Panclog #36: Village Inn
Villages may vary in visceral reactions
1/26/18 7:00 AM
Happy 2018, Panclog Pals. I bet you were wondering when you would receive a new edition of your favorite breakfast-themed blog. My excuse for the absence happens to be the best one you can have. In fact, I have 2. TWINS!!
My babies are nothing short of enablers of my breakfast addiction. Almost every day we bind over breakfast. A bottle, a bowl of cereal, and a comfy chair are the ingredients for a lovely breakfast.
Village Inn is a nearly nationwide upscale-diner chain that has over 200 locations. The Panclogsters went to the Village Inn in Mission, KS at Johnson Drive and Metcalf. They are open from 6 AM to 10 PM everyday. Check out their website to find a local locale.
Location/Environment: This Village Inn is located in a growing area or perhaps a better word would be refurbishing area. There are construction sites all around this clearly aging building. Some would say that this building will “slowly disappear” if not updated in the coming years. The first thing you see when walking in is the always tempting display case of fresh pies.
Service: The service was standard. Coffee was filled when needed. No recommendations of meals was made. But no recommendations were needed. A manager checked the Panclogsters out and made sure our trip was a successful one.
Wait time for food: 7 minutes
Menu/Selection: The menu is very similar to a past panclog establishment, Perkin’s. It has breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They both also feature their house-made pies. Check out their menu if you don’t believe us. They do have a nice feature called Inn-credible V.I.B. Thisis a feature similar to a u-pick 2. But it is actually pick 4! So that is a nice wrinkle in the morning. Create your own combo. Let’s dive into our selections:
Belgian Waffle Combo (Brent)
6 am comes early. But, if you want to successfully experience Breakfast Buddies that is often the time you need to get up; the event starts promptly at 7 am. There is no need to worry if you are late though, we will still hug you, we will still share our coffee, we will still share our excess carbs, but, you just might miss solving the crossword with us. Let’s face it folks, your faithful Pancloggers have become senior adults. Someone fire up dinner and have it ready by 4:30 pm, papa is headed for bed about 8.
Our premature aging was evidenced quite clearly at our chosen establishment this fine morning. As it seems our restaurant of choice today was well populated with an older generation. I have always felt that I would make an excellent senior adult, especially considering how quickly I am approaching it. It is a given that my wife and children would suggest that I have already achieved senior adult status.
On this fine morning we found ourselves at the Village Inn, a restaurant that my wife and I used to live right next too. However, I believe this is the first time I have frequented the establishment. The Village Inn is pretty simple to describe: it is a restaurant in the same vein as Perkins. The Village Inn offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner, they have a lovely display case of pies and other baked items, and they offer a diner like atmosphere.
Speaking of the restaurant’s atmosphere the Village Inn location we visited is clearly showing its age. This is not a problem per se, but unfortunately, the surrounding area is undergoing a bit of a renewal. There are many brand new shops and restaurants being added, and several older ones are getting a brand new facade. My concern is that if the Village Inn does not have a plan to refurbish its look, it will slowly disappear. For those unaware, many are beginning to believe that there is a Panclog curse. It seems that your fair and easy on the eyes Pancloggers have caused the unfortunate closing of several restaurants. Will the Village Inn be next? I do not know, but I suggest you get out there as soon as possible, in case it does close.
Did you notice that I said they have a lovely display case of pies? I am still dreaming of the White Chocolate Cherry Dream pie, the Key Lime pie, Lemon Meringue, French Silk, and Country Apple. I am overloaded with a desire to experience a full on sugar coma driven by an overconsumption of various pies. Looking at the website you will see an amazing offer, one free piece of pie with any other purchase on Wednesdays. The website even has a handy dandy countdown clock for the momentous event. Sadly, we did not get to participate in this promotion because we showed up on a Friday. With a little bit of research we could have left extra happy, but now I am just overly disappointed. I feel that Jared owes me a return trip for a Wednesday lunch.
Now we must turn ourselves to breakfast. I ordered my current go to breakfast of a Belgian waffle, sausage links, and scrambled eggs.
