First Watch – UCF Area – Orlando

First Watch – UCF Area – Orlando

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First Watch – UCF Area – Orlando

First Watch – UCF Area

First Watch is one of the few restaurants out there that bucks the maxim about chains/franchises sucking in all matters of food deliciousness. The chain opened up its doors to the UCF area on University Blvd next to Ruby Tuesdays a few months ago and I was happy to visit on one sunny weekend afternoon.

Was I in for a surprise…

There, in front of me at the door was a line 40-minutes long, full of young couples, old couples, families, moms and dads and sons and daughters (most likely patrons of the nearby university) all waiting for some breakfast/brunch action here at First Watch. There is a saying that there is wisdom in crowds…and for the most part, they’re usually right.

First Watch – UCF Area

The hostess at the front confirmed my worst fears: the line was indeed at least 40 minutes long this late morning and I and my partner would have to wait. As I stood there trying to keep from boring myself to death, I happened to come upon a young man with a t-shirt with words that caught my eyes: “UCF College of Medicine: Charter Class”. As a proud alumni of UCF, I promptly waved toward him and congratulated him on being part of the historic first class of 70 or so medical students and especially congratulated him on the free ride for the whole thing. He was waiting with his partner as well and so we chatted away the time, remarking how fast UCF had grown these past few years and all the crazy-cool things going on with the new medical city planned at Lake Nona. Shortly thereafter his table was called and away he went to enjoy his meal and I, resigned, back to my place in line.

Then, his partner Natalia, suddenly returned to the front and asked us if we would like to join them for brunch this morning. Thankful, grateful for their kindness we accepted and skipped on over to join them at their booth.

For their meals they order a “bacado” omelette, yogurt and fruit crepe, and a pancake filled with chocolate chips, all looking quite delicious.

Bacado omelette at First Watch – UCF Area

Fruit crepe at First Watch – UCF Area

Chocolate pancakes at First Watch – UCF Area

For our meals, my partner orders the sweet, fluffy belgian waffle with egg and sausage.

Belgian waffles at First Watch – UCF Area

I order the Acapulco Express Omellette made with chorizo sausage, avocado, green chilies and onions, smothered with melted cheeses and topped with sour cream and served with a side of homemade salsa, first watch potatoes and English muffin. Simple yet delicious.

Acapulco Express omelet at First Watch – UCF Area

Choo choo im on the Acapulco express!

Overall the meal at First Watch was pretty good. I particularly enjoyed how the food wasn’t oily or overly greasy like some of the other “breakfast” joints out there, all very fresh and very light tasting.

First Watch on Urbanspoon

Ricky Ly founded in 2008 as a local Orlando food blog dedicated to finding the tastiest bits and pieces of Orlando as well as around the world. His first book, Food Lovers' Guide to Orlando: The Best Restaurants, Markets & Local Culinary Offerings (Food Lovers' Series) is available now on and Photography is taken using a Canon EOS 6D and a Sony Nex-3. In 2017, he was inducted into the Orlando Sentinel's Culinary Hall of Fame. He is also featured in the Orlando Sentinel's Central Florida 100, a weekly opinion column featuring 100 of the most influential people in local government, politics and culture. In 2018, he was chosen by the Orlando Weekly as one of the "Ten People Making Orlando a Better Place to Be." E-mail him at tastychomps(at) Google


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