MERIDIAN — A restaurant-reared former teacher recently brought his parents’ café model from Helena, Mont., to Meridian — along with their signature focus on homemade breakfast and lunch fare, quiet comfort and experience-driven service.
Steven A. Vincelli co-owns and operates Steve’s Café, located on Fairview and just a half-mile east of Eagle Road. After fours years as an educator in Mountain Home, he is putting his food-service upbringing to good use in the Treasure Valley. His co-owners and parents, Steve R. and Penny Vincelli, have run multiple eateries — including the original Steve’s Café, in Montana.
“Breakfast and lunch among friends” is the motto, Steve R. said.
Before earning his elementary education from Carroll College in Montana, Steven A. began helping in the family restaurant at age 14.
“He grew up in it,” said Steve R. whose bountiful food-service background ranges from working in a coffee shop as a young man to serving as vice president of a restaurant chain comprising 100 locations. Penny assists with bookkeeping, advertising, decorating and website maintenance.
One major emphasis at Steve’s Café is well-trained staff. Every server has at least 10 years of experience in the field.
“We don’t like a lot of drama,” Steve R. said.
The dining atmosphere is all about piece and quiet. Guests find comfortable booths and chairs, but no TVs or loud music.
The staff strives to constantly make its presence felt, both to show people they care and solve problems or concerns at a moment’s notice, Steve R. said.
Beyond its high percent of homemade products, the Steve’s Café menu stands out largely because of one word: huckleberries.
It’s a rather unique claim to fame, enabled by bulk purchases of enough huckleberries to last year-round, Steve R. said.
Here’s a list of some of the more popular dishes at the café:
• Huckleberry Stuffed French Toast (2 pieces) — Huckleberries blended with lightly sweetened ricotta and cream cheese. $9. With two eggs, $10.75. With ham, bacon or country sausage, $11.75. With two eggs and choice of ham, bacon or country sausage, $12.75
• Italian Sausage Sandwich —Homemade Italian sausage with peppers and onions sautéed in olive oil on a grilled hoagie. $9.50.
• Reuben Sandwich —Slow-roasted & hand chopped corned beef, with Swiss cheese,
fresh sauerkraut & thousand Island dressing. Served on thick grilled rye bread. Tavern mustard upon request. $9.75.
Sandwiches are served with fries, side salad, cup of soup, fruit cup or cole slaw.