Sophia's Bakery & Cafe

831 E. Johnson St., Madison, Wis., 259-1506

Food: 3.75 out of 5 stars

Service: 4 out of 5 stars
Value: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Drinks: 5 out of 5 stars

Some ladies and I went to Sophia's for a late brunch this morning before checking out the CSA Open House. Sophia's is a homey cafe/bakery on Johnson Street known for tasty baked goods, a limited seating area and a packed late morning breakfast.

I use
d to live in the neighborhood and would occasionally pick up a baked good and quickly exit the crowded premises. My friend Jane suggested we give the full breakfast experience a go and we ended up sharing a table first with two college girls and then a silent college couple. Since seats are limited, if you venture in you may end up sharing a table with any number of diners.

I chose the bacon, cheese and egg crossiant and coffee. My companions had waffles with strawberries and whipped cream and banana pancakes. My pal Becks wisely chose a pear-fig tart which served as an appetizer.

My sandwich was huge, rich and a bit greasy - which is to be expected when ordering things like bacon, cheese and crossiants. The flavor was great, with the herb-brined bacon stealing the show. I almost finished the entire sandwich with the help of a knife, fork and some napkins. The ample fruit garnish was a nice touch, with ripe strawberries and a delicious honeydew melon (from Woodman's of all places).

The waffles looked and tasted great, but the banana pancakes were a little blah in my opinion. The pre-brunch pear-fig tart was delicious, with firm pears and a crisp, not-to-sweet crust. For beverages, Sophia's offers a quaint coffee/tea bar with fresh coffee and an array of tea choices.

Overall the food is good, but the atmosphere is a bit hectic and not my idea of relaxation. I recommend a stop in for some great baked goods or a quick breakfast, this is definately not a place to linger in.

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