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Archive for the tag “Breakfast”

Panclog #49: Waffle House

Breakfast Buddies Hit Brinner
Shawnee, KS


Waffle House is a gosh darned American staple.  Isn’t it bonkers that through the 10 years that the panclog has been alive and breathing that the boys have not visited the best restaurant that has it’s own songs in their jukebox? It’s true! Waffle House has their own songs.  This needs to be celebrated!

Even FEMA knows how important Waffle House is to the fabric of our nation. Feel free to peruse the Waffle House website to read how they started in 1955 or to find a location near you.

Location/Environment: There are 15 Waffle Houses in the Kanas City Metro area.  We chose the Shawnee location at 75th Street and Nieman Road as it was the closest to the disc golf putting league we are in.  (Cool nerd alert).  This Waffle House is located in front of a Walmart Neighborhood Market.  The layout is classic diner with booths surrounding the kitchen area and a small bar seating that some may call the chef’s table if you are fancy.  This location isn’t the cleanest nor the dirtiest Waffle House.  It is a typical diner feel.


Service: The service is made up of magicians that can take orders and immediately turn around and start making said order.  It may not be the fastest service.  But it sure doesn’t matter as the open concept of the kitchen makes for dinner and a show.  There wasn’t any recommendations or upsell options. But the menu is pretty straight forward. Speaking of menu…

Menu/Selection: The menu doubles as a placemat.  Breakfast menu on one side and dinner on the other.  You should find gorgeous pictures of the menus below. Waffle House is known for their hashbrowns.   If you don’t try them, you are doing it wrong. Enjoy all of the fun add-ons for the hashbrowns.  They don’t just taste great, they are fun to say as well.

MenuDin Menu

Sausage, Egg, and Cheese Hashbrown Bowl (Brentley)

In the pantheon of breakfast spots the Panclog has reviewed, shockingly we have not covered Waffle House. We happily rectify that today.

On a Sunday evening a couple of weeks ago, shortly after we completed our rounds in the Disc Golf Putters league we belong to, we found ourselves living our best life entering our local Waffle House. You surely know the restaurant, a mainstay of the American south, made famous in Tin Cup, the Yellow and Black color scheme, the open kitchen, and most importantly, the place where you server is oftentimes your chef. It was recently featured in a fun SNL sketch.

We entered the establishment and found it mostly empty and deceptively still, with two employees milling about. Rather than waiting to be seated we quickly parked ourselves in a booth with an excellent view of the open kitchen. Just glancing around prep area lets you know Waffle House’s motto when it comes to health inspection grades, “Cees, and sometime Dees, get degrees.”

Eventually our server approached us, handing over menus, he asked us what we would like to drink. This may come as a shocker to everyone, but we ordered coffee. After some casual conversation our server returned to us with our beverages and eventually took our order.


Still feeling euphoric from a personal best evening of putters league, I opted for probably one of the least healthy menu options, the Sausage, Egg and Cheese Hashbrown Bowl. You know, there is something satisfying when the name of the menu item leaves out any mystery about what you are getting. The only mystery here is what is the featured cheese. Could it be cheddar? Gouda? Feta? Camembert? Alas, it is American cheese, the most unsung and pilloried cheese. But let’s get honest people, it is the best cheese to place on a sloppy, greasy hamburger.


Jared ordered something that he will tell you about in his section.

By this time a third employee appeared eating a waffle as the Waffle House clientele expanded to fill a little less than half of the open tables. With a late dinner rush in full effect, you would think the Waffle House staff would work with a heightened sense of urgency. But they continued their slow, meandering pace, unaffected by the elements around them. It was like watching a deliberate, sedate, melancholic ballet. I was transfixed by the elegant dance as was the rest of their patronage. No one seemed off put by the speed of service or the perceived rage that each of the coworkers seemed to feel for each other.

When it comes to the food, it was exactly what I expected. The hashbrowns were delightfully crispy. The sausage, provided by Jimmy Dean, was flavorful. The eggs were buttery and light. The added grease from a mysterious cup and the remaining detritus from the grill took the dish to another level. But what really tied the meal together, was the good, old American cheese. The rest of our fair nation, especially those congress people wishing for a national divorce, should take a lesson from America’s cheese. It is a uniter, not a divider.

For nostalgia, Waffle House gets an A. For food, a C+. For the kitchen, a C-. I would certainly go back, especially if I need to take care of business, like this SNL sketch would suggest.

If you enjoy disc golf, I highly recommend joining the putter league we belong to. Details can be found here, If you are lucky, you might spy us there. Belying our celebrity status, we promise to be kind and friendly. You may even get a hug.

Peanut Butter Waffle with Diced & Peppered Hashbrowns (Jared)


Have you ever been on a trip in Louisville and you decide to take a drive to Lawrenceburg to get some Bourbon.  But as you are driving you feel that old familiar ping of your tummy growling?  Well, I have been there and we stopped at a Waffle House!  I have only one piece of advice for you.  Have your smoking hot wife that is also a chef sit facing away from the kitchen.  She will count the health code violations that can sometimes be fun but when they just keep coming, it kind of kills the mood.

Yes, Waffle House is not the cleanest place to grab a bite.  But that is not the charm of this American staple.  What is the charm you ask?

Sometimes food can be art. Sometimes the art is not the final product but the journey along. Yeah I am talking about performance art!  This is Waffle House.  Waffle House is bringing back the lost trait of server-cooks.  The player-manager of the restaurant world.

I chose to have a waffle with peanut butter chips on it.  The waffle was a lot thicker and fluffier than I remembered.  It was almost a pancake with a bit of form to it. It was magical with the waffle house branded margarine and a bit of syrup.

Before I tell you about the hashbrowns I had, I’ll ask you the question that I asked Beamer whilst dining.  There is a well known fantasy sports punishment for the last place team that has the team owner spend 24 hours inside a Waffle House. With every waffle they consume they get an hour off of their time. If you had to complete this challenge, how long are you at the Waffle House?  My guess is 14 hours with 10 waffles consumed.  And plenty of friends made through the experience.

I have always loved the code words that Waffle House utilizes on their hashbrown orders.  You just feel cooler saying Diced Covered smothered or something like that.  I had mine Diced and Peppered.  That means with tomatoes and jalapeno peppers.  The hashbrowns themselves were a bit too underdone for my liking.  I will know now to ask for a bit more crispiness in the preparation.

The coffee was delightful.  Hit the spot even though it was past 7 PM when we got them.  It wasn’t overly bitter or watery.  Just straightforward diner coffee.  Another perk of sitting right next to the kitchen is with each passing of an employee is an opportunity to get a refill of the Morning Brown.

You get a real bang for your buck at Waffle House.

Peanut Butter Waffle: $5.50
Coffee: $2.50
Diced-Peppered Hashbrowns: $4.50

Enjoy a laugh with one of my favorite sketches from I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson. I present to you “Brian’s Hat”

Overall: This is not a criticism but a celebration of Waffle House.  It is not a prestigious restaurant. But Waffle House has become wildly underrated in recent years.

Brent:  Waffle House gets an A. For food, a C+. For the kitchen, a C-
Jared: A-

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Brent.


Panclog #48: Rise Southern Biscuits & Righteous Chicken

Panclog has Risen
Prairie Village, KS


As Stringer Bell once said, “I want you to put the word out that we back up“.  He may have been talking about the panclog!

We learned of a new breakfast spot in town that turns out to be one of the up-and-coming lunch spots in the nation according to  Rise Biscuits & Righteous Chicken may be great for lunch, but how is their breakfast?

Rise Biscuits and Righteous Chicken started in 2012 and now has 17 locations and counting.  Read their story on their website.

Location/Environment: The Prairie Village location is located in a nice large strip mall that is perfect for a post breakfast walk and window shopping.  When you take a step into Rise, you are essentially in line.  The restaurant was nice and clean, but a bit cold in feel.  Cold as it does not put off the feeling of “hey relax, stay awhile.”  This is not a bad thing. Simply something of note.


Service: We all love when an employee actually helps with recommendations and give suggestions when you are in between a few options.  We got exactly that at Rise.  Rise is a fast casual restaurant, so we ordered at the front and waited for our food at our table.  The wait was not long at all.

Menu/Selection: The menu is just want you want to see in a specialized restaurant.  A limited menu.  Rise Biscuits and Righteous Chicken had almost only that.  Biscuits and chicken.  I was happy to see that they are not over extending themselves.  The coffee and sodas are self-serve.  This option is nice when you are drinking a lot and do not want to disturb any staff.


Righteous Chicken Sandwich (B-Day Brentley)

On a recent Tuesday I completed another trip around the sun, which is difficult considering I walked most of it. The nice thing though is I have taken this trip enough that I no longer get lost on the way and I don’t have to stop to ask for directions. I don’t even use a GPS for the journey anymore.

