Sometimes being evicted can be a good thing.
The Townhouse Restaurant — or Town House, you’ll find it both ways, even on its website (or web site, if you prefer) — has been part of downtown Oviedo for decades. Some might even say it WAS downtown Oviedo. It had occupied a little box of a building at the corner of Broadway Street and Central Avenue on a spit of land triangulated by Railroad Street.
To call it rustic would be an understatement. It looked its age and was often unkempt. But it was comfortable, and it had a dedicated and loyal base of customers who were horrified when it was announced, in 2014, that the Townhouse house would be torn down to accommodate the broadening of Broadway.
But it didn’t mean the end of the Townhouse. It found new digs only several hundred feet up Central Avenue and now has more seating in a spacious restaurant with volume ceilings, a pleasant outdoor patio overlooking the Florida Trail bike path and a parking lot (which seemed to be used a lot by bikers who may or may not have been eating at the restaurant). And the old Colonial style sign has even been incorporated into the new building.
The new place reminded me of the Peach Valley Cafe in Lake Mary, only with better food.
It turns out that what made the Townhouse so charming wasn’t its building, it was the people and the food. And both are as good a reason to go to the Townhouse as they ever were.
I recently stopped in for breakfast, which I always thought was the Townhouse’s best meal. I didn’t need much time to look the menu over. The Chili Cheese Omelet immediately caught my eye and I considered nothing else. Chili cheese omelets are my go-to morning after meal and this one was just as good without a hangover. The eggs were nicely folded and topped with glop of meat and bean chili and shreds of cheddar cheese. I selected the home fries (or homefries, if you wish) instead of the grits and couldn’t have been happier with my decision.
And I got a biscuit instead of toast just so I could order a side of sausage gravy. Deliciously smooth and unfloury with nice bits of crumbled sausage on a Southern-cookbook-perfect fresh biscuit.
I was lucky to snag a single stool at the counter because there were lots of people standing around waiting for tables (only a few of those in biking gear). My server was so nice and friendly that she couldn’t even tell the people two stools over that she had to go serve other guests when they wouldn’t stop asking her personal questions. She never stopped smiling and she made a point of saying how glad she was that each guest came in.
That’s the Townhouse I remember.
The Townhouse Restaurant is at 139 N. Central Ave., Oviedo (don’t go to the old address, you’ll get run over). It is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. The phone number is 407-365-5151.