The waffle was slightly overdone but came with a more than sufficient amount of margarine. While I prefer butter over margarine, with enough of either, it can ease the crispiness of an overdone waffle. The waffle lacked a touch of sweetness, like powdered sugar or a fruit compote. Some would point me to syrup, but I am currently working on learning to like it, thus I think syrup spoils a tasty treat. Village Inn’s waffle also had a strong malt flavor. I am not a fan of a lot of malt flavoring as it makes a food item taste dusty. I get that may sound odd, but too much malt causes a dust storm in my mouth. It is this reason that I prefer a straight up milkshake over a frozen malt.
The sausage was, fine. Nothing special. Nothing spectacular. Nothing earth shattering. The sausage was just fine. One hopes when biting into any type of sausage, be it a bratwurst, hot dog, or any other type of sausage is a nice clean snap on the casing. Followed quickly by an explosion of juice that fills the palate with flavor. This sausage, while it tasted fine, did not meet any of these qualities.
The menu said the dish came with one egg cooked however you like it. It seems that they did not say what type of egg was being offered. My guess is that they had a case of Quail eggs or Robin eggs, because this was certainly not a grade A, large egg. I can sum up my feelings about Village Inn’s eggs with one word: pitiful.
Like my assessment of the sausage, the breakfast offered by Village Inn was fine. I would not add them to the regular breakfast location rotation. In fact, I would be fine with never going back again. Village Inn is not bad, but it is not good either. If someone offered to take me there I would be fine with it, but I would not suggest it as a location to experience again. So it is up to Jared to take me to lunch on a Wednesday so that I can get a free piece of pie.
Strawberry Blintzes and Coffee (jared)
Let’s start this like any research paper that a sub-par student. A definition and a bunch of blabbering that will help out with the word count requirement. Oh, no one else did that? Just me? Alrighty Then!
What is a “Blintz?” The Free Dictionary website defines it as: A thin pancake, usually wrapped around a cheese filling, sauteed or baked, and topped with sour cream, fruit, or powdered sugar.
I discovered blintzes while working at the DoubleTree Hotel. The chef made it for special events such as holiday brunches or fancy employee functions. Therefore I equate this treat as a delicacy. This is the first time I have seen this special pancake dish on a chain restaurant’s menu. Village Inn was offering it with either a strawberry or blueberry topping. I chose the former.
Village Inn has had a soft spot in my mind for about 18 years. My childhood best friend, Cameron, invited me on a little road trip where his mother had some business to do. We were in a town that I had no idea existed. At 10, my life circle was very small. Cameron and I in the backseat talking about nothing but everything to a child’s brain. When Cameron’s mom asked if we were hungry, our preteen stomachs screamed, “Absolutely!”
We stopped at a place that Cameron’s mom experienced when she was a child. That place was Village Inn. What made this trip even more special than just being on a road trip, was the fact that we were allowed to order off the “big” menu. No kid’s menu for me. I was a grown-up if only for a meal. It was a freeing experience. I got pancakes. They were fine but special none the less.
I had not been back to a Village Inn until this meeting of the Breakfast Buddies.
My Blintzes were delicious. A beautiful pairing of Ricotta and cream cheese. The texture was light and fluffy. The sour cream on top melted into a good counterbalance to the sweetness of the strawberry topping. I was disappointed in the strawberry topping. It was simply a strawberry compote. Has a compote ever tasted “fresh” at a diner? I don’t believe so. But I’d love to find one. I was also underwhelmed with the price of the blintzes. $8.99 felt too much for 3 blintzes and no sides.
Coffee is also known as delicious dirty water. This makes me feel like it should not be over $2. At Village Inn, coffee is $2.19. Yes, I am happy that it is a bottomless cup, but the price point reminds me of when my amazing mother took me and my siblings to a all-you-can-eat buffet, she would state to all of us “eat your worth.” While that made those trips more worthwhile. It does not make for a happy stomach when it comes to coffee.
I’d like to recommend not one but 2 songs that have been on repeat in my head. First is Kendrick Lamar’s LOVE. Ft. Zacari. The second is The Avett Brothers with Murder in The City. If you don’t enjoy either of those, you have bad taste. Don’t @ me.
Overall: Village Inn is a chain diner that is hit-or-miss. It isn’t outstanding for breakfast nor is it terrible. It won’t be added to our regular rotation for breakfast. But it should not be shunned all together. Middle of the road.
Grade: Brent: C-
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