Helen Williams, owner and head chef of 2 Home Cooks, wants you to feel like family as soon as you enter her eatery. Housed in Dover’s Cocheco Park, the restaurant features a large wraparound bar that surrounds an open kitchen, giving customers a front-row view of the action, plus the ability to interact with the person making their meal. “We want to get to know the guests and be a little more personal,” Williams says. “Instead of walking into a restaurant, you’re walking into our home.”
A self-trained chef, Williams opened her family-run restaurant in 2016 under the motto “great food made simple.” Sharing her love for breakfast and lunch, she opted to serve both all day, six days a week. Whether at the bar or cozied up at one of the tables in the dining area, get ready to make a tough decision: breakfast or lunch?
There’s plenty to choose from, whichever direction you take. But if you’re feeling breakfast, you’ll be hard pressed to pick just one thing off the menu. Once you’ve got your coffee or tea, the Bacon Pancakes may be the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Crumbles of local, thick-cut bacon are cooked inside the fluffy cakes, which are topped with pure maple syrup. The menu also boasts all the egg options you could want, from fried to omelettes to benedicts. For what Williams dubs a “crowd pleaser,” go for The Dovah. Scrambled eggs, slow-roasted corned beef, and provolone cheese are layered between slices of toasted dark rye bread. You also can’t go wrong with the Breakfast Burrito. Fresh vegetables—spinach, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and tomatoes—are tossed with scrambled eggs and cheddar cheese, then wrapped in a tortilla. The dish includes hash browns, a dollop of sour cream, and homemade pico sour cream, and homemade pico de gallo. Meat eaters can sub the veggies for ham, sausage, and bacon.
Eat like the locals with the buttermilk Biscuit and Gravy. Using a secret family recipe, Williams hits the kitchen at 3 a.m. to begin baking, and has earned quite a reputation in the area for the heavenly confection. “I’m well known for my biscuits,” she says. “A lot of people think they’re better than their grandma’s down south.” Topped with a homemade sausage cream sauce, there’s no doubt you’ll leave feeling full and elated. You can also get an Egg Sandwich made with a biscuit, sausage, and a sunny-side-up egg.
For a great meal that blends breakfast and lunch, try the Waffle BLT all the fixings of the classic sandwich, with a twist. A large buttermilk waffle, cut in four, blankets thickcut strips of bacon, lettuce, and tomato. Further indulge with homemade potato chips, or keep it light-ish with a side salad; both are offered with every sandwich on the menu. Williams also puts her unique touch on another traditional favorite. Her Famous PB&J + Bacon hits the stovetop like a grilled cheese, with the gooey insides blending sugar and salt with soft and crunchy in every bite.
If you’ve decided on lunch, you’re now tasked with selecting from a number of mouthwatering options. The Reuben Sandwich is stacked with corned beef that’s been slow roasted for 12 to 14 hours, along with Swiss cheese and housemade Thousand Island dressing on thick-cut rye bread. Each bite is warm and delicious, with every ingredient perfectly complementing the others. Warm roast beef is the feature of The Vinny, which comes with sautéed red onions, thick-cut bacon, and maple balsamic sauce on a toasted ciabatta roll.
Thanksgiving Everyday combines four-hour roasted turkey with homemade stuffing and cranberry sauce on a toasted ciabatta roll. The same turkey is combined with tomato, spinach, avocado, and Swiss cheese on multigrain bread for the Turkey Trot.
There is also a list of daily specials that can be seen on a chalkboard affied to the kitchen’s vent hood that highlight some creative fare outside the scope of the regular menu. Whatever way you choose to go, you’ll see a labor of love reflected in your dish.
2 Home Cooks
40 Chestnut Street