At the conclusion of every revolution, I am wont to get a little nostalgic. I opened the Panclog to allow the warmth, positivity, and its general glow wash over me, when I saw something that shook me to the core. Since I cannot bring myself to type/speak the words, let me screenshot it for you:


Two years four months have passed since we have had a fresh clog. How did this happen? Did the cloggers have a falling out? Are the cloggers too involved with fantasy sports? Do they hate breakfast now? Did their respective spouses feel they were getting too close and let feelings of jealousy force a plan to slowly separate our heroes? Is it possible that “Another Broken Egg Café” actually broke breakfast? Every possibility seems implausibly farfetched, and yet, here we are. Sadly, we will never know why this egregious hiatus lasted so long. Like information crossing an event horizon, the answer is lost forever.

Locked in an existential crisis a lifeline is tossed my way. The subtle ringtone of a text message alert catches my right ear.

“Happy birthday Brentley. I love you and hope your day is amazing.” Wait. Not that one. This one, “You free this week for me to take you to breakfast? Next week works as well for me.”

With a few simple words a crack opens in the darkness, and a ray of sunshine dances before me.

In a delightful, lexical coincidence we opted to breakfast at “Rise Southern Biscuits and Righteous Chicken”. Here’s hoping that Rise can pull the Panclog out of the ashes of its current existence and lift it up to the heavens so that it may inspire hope in the hearts of humanity again. No pressure.

Rise is a new and welcome addition to the Kansas City breakfast scene with locations in Prairie Village and Overland Park. We went to the Prairie Village location, which roughly splits the distance between our respective offices. No worries though, the menus at both locations are the same. The menu offers several options to choose from. I selected the “Righteous Chicken” biscuit breakfast sandwich. I mean it is right there in the name.


The righteous chicken is probably their simplest item.  I am a fan this type of menu item because far too often restaurants hide behind a veil of spicy sauces and ranch dressing. Show me you can cook. The righteous chicken is a smallish, seasoned chicken breast resting between two pillowy biscuit halves. The buttery, flaky biscuit was a delight in nearly every bite. Same with the chicken, it was well prepared, juicy with a nice crunch. I did expect the chicken to have more powerful seasoning though. The last few bites ended up dry unfortunately. I will add a pat of butter on the next round.

Jared was kind enough to purchase an apple fritter to share. It was good but not earth-shattering. I would say it is slightly better than what you would get in the donut case at a grocery store. That sounds harsher than I mean it to be.

Their coffee was interesting. When it is fresh from the pot hot, it was good. As it cooled down in the cup the bitterness skyrocketed to an unpleasant degree.

Overall, I would give them a solid B and I hope to return in the not-too-distant future.

Which Came First? Box (Jared)


I am grateful to be writing again.  I had made a few jokes to my counterpart that my hands stopped working, a joke that I had stolen from Bill Simmons.  But we are back. My hands have healed.  The Panclog has risen.

Rise Biscuits & Righteous Chicken is in a nice and tricky spot especially in the breakfast arena.  This location is in a strip mall with 2 other businesses that could steal away some breakfast traffic in French Market and Dolce Bakery. Both of these are panclog-able. (Eyes Emoji)!

I chose to have a bit of the biscuits and a bit of the chicken.  All with some gravy, cheese, and a fried egg. I was pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food.   It was just a smidge under seasoned in my opinion.  But they did have hot sauce available.  I simply was too enthralled with my conversation with Beamer that I did not get it.  I do wish the fried egg was a little less cooked. I am a fan of some yolky goodness in my biscuits and gravy.  The chicken was a great addition in the biscuit and gravy combo.  

The apple fritter (unpictured) was tasty.  Not great.  A solid version.  I am looking forward to trying another type of their donuts next visit. It is important to enjoy the sweet with the savory.

I would be more than happy to revisit Rise soon. It is good quality food for good prices.

Which Came First? Box $7.75 Coffee $3.00

My recommendation this panclog is to enjoy one of my favorite bands cover one of my favorite songs. The Head & The Heart with Beacon Hill.

Overall: Rise Biscuits & Righteous Chicken will be added to the rotation.  You’ll enjoy this spot with your buddy or solo & on your way to work.

Brent:  B
Jared: B+

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Brent.

Panclog #47: Another Broken Egg Cafe

Going Broke by Breakfast
Overland Park, KS

Welcome back Kotter? More like welcome back to the review team.  The boys are back to eat some breakfast. Think about it for WEEKS and then write up an award-worthy review about it.

We learned of a new breakfast spot from the classical trick of being lifted into the air when smelling a good scent and carried to the origin of it. We landed at 13386 Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park, KS.

Another Broken Egg Cafe is a chain of about 70 locations that all began in Louisiana.  You can read their story on their website.

Location/Environment: Another Broken Egg Cafe is located in the Northwest corner of Deer Creek Woods Shopping Center at 135th and Metcalf.  It did a good job of transforming this strip mall restaurant into a pseudo-Italian cafe.  The restaurant features a lot of nice light-colored wood.  It opens and warms up the room.

Service: Our service tends to be linked to how quickly our empty coffee cups become filled.  On this day, we were sadly let down with how often our we could see the bottom of the cup.  Our server was pleasant and celebrated our choices of entrees.  This always makes me feel special.

Menu/Selection: The menu is a higher end version of the typical bruncherie affair. Omelettes with lobster? Check. Salmon Avocado Toast? Check. Goat Cheese Pancakes? YEP! French Toast with Brie cheese? Of course.  Now you agree that this is an upscale menu.  You should know it comes with the upscale price.  Not in a bad way.  More of in a deserved way.  Another Broken Egg Cafe also features booze. Which seems to be the way of the brunch future.  Sadly no booze was consumed during our review.  Maybe a return is necessary.

Pumpkin Waffle (Sir Brentles)

Taking a short break from a late evening of work, from trying to get some documentation out the door, from trying to advance some development on a product that doesn’t quite exist yet, from trying to knock off a few items on my to do list before it reloads twice as long, I have opted to think about something important, Breakfast. Not exactly a wise decision given that it is a Thursday and I already have work items queued up for the weekend, but nonetheless, papa needs a moment.

If you are worried that I will not get caught up on my work tasks, there is no need. I am not sure that it is possible. Especially considering how important breakfast is to an individual’s life. Breakfast certainly tops work. Tops lunch. Tops dinner. There are few experiences that supersede breakfast when shared with the closest of friends and spread over a couple hours. Which brings us to my break this evening. I figured I would take a moment and write up a short set of paragraphs concerning a new breakfast place that your Jared discovered.

Sadly, we do not breakfast as often as we would like these days, but when a special opportunity, like a spot we have not been to before, presents itself it is time to take advantage. In this case, Jared alerted me to “Another Broken Egg Café”.

Another Broken Egg has several locations throughout the US and one recently opened in the fairest of states, Kansas. Judging from their website, the menu is pretty much the same across each location, albeit they may offer local favorites in any given location.

The Overland Park, KS location is new, clean, and has a touch of whimsy throughout. I assume this standard is present in all locations. I truly appreciated the wall art that stated, “you can’t buy happiness, but you can buy brunch and that’s basically the same thing.” Change that brunch to breakfast and you might have a life motto or the central tenet to a cult.

Per normal, after being seated we quickly ordered water and coffee, mine Black, and Jared’s with cream. With that taken care of, we eased back into our chairs and chatted. This might be my favorite moment of any Panclog breakfast, the pleasant conversation with a friend and the anticipation of a pancake, waffle, omelet, or whatever that will soon arrive.

Their coffee cups are fun to look at, resembling honey pots. I was concerned that I would get stuck in it like Winnie-the-Pooh, but, luckily, that did not occur.

It did not take long before my first cup of coffee to disappear and my readiness to order spiked. Unfortunately, our service was a tad too slow, especially considering how few patrons were there at the time.

Eventually we got our orders in and I eagerly anticipated my pumpkin waffle. The waffle was topped with a significant number of pecans, a spiced compound butter (which tasted like a cinnamon butter to me) and powdered sugar. The waffle also came with a side of eggs, scrambled, and sausage patties.

The eggs were uneventful, which is not a bad thing. The sausage patties were weird if I am being honest. They reminded me of an overly seasoned, flattened, meatball instead of sausage. I would recommend avoiding the sausage should the thought to order them crosses your mind. The waffle itself had a great flavor. The pumpkin was more of a hint rather than center stage. I could have done with fewer pecans though. The number of pecans threw off the balance of texture between the various components of the meal. That imbalance detracted from my full enjoyment of the meal, of course, it could have just been the sausage.

