When the Maitland First Watch closes after lunch on Sunday, Harriett Issertell will lose the place she has eaten at several times a week since the daytime cafe first opened in 1993. Issertell, whom everyone calls Miss Harriett, dines at the popular breakfast and lunch cafe almost every day. In fact, I reached her by phone Friday as she was leaving First Watch.
Miss Harriett, 85, a teacher and reading coach, has some menu favorites that she goes to, and the staff all know just how she likes things done. “I have the french toast, double dipped,” she says, “the waffles, the blueberry muffins.” And she considers the restaurant a home away from home. According to staff members, she’ll come in by herself on weekdays with her books and spend some time reading. On weekends, she’ll come in with friends from her church. “I always love Saturdays and Sundays,” she said.
She has seen a lot of staff come and go but noted one constant: “They’ve always been good, no matter who takes care of you. They’ve all been courteous.”
The Maitland First Watch, the oldest location of the Florida based chain in Central Florida, is closing in anticipation of a new location, just down the road in Winter Park, which will fire up its griddles on March 1 following an egg-breaking ceremony by local dignitaries.
Miss Harriett is bound to be there. “I know just where it is,” she said. “It looks great.”