restaurant hours are Monday - Friday: 6:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. and Saturday - Sunday: 7 a.m. - 9 p.m.

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In pursuit of a better Washington breakfast

The old-fashioned, sit-down weekday breakfast may be hard to find, but it's not extinct. Writers for the Food and Weekend sections combed the region for fare so good, you'll want to put down your BlackBerry and savor the morning meal again; we even rated the restaurants on both their breakfast fare (on a scale of zero to four plates) and their coffee (on a scale of zero to four cups). What's your favorite place to have breakfast? What makes it special? Let us know in the comments.

Any place that claims to put "the B back into Breakfast" had better back up its bravado. You know, come to think of it, Bentley's might be better served to say it puts the "care back into breakfast" - not as catchy but more grounded in the reality of this 30-year-old institution in Falls Church. Bentley's may feel like a place out of time - a kind of homey, full-service pancake house that used to feed small towns before IHOP and Denny's cornered the market - but it's no museum piece. The kitchen displays a sure (and relatively fast) hand in executing its long, three-page menu, whether frying up a simple sunny-side-up egg or preparing a thin, eggy cheese blintz topped with strawberry preserves. Bentley's sometimes puts a crafty little spin on American classics, too, likes its "French toast Provencal," in which the griddled triangles are drizzled with a cream cheese and orange marmalade sauce. Talk about a sweet breakfast.

Menu sampler: cheese blintz, $7.29; blueberry pancakes, $6.49; French toast Provencal, $8.99; ham, egg and cheese breakfast croissant, $6.99. (6654 Arlington Blvd., Falls Church; 703-532-4100, Our take: the food: 2 plates, the coffee, 1 cup

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Bentley's Restaurant Celebrates 30th Anniversary
Wednesday, January 04 2012 07:55:31 PM

Bentley's of Falls Church celebrated its 30th anniversary on Sunday, Dec. 4, with a special dinner and party for more than 100 of their regulars along with three generations of family employees. Bentley's is a full-service diner open 365 days a year serving breakfast, lunch and dinner.

The restaurant is known for its expansive breakfast menu.