Pumpkin Waffle $12.99
Coffee $3.29

I would certainly go back to Broken Egg, but I would not enter the restaurant into the regular rotation.

Banana Bread French Toast (Jared)

Brie Larson won the Oscar for Best Actress in 2016.  That is important to know because 5 years before that I had Brie cheese for the first time in my life.  It was on my honeymoon in Estes Park, Colorado.  Ever since then I have been a Brie Fiend.

So yeah, you could say when I saw that the Banana Bread French Toast had Brie on it my mouth absolutely started watering.  Also one day I will conquer the Lobster and Brie omelette at Another Broken Egg Cafe.

But let us chat about everything.  The entree was delicious and beautiful. Look at it.  Look at the fruit on top that you could easily use to trick your brain that this meal is healthy.  The sides worked out for me.  My choice of protein turned out much better than Brent’s.  Although the bacon was slightly dry. It was absolutely still the fantastic smoky salty treat that bacon always is.

I’d love to know your thoughts on how coffee should be priced.  I know Brent and I have a hard time making $3+ coffee work in our noggins.  It is dirty caffeine water.  Delicious dirty caffeine water, yes.  But dirty water nonetheless.

Another Broken Egg Cafe is a nice spot with a cute esthetic.  I would absolutely come again.  Please take someone you want to impress. Show them how cute their mugs are.  Show them that they have seasonal breakfast cocktails.

Banana Bread French Toast $12.99
Coffee $3.29

My recommendation this panclog is to enjoy Bleachers’ latest song (as of publishing) “45”  Honey, I’m still on your side.

Overall: Overall, Another Broken Egg Cafe is definitely worth a try. But, it is a bit too nice for us lads and a bit too expensive for our wallets.  We will be back. Give it a go.

Brent:  B-
Jared: B+

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Brent.

Panclog #46: Flapjacks ‘N More

Flipping Flaps with Jacks
Overland Park, KS



Great day to all you breakfast buddies, French toast fiends, and pancake pals. We, here at panclog, are all students at heart. Students are due a summer vacation. Now the summer is over and panclog is back!

This edition of panclog art revolves around the newest bruncherie in Kansas City, Flapjacks ‘N More.  It may seem a bit familiar to you, because this location was just months ago, Jerry’s Original Café. You must be asking yourself why that all sounds familiar. It is probably due to your reading of the award-winning review we left of Original Café. Is our review the reason that Original Café closed? I don’t know. But sadly I haved heard rumblings of a supposed “Panclog Curse.” This dreaded rumor definitely deserves its own post to commemorate the fallen breakfast spots.

Flapjacks ‘N More is located at 119th Street and Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park, KS.  They are open from 7 AM to 2:30 PM daily.


Location/Environment: Flapjacks ‘N More is located inside the old Original Café. You can still recognize that Freebirds was once a tenant in the same space.  From the front door’s motorcycle handle to the long buffet countertop, the ghost of that delicious burrito spot still haunts. What used to be a soda and sauce bar has been turned into a high top table.  The table set up is neither a flaw nor feature of the space.

Service: Our server was terrific. He brought a funny, affable attitude that made us feel at home quickly. We do like a server that is willing to chat a bit but does not overwhelm you. There is a delicate balance and he accomplished it well.

Menu/Selection: The menu is fairly simple when it comes to the carb-dedicated breakfast spots.  It was surprisingly short of extreme types of pancakes, waffles, French toast.  The basics are covered. It must be pointed out that they have bagel’s with Lox.  So that’s pretty cool.  More restaurants in KC should have lox.  It’s too tasty to ignore. Let’s chat about what we ate.

2 Eggs with Sausage Links + Pancakes (Brently)

If you have read our prior Panclog about the “Original Café” then you know that this location used to be a Freebirds burrito shop. While Flapjacks got rid of most of the Freebirds décor, it still has that ridiculous door handle, it retains the same basic layout of both prior restaurants. The dining area is a large open rectangle with tables arranged moderately tight throughout the floor. The arrangement while not uncomfortable; in a packed house, I am sure you will hear your neighbor’s conversation.

There is still a long glass shielded countertop that separates the dining area from the back kitchen. I assume this design element is too hard to get rid of or change at the moment, but it does kind of distract from the experience. It gives the feel that Flapjacks does not quite belong in the space. I hope in the future they can turn it into more of a diner countertop or a place to serve a brunch or buffet. Fewer words are more exciting than “breakfast buffet” now that I think about it.

The menu is refreshingly short. I am glad to finally land on a place that does not overwhelm you with options, especially considering, most breakfast places offer different menu items that are just variations on a theme. In my case I opted for the 2 eggs with meat: bacon, ham off the bone, sausage links, sausage patties, or chorizo. The meal also comes with 2 pancakes, and a choice of hash browns, fresh fruit, or cottage cheese. I really branched out this time and had scrambled eggs, sausage links, and, after a quick safety check for pineapple, fresh fruit. And of course, a steaming cup of joe.

The coffee was satisfying but not overly special. Meaning it hit the spot in the same way Folgers does. The coffee does not delight, nor does it disappoint. The eggs were essentially unseasoned, not a bad thing, but you will want to add some salt and pepper at a minimum before consumption. The fruit was okay, given the melons offered I preferred them in this order watermelon, cantaloupe, then honeydew. Speaking of which, that order of melons applies to life in general (insert your own NSFW joke hear you heathens).

The sausage links, when they were delivered gave me a moment of pause. The casings were kind of rumpled and torn. Most sausage links come in the artificial casing now and the condition these were in made me suspect they were real casings. I cannot say for sure if they were or were not intestines, but if you have a hang up about that you might want to go with the patties instead. Thinking about it makes me nostalgic for when I was a young boy washing and stuffing cases whilst I worked at the butcher shop. Is there the potential for another NSFW joke there?

When a restaurant is named Flapjacks what you really care about is the state of their pancakes and not anything else. Sadly, I went in with super high expectations of light, thick, fluffy, sturdy, astounding, amazing, remarkable pancakes that are mind-bendingly unique but, they were just pancakes. Good yes. Worthy of note, no. A little more butter should have been offered and a little more leavening would have gone a long way in helping these critters. I did smear on some multi-berry jelly to help the cause of course. Did I enjoy the cakes, sure, but I was hoping for so much more

Peanut Butter Flapjacks with Bacon (Jared)


Flapjacks may very well be the best iteration of the word pancake.  My power rankings of synonyms would have to be:

  1. Flapjacks
  2. Griddlecakes
  3. Pancakes
  4. Hotcakes
  5. flat waffles

This list must show you how excited I was when I heard of a new spot called Flapjacks ‘N More. I was ecstatic.  I was grinding my teeth in anticipation.  Thankfully I was able to check on the status of this place fairly often due to how close it is to my work.

Let’s chat about these cakes I got.  The peanut butter pancakes were tasty.  Not quite plate sized pancakes. But I loved the application of the peanut butter sauce.  Some places just slather on a glop of peanut butter on the top.  This was better than that.  Wanna know the best way to do it?  Peanut Butter chips in the batter! Then you have the melty texture from the cooking process.  Try it, you’ll like it.  The cakes were too thick that they got chewy.  The only downfall was their non-ginormous size.

The bacon was nice and crispy.  It was beautiful in all of its bacon glory.  I think it could have been seasoned a little heavier. But I would never turn my nose up at these thick slices.

Peanut butter flapjacks: $7.25
Side of Bacon: $3.95
Coffee: $2.35

I think Flapjacks ‘N More is a solid spot that has some high upside.  It is fairly priced and will absolutely be visited again but will most likely not be added to the heavy rotation

My recommendation of the ‘clog is the incredible song All We Ever Knew by The Head and The Heart.  This song is one of the only things that made my twins fall asleep in the first year of their lives.

Overall: Overall, Flapjacks and More is worthy of a visit. If someone offered to go there, I would join without a second thought. Unfortunately, they do not rise to the regular rotation status.

Brent:  B+
Jared: B-

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Brent.

Panclog #45: NYC’s Caffe Reggio

April 22nd, 2019
Manhattan, NY
Capturing Cappuccinos


Caffe Reggio is in the Greenwich Village which makes us diners the Village People.

Caffe Reggio stakes the claim to bringing the first cappuccino to the United States. The Panclog Pals decided we must try this historic cafe that opened its doors in 1927.

Location/Environment: Caffe Reggio is located in Greenwich Village steps away from where the folk supercenter, Gaslight Cafe, once sat.  It is down the block from the famous Comedy Cellar.  What a lovely night that would be, comedy and cappuccinos.

