2107 Old Plymouth St.,
Open daily, 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Accepts Visa, MasterCard, and Discover
Tucked away on a small road in East Bridgewater, Pogo’s serves up heaping platters of breakfast with a bit of Portuguese flair.
Leslie Barros and her fiancé, Wesley Dias, believe in more-than-generous portions, and their menu offers the usual American breakfast favorites along with dessert-inspired entrees.
Our table of three wanted to get a good sampling of what Pogo’s had to offer, so we ordered enough for a table of six. That startled our server, Adam, who warned us that entrees are huge and not what people are accustomed to, but we forged ahead.
The Portuguese Princess omelet ($10) was about four servings packed into one. The eggs with chorizo, linguica, onions, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, potatoes, and choice of cheese came with hash browns and toast. The two sausages were lightly spicy, and melded with the vegetables to make a hearty and satisfying meal. The hash browns were perfectly crisp on the outside.
Vern’s and Sylvan’s Hickory Dickory ($9), an omelet with chorizo scrambled in, came with home fries and toast. It was similar to the Portuguese Princess, with fewer fillings but just as good. The home fries also had perfectly crisped exteriors.
On the sweet side were Sally’s Sumptuous Blueberry Blast pancakes, and My Big Sistah Steph’s pumpkin pie pancakes (both $7 for a short stack). The dinner-plate-sized pancakes were standard, but fluffy and good.
However, they simply couldn’t compete with the tiramisu French toast ($9). The restaurant’s Dutch chocolate bread is dipped in a vanilla espresso batter, then layered with cocoa, sweet mascarpone cheese, and chocolate chips.
The mascarpone gives the entree a wonderful creaminess, and no syrup is required. The espresso flavor isn’t overwhelming, which appealed to me since I’m not a coffee lover, and it enhanced the chocolate flavor. Bring an appetite and a friend if you want to tackle this tall plate.
My Vavor’s traditional-style Portuguese French toast ($5 for a short stack) also paled by comparison. It was flavored well with vanilla and cinnamon, but the tiramisu version is a hard act to follow.
“My vavor” is Portuguese for “my grandmother,” Barros said, and the bread used is a family recipe more than a century old. Bakers have been in her family since before the Depression, she said.
That love of baking has passed on to Barros, who said a lot of her inspiration is dessert-based. “You’re not supposed to eat dessert at breakfast, but if you eat it during breakfast time, you’re not really cheating,” she said.
There are baked goods available for purchase, including the Portuguese sweet bread ($6 a loaf) used for some of the French toast dishes. On its own, the bread is lightly sweet and delicious in its simplicity, and not at all bland.
The show-stopper was the chocolate fudge whoopie pie ($2). I measured this behemoth of a confection at 4½ inches tall, much larger than any other whoopie pie I’ve ever seen. The chocolate cake and frosting were standard but good.
The Pogo stick ($2) is a pastry dough twisted with cinnamon and topped with an icing. It was all right, though the dough was denser than I would have liked. Instead, try the cinnamon bun ($2), which sets itself apart from the usual recipe with a lightly sweet meringue-based cream cheese frosting, a welcome substitute to overly sugary icing.
If you’re looking for a more nutritious start to your day, there is a healthy section on the menu with egg-white omelets cooked without oil and served with dry toast. The menu also says any entree can be made into a “dieter’s paradise” upon request.
Some diners pass up restaurants that have big plates at low prices, not wanting to sacrifice quality for quantity, but Pogo’s delivers on both. Flavors are not muddled, dishes are not greasy, and huge plates are consistent, not overdone on the edges and undercooked in the center.
The 50-seat dining area is comfortable and service was prompt and attentive, but if you’re in a hurry, the restaurant offers drive-through service. The hours are the same as the restaurant’s, and you can order off the full menu.
Barros bought the business in 1997 after waitressing at its original Plympton location for years. It was moved to Halifax in 2005 before opening in East Bridgewater in 2009. (Pogo’s is an amalgam of the original owners’ last names.)
“I really enjoyed cooking, and I just wanted to have my own place where I could create my own things,” Barros said. “I knew the run of it because of working there.”
She and Dias, who does much of the cooking, are considering expanding into an additional larger location in West Bridgewater.
As for the huge portions, Barros says:
“It has a lot to do with my upbringing, being Portuguese and Italian,” she said. “We never think there’s enough on the plate.”