Panclog #39: Ronnie’s Restaurant
Writing with Rhythm about Ronnie’s
5/8/18 7:00 AM
Panclog Pals! Have you missed us? Well, miss us no longer. If you read the title above you will see that this we review Ronnie’s Restaurant. I hope you are all thinking, “Oh wow! I’ve been waiting for this Panclog since Ronnie’s opened!” Ronnie’s and it’s sister (literal) restaurant Kate’s Kitchen are both ran by the parents of the Ronnie and Kate. Ronnie’s Restaurant is located in Lenexa at 12812 W. 87th Street Pkwy, Lenexa, KS 66215. Ronnie’s opened in November of 2016. Check out their website to learn more of their story.
Location/Environment: Ronnie’s Restaurant is located within 3 minutes of I-35. This helps you get to a local bruncherie quicker, therefore the food will be in your mouth quicker! The environment is baseball themed. There are many Norman Rockwell prints on the wall. Here is one of the more prominent pieces:
You will also find a giant picture of the victory parade that celebrated the World Series Champion Kansas City Royals, the greatest baseball team that has ever existed. Actually, Brent says they are tied with the Cincinnati Reds as the greatest baseball team ever.
The downside to the atmosphere that Ronnie’s is trying to present is that all these wonderful pictures get washed out by a bland set of wall paint. Many of the pictures lack a frame to provide contrast with the off white walls. If Ronnie’s could somehow up the contrast, the art and pictures on the walls would really pop and add texture to the environment. The atmosphere is pleasant, but not striking.
Service: The staff at Ronnie’s is amazing. They do a wonderful job at making you feel a part of the family. Family comes across as one of the more important aspects of Ronnie’s Diner. COFFEE ON THE TABLE FOR THE WIN!
Wait for food: 8 minutes.
Menu/Selection: Simply reading through the menu drives that feeling home. Ronnie’s menu has several selections named for various family members, and, if you look at the back page, you will find a bit of history about Ronnie and his sister Kate. Actually Kate has her own place in Gladstone named Kate’s Kitchen. The menu is full of classic brunch items. They have varieties of all your favorite staples, be that benedicts, omelettes, or pancakes. Let’s dive into what we ordered:
The King waffle with a side of sausage (Jared)
Baseball, Breakfast, and Buddies.
Ronnie’s has it all. Well once the buddies show up they do. No nix that. The servers at Ronnie’s treat you like a certified buddy. How do you become certified in buddy-hood? That is the question that many people have asked and only a few have answered. The first few steps starts in early childhood. Young buddies need to be mentored by a nice adult who own very fancy hats. Then you have to take 15 weird magazine quizzes like this one. After that, just try being cool and maybe your buddy certificate will come in the mail.
Let’s get back to business. I decided to get The King waffle. This consisted of a beautifully crafted waffle topped with bananas, peanut butter, powdered sugar, and butter. The King is the perfect amount of overkill to either start your day or to keep your day going. The peanut butter is more in sauce form than the sticky mess that you will get when you try to create this art at home. Syrup is unnecessary for The King. Usually syrup is key to begin the breakdown of the stability of the waffle. But I believe the peanut butter sauce was just enough to tame the waffle monster and make it easy to cut with only a fork.
I asked for sausage as a side to give me a savory/sweet balance during this meal. The Snausage links were a good pairing. They were thicker than your average sausage link. If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it a thousand times. Coffee on the table is the X-factor to any great bruncherie. I am a big fan of the coffee mugs that they use. They are unique to Ronnie’s.
The King: $6.35
Side of Sausage: $3.15
On to my unnecessary recommendation of what to listen to when thinking of breakfast. I recently went through a deep dive of HelloGoodbye’s discography. I want you to listen to (Everything is) Debatable.
Stuffed French Toast (Brenter)
The restaurant offers up a Norman Rockwell’esque type of atmosphere. They actually have several Rockwell prints on the walls.
Just as a brief aside, Norman Rockwell happens to be one of my favorite artists. Much of his work highlights an idealized version of Americana from various paintings featuring baseball, to classic schoolrooms, to children heading off to the fishing-hole. One of my favorites actually adorns the walls of Ronnie’s Restaurant:
Rockwell also has the ability to convey a powerful image that subverts much of the culture that he lived in:
On this fair occasion I ordered the Stuffed French Toast. I was hoping for a fun family name for the dish but it was simply named “Stuffed French Toast”. Thinking about this unfortunate naming situation has provided me with a new life goal – to get Ronnie’s and Kate’s restaurants to name the menu item “Strange, short, fat, bald guy, who is overstuffed French Toast”.
More often than not a stuffed French toast is loaded with sweet ingredients rather and savory. While I am a fan of sweet stuffing, especially a fresh, warm, cinnamon, apple compote, this one comes with a set of savory ingredients. Imagine a pleasant sausage and cheese omelet shoved between two slices of French toast, and you will know exactly what this dish is all about.
Just some quick comments about the stuffed French toast:
1. The sausage could have been a bit more flavorful and abundant. The sausage flavor didn’t detract from the dish, but it had an opportunity to transcend the shell it was encased in.
2. Eggs are eggs. While Eggtc. makes the best scrambled eggs in the KC area, everyone else delivers a consistent level of flavor here. As does Ronnie’s.
3. On this particular visit the cheese seemed to be weighted on one half of the dish. I suspect that this was just an oversight and that a more even distribution is the norm.
4. The stuffed French toast was served with a side of syrup, which I do not quite understand. If a restaurant is making a savory dish, they should up the savory side of the thing rather than offering a weak sweet sauce, like maple syrup.
Overall the stuffed French toast is eminently enjoyable. If you ever go to Ronnie’s establishment ordering this item would not be a mistake. If you order the stuffed French toast as the “Strange, short, fat, bald guy, who is overstuffed French toast” will instantly make you a champion. Costing you only $6.50 plus tax and tip.
So get out there and do it. I am a fan of Ronnie’s and I look forward to eventually making it to Kate’s, the sister restaurant.
Overall: Ronnie’s is a highlight in Kansas City’s bright brunch scene. Check them out!
Brent: 6.7 out of 7.4 forks
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