The environment is akin to your favorite museums’ room of renaissance paintings. Dark and intimate and filled with gorgeous artwork. And speaking of artwork, the original cappuccino machine is in the corner of the cafe. Here is that beautifully delicious piece of art:


Service: I think good old Robb said it best when it comes to the service.  It isn’t the fastest service or best, but nor should it be. The Caffe Reggio takes us back to a time when we didn’t have to run from errand to errand but could spend time savoring and taking in art at the same time. Our cappuccinos were out quickly enough for us to enjoy a beverage while waiting for our food. Here is a nice picture of all of our cappuccinos conversing with each other:

Menu/Selection: Caffe Reggio has a non traditional breakfast menu. From a simple fruit cup to eggs over the unusual breakfast vegetable, asparagus, Caffe Reggio has menu items that not many other restaurants carry.  It seems to be a testament to how Caffe Reggio views themselves.  They know who they are and won’t be adding menu items to simply cater to the masses.

What do the dudes think? Let’s see:

Jared! Canarino Voltaire with a Hazelnut Cappuccino

When Robb told me about a super old cafe that serves good food but also brought the cappuccino to the United States.  I thought back on all of the times my little sister, Mikayla, and I went cafe hopping in the afternoon.  (I think our personal best was 3 coffee shops in a couple hours.)  I stared into Robb’s beautiful brown eyes and said, “I’m in!”

Caffe Reggio offers their classic cappuccino in three varieties, original, hazelnut, and almond. When it was time to order, I witnessed Robb and Stephen order the original. Knowing that those dudes are sweeties and they will let me try their beverages, I ordered a hazelnut cappuccino.  The flavoring wasn’t a faint whisper of hazelnut.  It presented nicely enough, yet still allowed the espresso and steamed milk do their magic.

I have one piece of advice when it comes to the cappy. Be patient. As a man with a large mouth. I tend to drink too quickly.  This is a mistake when dealing with the beverages that take time and caution making.  So when it comes to cappuccinos, sip and savor.


Caffe Reggio offered me with the chance to take a risk in the breakfast world.  I ordered the Canarino Voltaire which was described as “Poached eggs on a bed of yellow rice with a blend of three European cheeses.” My first thought was a pure judgement of rice for breakfast.  But fear not, this yellow rice was a delicious vessel for the eggs and cheese.  After this dish, I must say that rice is an underutilized grain in the modern american breakfast.

The poached eggs were just right. Some firmness to them, but still as runny as you need them to add that yolky goodness to the rice below.  The cheese on the dish is subtle.  The cheese acts as the most talented background singers. Making everything better.

The server brought some Louisiana hot sauce to finish the dish.  I would say the dish did not need the hot sauce. Although I am a fan of the heat, in my food and on the basketball court. So I sprinkled some of the fiery goodness and enjoyed the explosion.

The prices were New York fancy standard.  The Cappuccino was $5.50 and the Canarino Voltaire was a solid $10.00.  I believe it was a worthwhile experience. Especially one where I enjoyed it with 2 of my favorite people in the world.

Stephen! French Toast with a Cappuccino


I’m typically a black coffee or Americano kind of person, but when you go to Caffè Reggio for the first time how can you not get a classic Cappuccino? It was an incredibly balanced beverage – beautiful, strong espresso notes that were made rich yet not diluted by the milk. In addition to this, I had an order of traditional French toast which was topped with fresh fruit. It was a good-to-great execution, but certainly the highlight of the meal was the cappuccino, and the experience of visiting Caffè Reggio itself.



In today’s ever-evolving and modern NYC sleek restaurants with hipster light fixtures, reclaimed wood tables and front of houses that look like upscale condo lounges are more of the norm. It’s harder and harder to step foot into any establishment in the ever-changing city and step back in time to another era. One in which Instagram-ing your food didn’t exist and where the lack of the shrinking world meant it was harder to find experiences outside of your own heritage. To step into Café Reggio is to step into an NYC long since passed, it is a beacon of what once was OHH and the cappuccino is unlike anything you’ll ever taste.

When you step into Café Reggio you can’t but help notice how it hasn’t changed since its opening in 1927. The tables, chairs, art windows and even the 19th-century espresso machine all sit there untouched by the ever-changing world around it. The history goes that Café Reggio was the first place in America to bring the now popular cappuccino to America, well before soldiers from both great wars brought back the “fancy drink” with them. To taste the Café Reggio cappuccino is to experience first hand with your taste buds a different NYC too, one before hipsters from Indiana claimed to make the best Mexican food in the world, but one in where immigrants stepped off of Ellis Island and into lower Manhattan to share with this melting pot their traditions through food and drink.

The cappuccino is unlike any coffee you can have in NYC or anywhere in the country (IMO). The foam is like a cloud and as you sip through it your tongue tastes an equal mix of well-balanced espresso, chocolate, cinnamon, and almost caramel. Sprinkled on top with Nutmeg this huge cup (for only $3) will make you never want to leave this sunnier and calmer slice of old NYC you never knew you missed.

While the food is exquisite too, the coffee is what is to die for here (though the food isn’t messing around either). Of course, not all progress in restaurant culture is bad though, while the drink, eats and atmosphere conjure of a time gone by so does the slow service, we’re talking roasting the beans by hand in the back slow. While that is quite an annoyance of this place, the challenge for a normal rushed New Yorker/American who can’t handle sitting down and relaxing for a bit at a café is quite the opportunity to challenge oneself. If you ever get the chance to head to MacDougal street in the west village on a beautiful and sunny day, make sure to take a few moments and step back into an NYC that has long been gone and sip on some espresso while you sit and think about all that is changing and moving around you.

Overall: Caffe Reggio is a place of New York City past but done well in the present.  We recommend the cappuccino.  It is as good as the day they brought it over to America.  Be patient and enjoy your time.

Jared: B++

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared, Robb and Stephen

Panclog #44: NYC’s Bagel Pub

April 21st, 2019
Brooklyn, NY
Begging 4 Bagels in Brooklyn

The three best friends that anybody could have took New York City by storm.

Robb, Stephen and I are taking over the Panclog feed for the next three weeks. We will be discussing the three breakfast spots that we were lucky enough to try.  The trip started out as a boy’s baseball trip that I easily turned into a Panclog pal’s trip.  Although baseball is the communal sport that can bring the country together after wars, it is also very well known that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Therefore, breakfast and baseball go very well together. Let’s make a team have a brunch game. I’m the most into this idea.

Location/Environment: Bagel Pub has 2 locations, Park Slope and Crown Heights.  The Crown Heights location was beautifully close to where we were staying.  The décor was in an old wooden fashion. There are tables but the star of the pub is a long bar with windows that show off different types of cream cheese.  On the wall behind the cream cheese there are many different types of bagels,  Baked to perfection, begging to be selected.

Service: We first went to Bagel Pub on Easter morning.  This led to a larger crowd than usual.  This was not a negative, in fact it showed how a place like this can handle large crowds with ease and precision.  When walking in, you walk straight to the back of the restaurant. You find yourself in the line, wondering which bagel/cream cheese combination will cause the emptiness in your stomach to subside for awhile.  You place your bagel order and walk to the register where you can add a drink to the order. You pay and wait for one of your many aliases to be called.

Menu/Selection: The menu at Bagel Pub was much more extensive than I expected.  They had breakfast sandwiches, dessert cream cheese, and a large array of juice and smoothies. But we didn’t really come for fancy juices. We came for NYC’s breakfast staple, Bagel with cream cheese.  Bagel Pub has an extensive selection of different bagels and cream cheeses. If you don’t find something that strikes your fancy, then you are doing it wrong.

What do the dudes think? Let’s see:


The bagel above is mine.  It is a garlic bagel with zaatar cream cheese.  The night before I ordered this majesty I tried zaatar for the first time.  It was in some hummus.  Here is a very accurate Wikipedia article about what Zaatar actually is. If I am remembering correctly, zaatar is a popular blend of herbs and spices in the middle east.  It is yummy, savory, and very hard to find in Kansas City.  In fact, I haven’t found it yet.

I got a garlic bagel because the Easter crowd depleted bagel pub of regular everything bagels.  They did have whole wheat everything and egg everything but I wanted my breath to be stinky.  That’s why garlic was my choice.  This bagel was just lovely. Crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. My favorite part of NYC bagels is the fact that they really slather on the cream cheese.  I also enjoy the sliced in half nature that they do post cream cheesing.  I want to go back now and try more bagels and even taste the Oreo cream cheese.  Who is with me?


