May 25, 2012 – 10:05 A.M.
We continue our journey, diving deeper into the world of batter. Our third panclog: 119th St. Diner, as recommended by Jena Winne.
119th St. Diner is located at 14178 119th Street in Olathe, KS, behind Spin Pizza, next to Mi Ranchito. They’re open Monday-Thursday, 7am-9pm, Friday-Saturday, 7am-10pm, and Sundays 8am-8pm. You can find additional info at their website, as well as on Twitter.
Location/Environment: The environment is very modern; clean and sleek. A perfect place to catch up with friends or invite the family for a weekend brunch. Jared even spotted a nice little enclosed nook in the back of the diner (not sure if this is open to all or available by reservation only). It’s casual and friendly, but also completely appropriate for a business lunch. If you’re lucky, as we were, you might even eavesdrop on some neighborhood gossip.
Service: The service at 119th St Diner was by far the best we’ve encountered so far on our panclog expedition. Our server was named Jan. She was friendly, sociable and incredibly generous. She checked very frequently, but not too often, to see if we were doing alright or needed a top-off on our coffees. We were even brought free scone samples after we ordered. Part of our order had a small mishap, but they were happy to friendly and efficiently fix the problem (more on that below). It’s clear warm, superb service is their goal and they surpassed all our expectations.
Wait time for food: 7 minutes
We asked the manager to take our picture after our meal. He was more than happy to, and determined to get the perfect shot. We tried three different locations and finally took one outside (the above photo).
Menu/Selection: If you’re a fan of Eggs Benedict, this places seems to be a must. They boast their 19 varieties of Eggs Benedict on their menu. They offer a very wide variety of both breakfast and lunch options; a great choice for a large group of people with different tastes. You’ll find pancakes, eggs, burgers, soups & salads, and much more.
Sour Cream Pancakes (Jared!)
Sour Cream Pancakes… What does that make you think of? Something gross? Something old? A weird substitute to normal cream or milk? I was thinking all of these. I won’t lie. I was nervous about this panclog expedition. But once I sunk my teeth into that first bite of soft, creamy cake, my mind changed. I was incredibly surprised and ashamed that I was not even aware of this beautiful twist of the old fashioned flapjack. The presentation was refreshing. You often see the boring run-of-the-mill plain pancakes on a white plate. Or even worse plain pancakes on a white plate but with random greenery on the side. 119th Street Diner added something useful to the plate. An orange twist. This is not only delicious in and of itself. It creates a very necessary flavor break when eating straight starches. These pancakes were creamy and rich. I would recommend them to everyone and their 2nd cousins.
Belgian Waffle (Stephen)
I’ve reviewed pancakes and french toast for panclog. What’s next? I felt that it was my breakfast duty to order a Belgian waffle. I always found the distinction between pancakes and waffles very simple: one has pockets, one doesn’t. I enjoy a thick, large Belgium waffle with a big hunk of butter and pockets filled with hot maple syrup. I found 119th St. Diner’s Belgian waffle to fit the bill. A large, fluffy, super filling piece of griddled batter. You might look at the above picture and say, “hey, that looks like only 3/4 of a waffle, where’s the rest?” Our server notified me that my Belgian waffle got trapped in the griddle, sadly 1/4 did not make the journey to my plate. However, they gave me another WHOLE additional Belgian waffle (seen below)! I found the first 3/4 waffle incredibly filling, and was only able to eat an additional 1/4 of the second waffle. This ended up being very nice for panclog, because Jared was able to try a generous quarter of the second waffle. It was a satisfying meal, however I didn’t find that the waffle really had a distinct or strong flavor. It wasn’t really a let down or a surprise, I feel that most waffles are pretty common in their taste, but it’s worth noting.
The second helping:
Price: The pricing might be slightly higher than you’d find at similar restaurants, however noting the service and environment, it’s appropriate. The overall experience is well worth the price. It’s almost guaranteed you’ll have a smile on your face upon leaving.
Overall: The food isn’t absolute breakfast perfection, but what really makes 119th St. Diner rise above many similar places is the friendly service and warm environment. It’s a great example of an all around great eating experience. With a diverse menu and exceptional service, it’s definitely a place we want to return to in the near future, perhaps for lunch.
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