Let’s just put this out on front street: I love carbs. My nickname in high school was carburetor, not because of my love of American muscle cars, but because I could inhale some pasta if you know what I’m talking about. As such, one of the things I was most looking forward to in NYC was a classic New York bagel. They say it’s ALL IN THE WATER OHHHHHHHH (Andrew Dice Clay hands). As a non-New Yorker, I would say Bagel Pub executes an excellent, classic NYC bagel experience. The sheer (or schmear?) variety in bagel and schmear options is stellar. I ordered a poppy seed bagel (as they were out of my first option of everything) with a plain schmear. The bagel was cut in half horizontally as well as vertically, with a healthy helping of cream cheese in between. Soft and chewy, the bagel delivered on everything I could want from a good quality bakery bagel. Paired with a black coffee, it was a delicious combo which certainly gave me horrible breath for the rest of the morning.


The Italians and their pasta, the Japanese and their Raman, the French and their wine some places just do it different and better than anywhere else in the world. These places bring hundreds of years of politics and culture with them into their kitchens and out comes a dish(s) that can’t be recreated anywhere else. The big apple, itself has many of these dishes to speak for it but NONE of them stack up to the 500-year-old polish circular bread with a hole in the middle commonly known as “The Bagel”.

Is it the NYC water (as the myth goes), the cooking traditions passed down from generation to generation or simply a good set of fresh ingredients that makes the NYC bagel? We may never know but what we do know is that no place on earth can recreate this soft on the inside, think flaky crust on the outside, perfectly seasoned piece of bread like NYC. Going into Bagel Pub (a newer entry into the Brooklyn Bagel scene) you are greeted with everything of old NYC. The lines of cream cheeses, from your classic to garlic dill, lox spread, bacon and cheddar, zaatar or you name it. Then you walk past the cold cuts and old Jewish deli traditions like black and whites, white fish and herring, chicken salad and the bagels cousin the bialy. All up at the counter where when you get that bagel and bit into your VERY affordable slice of heaven (this bagel is twice the size of those in the Midwest, like two dollars cheaper and much better) you feel like your experiencing a food you’ve known for quite some time but never like this.

Overall: Bagel Pub showed how even when busy, bagels are only a few moments away. Affordable, Cream Cheesy, and Delicious.  GO TREAT YOURSELF

Panclog: A+

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared, Robb and Stephen

Panclog #43: The Shack

“And that’s how I beat The Shack” – Aaron Carter


Happy 2019 breakfast buddies, panclog pals, british biscuits. Panclog is back to review Kansas City’s finest breakfast spots. Today we will be discussing the hottest new bruncherie in town, The Shack.

The Shack began as a St. Louis based company. They had 5 St. Louis metro locations before taking the jump into Kansas in 2018. The Shack’s 2 Overland Park locations are at 135th and 69 highway and College Blvd and Metcalf Ave. The Shack is open from 6:30 – 2 PM everyday.    Your trustworthy pancloggers have visited both, but will be reviewing the College and Metcalf locale.

Location/Environment: The College and Metcalf location is a prime location for Brentles. His office is right across the street. But it’s not only prime for the panclog crew. It is located at a busy intersection that will keep new customers aplenty.

The environment is welcoming. The walls are a dark shiplap design. These walls are adorned with customer’s kind messages and signatures all done in sharpie. It creates an ease that customers are welcome here.

Service: The service at The Shack was good. Quick prompt seating. Coffee stayed full. They truly push the giving back to the community aspect of the business.  I think this is not only smart ethically, but financially.  Customers like to do good things without doing much. If they are able to order a delicious meal with some portion of the bill going to a charity, then it is a delicious win-win. Here is The Shack’s community donations. More on the fancy charity menu items in the next section.

Menu/Selection: The Shack is a fairly typical upscale bruncherie but with an expansive breakfast entree menu. It is rare to see many plates that are unique for a brunch spot. They also have a lovely lunch menu, though we haven’t tried it, whenever I see a boozy shake on a menu I get a nice mischievous  grin on my face. Check these menus out: Breakfast & Lunch.

Why the French hate us (Brently)

A dark secret lurks in the auspicious history of the Panclog. A secret that concerns us greatly. A secret that we discuss carefully when in mixed company. It seems the Breakfast Buddies have a knack for closing breakfast places down. It pains us to say but we have closed several restaurants in our area, although I am sure it is purely coincidental. Perhaps the restauranteurs feel so blessed by our patronage that they feel they have reached the pinnacle of their careers and thus quietly close-up shop. At least that is the version I will stick with because I can no longer take the sleepless nights considering what we have caused in our fair city.

One such establishment happens to be right next door to my, Brent’s, office building. Le Peep, a fine, if not slightly over priced, breakfast and lunch place, became a heaping pile of smoking ash about a year ago. Disappointment does not cover how I felt about Le Peep closing this location. While the Breakfast Buddies did not frequent Le Peep often, there was a level of comfort for me knowing that breakfast was only a few steps away. I was not too broken up as there is a Panera on the other side of the strip mall that serves up a fine Ham and Swiss quiche.

Thankfully from those ashes arose a new restaurant, one that promises great breakfast food, a tongue in cheek attitude, and a barn like atmosphere. I am speaking of course of “The Shack”. I have the twice daily pleasure of walking past The Shack which allows me to check its vitals to ensure its health and wellbeing. I would hate to see it prematurely exit the neighborhood.

For the past several months this daily walk included stalking the restaurant while the space was gutted, repaired, and finished becoming a part of the larger Shack family. I am sure the construction workers grew tired of seeing this strange man peek in the windows all the time. I am also sure that all three people that I interact with on Snapchat “loved” the weekly updates as well.

The inside of the Shack is made to look like a renovated barn with shiplap walls throughout the design. It’s like Chip and Joanna Gaines’ décor dream turned nightmare. Looking at the walls you’ll notice very quickly that patrons can draw on them wherever they can reach. Keep an eye out for, “I heart”. Most folks sign their name and date, or write something like “Joanie Loves Chachi”, but if you look for them, you will find a good joke or two. I must say I am a fan of this, especially when a clever play on words is thrown up on the wall.

The menu is large with a myriad of options, with most items having a clever name. A couple sample menu items include, “Love Me Know, Hate Me Later”, “Make a Grown Man Cry”, and “Ma…the Meatloaf.” Not every item gets a fun name though, “Country Fried Steak” for instance, which can only mean it is not very good.

On “Panclog Day” (soon to be made into a federal holiday) I opted for the “Why the French Hate Us”. The name of this dish feeds that self-loathing monster that resides in the back of my conscience. It is an item I have had a couple times now that is akin to the “Country Benedict” at the Big Biscuit, or the “Big D” at Jerry’s Original Café.

“Why the French Hate Us” begins with a toasted croissant split like a bun then loaded with two sausage links. Scrambled eggs are gently placed on top and subsequently covered in sausage gravy and cheese. Hash browns come on the side.


The main components of the meal are quite good and pleasing to eat. The croissant is buttery, flakey and has a lovely texture. The sausage links are flavorful and robust. The scrambled eggs are light and airy and are well cooked complimenting the other elements. The gravy and cheese, while flavorful, did leave a powdery texture in my mouth though. Kind of like a gravy packet that was not completely mixed. The gravy issue did dampen the overall food experience, but not so much that I would not order it again. The hash browns are well cooked and crispy on the outside. This plate has a lot of food on it, so I recommend going in hungry if you want to make a serious dent in it.

The coffee offered by the Shack is better than most, but it is also $3 a cup as I recall. To me personally, this awfully expensive for a cup of coffee, even one with free refills. Most restaurants in the area seem to be moving toward this price point, so perhaps this is the price point that the market will bear. What it means to me is that I feel that I need to drink enough coffee till it becomes a mistake, then drink two more cups. Do not worry, Jared and I are working on a new coffee pricing scheme that will revolutionize the breakfast food industry where everyone wins.

I would give The Shack a solid B+. The food is decent, the coffee good, the experience fun. All things that add up to a positive visit.

Griddle Fling – Gingerbread Pancakes with Sausage (Jared)


Breakfast is the finest meal of the day. My boss states, “if you say no to champagne, you say no to life.” I completely agree that the same goes for breakfast.

The Shack was a long awaited journey. Brent and I basically watched it get built day by day.  I can not describe the anticipation that builds during this construction.

The Shack did not disappoint.

The atmosphere is something to be seen.  It has a different type of flair to it.  I love any place that I can vandalize their walls without punishment.

The Shack has 2 rotating menu items. These seem to change monthly. There is The Wolf Pack and Griddle Fling. The Wold Pack seems to be a different entree item and the Griddle Fling is a specialty breakfast bread. I decided on the Griddle Fling this fine morning.  It turned out to be gingerbread pancakes.

The gingerbread pancakes had a lovely topping of not only whipped cream but also broken up gingerbread cookies. These cakes were delicious.  The cookies added a nice level of texture to the cakes.  The ramekin of syrup was the perfect amount for this short stack.

I also had a side of sausage to give this morning a bit of protein. The sausage was easily the downfall of the meal.  It was a side of two sausage patties.  It tasted like it was steamed.  This made the sausage very chewy.

Besides the chewy sausage, the whole meal was quite pleasant.  Although it needs to be said that coffee should never ever be $3.00. A wise man once told me that coffee is simply dirty water. This dirty water has turned out to be quite a necessity since my wonderful babies have been born. But please don’t make this fine dirty water beverage more than $2.50.

My recommendation of the ‘clog is The Ringer. The Ringer dot com. Great Website. It is a news/pop culture company that also is an incredible podcast empire. Sheck it out, my dudes.

Overall: The Shack is now a regular in the rotation for the breakfast buddies.  If you ever would like to join us for breakfast. Hit us up at the links below.

Brent:  B+
Jared: A-

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Brent.

Panclog #42: Savannah’s Goose Feathers

Getting Goosed @ Goose Feathers


Did I hear you right? You wanted ANOTHER Savannah review? Well have no fear, for panclog is here! Did you forget about the last Savannah clog? Check it on out! Brent and his lovely bride, Vesta, reviewed the breakfast of the bed and breakfast where they stayed.

The Panclog Co-Creators, Stephen and Jared, decided to drag our families down to the beautifully historic, Spanish moss covered Savannah, GA.  All this to eat breakfast together.  Well also to see the ocean and relax.  But mainly the breakfast thing.

Goose Feathers Cafe opened in 1986. It popped into the panclog pals’ eyeline after a quick Bing of “Best Breakfast in Savannah.” Were we disappointed? Keep on reading and you will find out!

Location/Environment: Goose Feathers Cafe is located in the historic district of Savannah in one of the many quaint little squares that branch out away from the Savannah River. I’d have to say that Chippewa Square is the best. The environment is one that could seem a bit corporate but comes off much more as simply efficient.  Goose Feathers Cafe feels like a local staple for a quick breakfast or easy lunch.

Service: Goose Feathers Cafe’s service centers around the front counter. This is where you read the menu, order, grab necessary silverware, and pay.  Most of the staff interaction happened here with just the right amount of recommendations. A nice staff member helped us take our picture in 2 different spots.  That is dedication!

Menu/Selection: Goose Feathers Café is the place to go for simple café food. I would compare it most to a very high end Panera.  It has baked goods, tasty coffee, and meals made of oats.  The menu is here! One big plus of this café setting is the availability of a specialty brew of coffee each day.  The day we went the special was Chocolate Almond. Another plus is that this special coffee of the day is the same price of regular.


Belgian Waffle with Bacon (Stephen)


I’m always a fan of a counter-service breakfast joint – it delivers a nice hybrid between a standard sit-down restaurant and a more QSR-style eatery. Upon walking in, Goose Feathers instantly gives off a vibe of a local favorite. It has southern charm, both in feel and service. Employees are eager to help or offer suggestions as to what to order. And there are plenty of options for all mood.

I’ll never pass up breakfast, and this day was no exception. I ordered the standard Belgian waffle with a side of bacon and the coffee of the day: a chocolate almond flavored brew.



We took our order number and found a roomy table that accommodated our party. I sipped from my coffee, enjoying playful banter and great company, as we waited for our food to arrive. The chocolate almond coffee was underwhelming. There was an odd dichotomy happening – the flavor was very intense but the brew was fairly weak. It came off as a standard diner coffee with a bit too much of an artificial flavor.

Food was quick to arrive. Syrup came in a single ramekin, which if you’re a syrup fiend like myself immediately sets off deep-seated anxiety. Am I going to have enough? What if I need more? What happens if I spill it? Do I have to talk to someone? Don’t fear, dear reader: it was plenty. The waffle itself delivered on exactly what you want from a Belgian waffle. Satisfyingly soft, well-balanced in flavor. Not too sweet, enough substance and a great bed for syrup and butter. The bacon was crispy, if not a tad stale, but cooked evenly.

If you go out for breakfast with a healthy appetite but don’t want to stuff yourself, I find a Belgian waffle and a protein side (bacon or sausage) is the perfectly sized meal. This was no different, delivering on the promise.

J.B. Deluxe (Jared)


Savannah is for lovers. Not just regular lovers, Historic lovers.

Savannah is absolutely beautiful.  I literally giggled whilst in the Uber on the way to our house when I saw the Spanish moss.  I want it in my back yard. Please get me Spanish moss for Christmas.

Whenever I go on a trip, I treat a breakfast out as a MUST.  Not every day, just as much as my wallet allows. Savannah was no different.

I chose the J.B. Deluxe to enjoy this morning.  It is described as a jalapeno & cheddar waffle with gravy, scrambled eggs, bacon, scallions, and more cheddar cheese.  This concoction is all topped with a Tabasco syrup. I was slightly nervous that this might be too spicy.  Don’t get me wrong, I love me some heat.  But sometimes my mouth simply turns into a scare-dy cat. There was no need for my anxiety.  This waffle was full of flavor and the heat, though present, wasn’t debilitating.  You may also try the jalapeno & cheddar waffle on its own if you’d prefer to not have all of the fixings.

I am sadly going to agree with Stephen in terms of the flavor of the day coffee.  The chocolate almond flavor was on the first sip but not in the fuller body of the coffee.  It was disappointing.  Although, I feel that the price point being the exact same as the standard brew, the flavor of the day is worth a shot if it sounds delicious.

I would absolutely try Goose Feathers Cafe again.  I appreciate that the prices haven’t inflated after being named one of the best breakfasts in Savannah.  It is priced more as a cafe and not as a high end bruncherie.

J.B. Deluxe: $10.95
Coffee of the day: $1.73

To sum up some other parts of our trip, We 100% Absolutely recommend Lulu’s Chocolate Bar.

I took this amazing picture (Look Down slightly) Yeah I took that picture. Chocolate martinis are a delight. Lulu’s sadly doesn’t have an all-you-can-drink option. I asked. Also lighthouses are cooler than you expect.  This lighthouse in the picture below was plaid.  That’s cool if I may say so. If you have the chance to stay in Savannah, take it.  If you have to go to Hilton Head to be able to do it, then take the sacrifice.  Not that Hilton Head is bad, it just has a very different feel. A more corporate-golf centered feel.


To conclude my review, please listen to this, my favorite song about orange juice.

Overall: Goose Feathers Cafe may not be the best breakfast in Savannah, but it is surely worth a try. Have a nice breakfast. Grab some pastries. Then head to the beack on Tybee Island and watch a random child catch a bird with her hands.

Stephen:  C+
Jared: B

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Stephen.

Panclog #41: Cracker Barrel

Cracking wise about the Barrel


G’Day mateys! Panclog is back and better than ever. We took a bit of a break.  But have no fear, for I am here to declare there will be THREE new panclogs before the year is up.  I am very excited you to enjoy them all. Today’s clog is brought to you by the roadtrip wonder, Cracker Barrel.

Location/Environment: There are 5 Cracker Barrels in the Kansas City area. The Panclog Pals went to the closest one to both of us.  This happened to be the Strang Line location in Olathe.  It is located near a large movie theatre and in the same parking lot of Heartland Church.  The first impression you receive is of a butt-load of rocking chairs on the front porch.  The second impression is of a general store that you walk into from the front door.  There are old timey items and as-seen-on-TV items.  Pretty eclectic. The dining room is very wooden cabin chic.

Service at Cracker Barrel was a breeze.  Granted the panclog pals arrived shortly after 7 AM.  The place was in old timey fashion, a ghost town.  Coffees stayed filled and plates were cleared when the mission was accomplished.

Menu/Selection: Cracker Barrel has a juggernaut of a menu.  Just check out how many different sections they have on their online menu. They have everything that you expect from a down home restaurant.  It plays out like more of a southern family restaurant than a greasy diner.  The breakfast menu is loaded with various options and choices. Like a lot of breakfast places though it seems to reconfigure the same set of 5 options in different ways to come up with differing menu items. Using the same 5 individual items, choosing 2 or 3 per plate, and you end up with two pages of breakfast choices. In my opinion, this is exactly what Cracker Barrel did with a just couple of “specials” here and there. I cannot say that there is anything wrong with this, but it does lack creativity. Something that needs to be pointed out is Cracker Barrel’s incessant need to brand their menu items. i.e. Momma’s French Toast, Grandpa’s Country Fried Breakfast, and Uncle Hershel’s Favorite. The menu does feature a beautiful phrase.  Check it out!

Momma’s Pancake Breakfast (Brent)

The Breakfast Buddies finally made it over to a restaurant seen all across America’s highways, the Cracker Barrel. I was actually not aware that Cracker Barrel served breakfast until a few years ago when your Pancloggers decided to add the restaurant to the list of sites to clog. Up till that time I assumed that the Barrel was a lunch and dinner place only. Makes sense that the Barrel would serve breakfast given that it markets itself as classic downhome cooking.

It is the rare circumstance where I frequent the Cracker Barrel outside of a road trip. I cannot say for sure why, but the restaurant always seems to taste better after 5 or 6 hours of driving. On the rare occasion that I or my family have gone to Cracker Barrel after church for instance, I seem to have walked away slightly disappointed. The restaurant is an oasis at the midpoint of a long drive and that fact cannot be undersold.

Walking into a Cracker Barrel is a somewhat unique experience. The first thing you are confronted with is a “front porch” loaded with rocking chairs available for sale. We sat in a few of them while there and all I can say is that they are fine. Given their price I would hope that they were more comfortable. But, who buys a rocking chair on a road trip?

Immediately passing through the entry doors you are confronted with an old-timey “general store”. At least that is the goal of their marketing department: to give the patron the perception of a general store. You will find the shop loaded with various kitschy items that will make you laugh, feel warmth and comfort, and seem perfectly reasonable while you are in there. My only advice is this, don’t buy anything. You do not actually want any of this stuff. Unless of course it is a pile of candy, snacks, and puzzle books for the remainder of your road trip.

Cracker Barrel seated us immediately once we arrived at the hostess station. Upon looking at the menu I was struck with a couple thoughts, first it is big. Second, it is rustic looking, implanting the idea that this is a downhome establishment. The downside to this is the contrast between the content of the menu versus the background is not great. So I wonder if a color blind individual can easily read the menu.

I elected “Momma’s pancake breakfast” which included the combination of pancakes, choice of meat (bacon in my case), and eggs.


Jared reminded me that I made the promise to try eggs cooked different than scrambled. So I elected for over hard. My impression is that eggs cooked over hard taste eggier than scrambled eggs. Not a bad thing of course, just something that surprised me a bit.

The bacon was quite tasty and cooked exactly like I like it. I am a fan of bacon that is crispy but still retains a little bit of give in the bite rather than the crumbly snap of overcooked bacon. Granted I will take the crumbly snap over bacon that is undercooked and floppy. Cracker Barrel did quite nicely in the bacon’s preparation.

The main item of “Momma’s Pancake Breakfast” is of course the pancakes themselves. My plate came with three cakes and one small, pat of butter that was just enough for one individual cake. I am not sure why restaurants are stingy with butter, but they I would rather they place a large amount on the side. Seeing one small, barely melting pat, sitting in the center of the top pancake bums me out a little.

By default the cakes were served with maple syrup on the side. In a nice twist, Cracker Barrel serves their maple syrup in small, airline sized, sealed bottles. This allowed me to avoid soiling my pancakes with maple syrup. I did have to ask for various jellies on the side. Speaking of jellies, Cracker Barrel only offered two options, Concord grape, and Strawberry. As everyone knows Concord grape jelly is a vile substance. I opted for the Strawberry jelly to spread on my cakes.

Cracker Barrel’s pancakes have a nice crunch on the edges which I am a fan. This crispness on the edge added a nice twist to most other breakfast places that I enjoyed a lot.

Momma’s French Toast Breakfast (Jared)


First things first. YES I do have 2 of those mini syrups in my glove box.

Did you know that Golden Corral and Cracker Barrel are NOT the same restaurant?  I don’t know why but my mind always puts them in the same box.

I’m not saying anything negative about either, just saying my mind is a sick place that equates chocolate fountains to rocking chair city.

The past few months of breakfast buddy life has been extra full of morning joy.  I have been able to pick up my boy, Brent, dine with him, and take him to work after.  These extra moments have given me not only reason to keep my car tidy, but also a few more conversations about fantasy sports and music trivia.  I can not recommend enough the joys of driving around with friends.

Cracker Barrel is known for being the roadtrip restaurant.  They have 658 locations in 45 states.  This leads me to sharing my favorite Cracker Barrel fact.  They are known for their extensive audiobook selection.  The cool part of this audiobook selection is that you can rent these books by the week for $3.49 and return them to any Cracker Barrel.  How freaking cool is that. Another fun Cracker Barrel fact is that they have put out some albums exclusively. They are not just in food game.

Shall we chat about my dining experience? We shall.  I had Momma’s French Toast Breakfast.  It came with 2 eggs and 2 pieces of meat.  I chose sausage patties.  I used to be a sausage link guy,  but i switched teams for a few reasons I have received undercooked links at breakfast before and they are gross! I also believe that you can get seasoning throughout in patty-form. Yes patties are much more likely to be dry, but a patty done well is worth that chance. The sausage on this visit had a slight funk to them.  Not a gross taste.  I believe it was a spice mixture issue.  I should probably go back and give them another shot.

I need to point out something.


This syrup is 100% syrup.  But sadly is not 100% Maple syrup.  Once you have had the amazing complexities of pure maple syrup, you shake your head gently at anything beneath it.

My French Toast was standard.  Not too egg-y. Not too bread-y. It was right down the middle.  I will say it was on the griddle for the perfect amount of time.  It wasn’t crispy nor overly moist.  Cracker Barrel seems to have a few signature latte drinks on their menu.  My mother has been craving them since she heard about them.  I now know where she and I will be having a meal next time we hang out.

Cracker Barrel serves breakfast all day. Please call your senator, representative and local government officials and ask them all to make it law that breakfast be an all day affair.

I am thankful for everyone who took time to read this.  This is your gift.

Overall: Cracker Barrel is a beautiful roadtrip oasis.  Outside of travel, the restaurant struggles to hold the same appeal.

Brent: Don’t take the negatives too seriously though, Cracker Barrel’s breakfast is fine. I wouldn’t put the Barrel in the regular rotation but I would not refuse someone who suggests it. Cracker Barrel earns a C-.
Jared: C- is the perfect rating for CB.

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Brent.

Panclog #40: Original Cafe

Orating about Original Cafe
June 21st, 2018


Lovely Lads and Lasses of the interwebz, Panclog is back with a special guest writer,Colby Leseberg! Original Café is owned by the founder of former panclog topic Jerry’s Café. Original Café rose like a phoenix from the ashes of FreeBirds Burritos.  Is it everything that a phoenix should be? Find out now on this episode of Buddies in Bruncheries getting Breakfast!

Location/Environment: Original Café is located in a strip mall at 119th street and Metcalf in Overland Park, KS.  It is next to a Budget Car Rental and a small tailor.  These 2 businesses take up a good amount of parking in front of Original Café.  There is a large parking lot to the north of the strip mall.  So don’t worry.  The décor of Original Café is what you’d call Freebirds chic. It looks like Original Café wanted to open as soon as possible.  We will see what they do with the space in upcoming visits. But panclog focuses on more than just décor.  Like..

Original Café runs with small service crew.  This can help by creating a connection between regular guests and the usual employees.  It can also be a hindrance if there is a rush or a complicated table.  (No, the Breakfast Buddies table is never needy.  We eat what we get and drink all the coffee.) The service was extremely lovely during this visit because the Sova Babies were in attendance. Did you know that servers tend to love talking to cute little babies?

Menu/Selection: The menu for Original Café is almost the exact menu of Jerry’s Café.  Here is the menu.  A nice feature is that you can order your food online and then pick it up when it is ready.  They have some nice variety in breakfast plates.  They also have catfish fry nights and frog leg days.  So that is cool if that is your thing.

Chicken Fried Steak & Eggs (Jared)


Chicken Fried Steak! It. is. not. chicken!

Original Café is housed in the corpse of Freebirds.  I use the word corpse because Freebirds is absolutely still apart of this building.  I was a fan of freebirds.  When they first started arriving in Kansas City, I camped out at the Lee’s Summit location for their grand opening. I was one of the first 25 in the door and I received free burritos for a year.  Easy to say that I became a frequent visitor of Freebirds.  Although all of the Kansas City locations are now closed, I still have 10 free burritos that are not in my stomach.

This visit to Original Café featured the first Breakfast Buddies that included my twins.  Brent was ecstatic to hold a 7-month old while trying to eat some delicious food.  They were amazing.  I want you all to know that if you want special attention from your server, have a cute baby at your table. Better yet, have two.

Back to the meal, I took the dive and had the least breakfast food that is on the breakfast menu.  The only breakfast thing about this dish is the eggs. and the gravy. and the hash browns. and the fact that I had it for breakfast.  I’m sorry.  I shouldn’t be breakfast shaming.  Breakfast is for all foods.  Breakfast is welcoming.  Breakfast is for everyone.

Chicken Fried Steak is a move. It is something that should not be messed around with by amateurs.  The steak must be tenderized to perfection. Then breaded and fried to perfection.  if perfection is not achieved, you get mush or worse, cardboard.  I may be exaggerating a small amount.  This chicken fried steak was grand.  It was seasoned with a heavy hand.  I enjoy a tasty piece of meat.  The downfall of the plate was the hash browns.  It may be my least favorite preparation of potato.  Over easy eggs provide some yolk-y goodness to help break down the crispiness of the hash browns. The meal also came with your choice of bread.  I chose biscuit, but it was pretty unnecessary due to the large size of the plate.

It is a joy to see how loyal people are to Jerry Naster. He opened Jerry’s Café. Sold it. Retired. Unretired to keep making breakfast for the hungry humans.

Coffee: $2.29
Chicken Fried Steak: $9.99

While deciding if you want to come have breakfast with me. Check out “Short Court Style” by Natalie Prass. It is a total banger.

Stuffed French Toast (Brenter)

There are few things in this world better than breakfast buddies. Eating the most important meal of the day with your intrepid cloggers is a truly transcendent experience. You will find it uplifting, encouraging and enabling of all your best qualities. It is in your own personal best interest to join us on these days.

On this occasion we were accompanied by a couple of additional friends. The first is a super accountant, real estate agent, and man who recommends buying Century Link stock because of the relatively high dividend payout they make. I recommended to him to buy Microsoft when it was around $50 a share. Microsoft is currently trading double that so it is pretty clear that I am better at picking stocks.

Our other breakfast buddy can make anything and everything out of wood. Not satisfied with that ability he has gone back to school to for finance. Should the economy ever get destroyed, the extended breakfast buddies community is more than prepared to handle it.

But what made the event that much sweeter is that we were joined by a couple of 7 month old, fraternal twins. Nothing makes an event better than playing with little ones. I had the joyous opportunity to hold and make faces at both of these happy children.

Conversation on this morning focused on new jobs, uncertain but exciting futures, and the potential for great, new experiences. I admire young people who are willing to make risky modifications to their lives for the potential of a greater future, and I admire every young man who sat at this table, because each one of them is doing it.

I actually got so lost in all the company that I forgot that I was supposed to panclog the establishment. And while I would prefer to regale you with tales of our friendship and conversation, we are here for the purposes of the clog. Specifically the Original Café in Overland Park, KS.

The Original Café took over a defunct Freebirds Burrito location a few months ago.  I must admit that this makes me happy, I am not a fan of Freebirds. I am more of a Chipotle man, even though I grow more bored of Chipotle week after week. You can tell that Freebirds was once in this location because the Original Café hasn’t taken down all of their decorations yet. This surprises me for some reason. I would assume any restaurant would want full control of their brand, but it seems that the Original Café is cool with it.

This is our third attempt at eating the Original Café and our second successful excursion to this establishment. It seems that the Original Café is closed on Mondays, which is an easy thing to forget (which foiled us on our second visit).

For the intrepid souls out there the restaurant does offer Frog Legs on certain days of the week. I have had frog legs once and I cannot say that I am a huge fan of the delicacy. That being said, I know of only one other eatery that offers leg of the frog on their menu and that is the elder sister restaurant of the Original Café.

The Original Café seems like your standard run of the mill kind of diner, and, quite frankly it is. The menu covers your standard breakfast and lunch type items with a home cooked flourish here or there. My guess is that the “Liver & Onions” menu item is just there for show. I am curious to know how many folks actually order it. I will give anyone $100 who can convince my spouse, the most wonderful woman in the world, to eat an entire plate of liver and onions.

As noted in the prior paragraph the breakfast menu covers your standard fare and so I elected sausage, eggs, hash browns, and toast. I like how restaurants try to make you feel good about your order by naming it something like “The Classic” in the menu. Yes, I do read Chaucer, Dante, and Shakespeare and I like to eat the plainest breakfast possible.

Before I get to my actual breakfast I do have to mention one of our truest of friends ordered a giant cinnamon roll for the table. The kindness of friends warms my heart, especially those that share sweet breakfast treats with me. The cinnamon roll is big – it is slightly smaller than a dinner plate. Its flavor is quite good, but not earth shattering. You can taste a little bit of doughy-ness in the cooked roll. However, the butter cinnamon mixture in the roll is well balanced, and the icing is made just right. I do not expect I would ever order one for myself, unless I was on some major downward spiral, but it is definitely worthy of splitting with a group of friends.


Back to my breakfast. The Classic comes with two jumbo eggs cooked to order. I, big surprise, chose scrambled. The two eggs provided a large amount eggs on the plate. The eggs are light, fluffy, but not well seasoned. You will need to grab some salt and pepper to fully dress them out. The eggs are good, but not worthy of note. My favorite scrambled eggs still belong to Eggtc.

Speaking of eggs, I need to start branching out in how my eggs are cooked. I think the next step should be over hard. At the next breakfast buddies event, I hope my cohort remind me to try them cooked differently.

My particular order also included a couple of sausage patties. These particular patties came out as a couple of hockey pucks if you will. That may seem harsh, but I don’t think of it as a negative per se, it is just that the sausage was good and flavorful, but could have been much more flavorful.

A classic breakfast wouldn’t be complete without some carbs of course. At the Original Café, this includes a potato option and some toast. I love toast, with a small amount of real butter. While a jam or jelly option is nice, it is certainly not necessary.

I elected for hash browns in regard to the potato option. The Original Café does a terrific job getting both sides of a set of hash browns crispy, but the internal was not consistently soft throughout. This gave the impression of some potato bits not being completely cooked. When it comes to the preparation of hash browns it seems that most folks lean towards the idea of creating a potato pancake of sorts. Basically leaving a set of grated potatoes sitting on a griddle until one side browns then flipping the mess over to brown on the other side. I am more of a fan of consistently stirring the shredded potatoes throughout the cooking process so that each small piece gets evenly cooked with the rest and also includes some crispy browning. The Original Café goes for the potato pancake method, when they could reach for the stars with consistent movement and browning.

I like The Original Café. Their staff is super fun and friendly and I hope it lands in the regular breakfast rotation. Plus, on a random Tuesday, I would like to go toe to toe with someone over a cinnamon roll.

Special Guest Writer Colby!
French Toast, Bacon, Giant Cinnamon Roll (Split)

”Am I really just a narcissist/’Cause I wake up to a bowl of lobster bisque?” – Rick Ross

I feel it fitting to begin a review of a breakfast establishment with a rap lyric regarding breakfast.  Here we see Mr. Ross displaying a view of the most important meal of the day which diverges completely from my understanding of the same.  While a fan of lobster bisque, I find it best served at lunch or dinner and as an accompaniment to another form of protein, such as filet mignon.  I promise that will be the only such digression of this Panclog.

When I met the ‘Clog Crew (some of the most wholesome folks I have the privilege of knowing) at Jerry’s Original Café for breakfast it marked my first experience at the restaurant.  The ambience and décor call to mind the word “simple”, presenting Jerry’s immediately as a relaxed diner-style atmosphere.  You determine pretty quickly that this isn’t the place for your lobster eggs benedict.  It is, however, a place for a sensible morning meal.

From the outset our server was welcoming and diligent.  Our coffees stayed full and we were regularly checked upon.  The meal started with Jerry’s Giant Cinnamon Roll shared between the four ‘Cloggers.  It was giant indeed, enough that each of us could enjoy a good-sized chunk; eating the full cinnamon roll seemed to require a hero’s effort, and a hungry hero at that.  The amount of cinnamon flavor was just right for me and the icing did not overwhelm with sugar, cream cheese, or any of the other distractions that can make a cinnamon roll’s icing go astray.


As for the main course, our food was served in a timely fashion.  I ordered the French Toast with a side of bacon.  The French Toast was truly unique in that it was made from challah bread, a favorite treat of mine.  The challah bread lends itself well to French Toast due to its perfect texture and the end product did not disappoint.  The bacon was cooked appropriately and very flavorful without an overwhelmingly salty cure.  I certainly felt full after the meal which is a must when ordering a griddled item with a side of breakfast meat.


The food was reasonably priced (about $10 for the French Toast and bacon, plus a couple bucks  for the coffee and $4 for the cinnamon roll – not bad for a tasty meal in southern Johnson County) and did not leave me feeling as though I’d been cheated.  As for ways to improve, it’s my opinion that Jerry’s serves standard diner coffee (not swill, but not particularly flavorful) as well as maple syrup that was likely ordered in bulk.  I also felt like the sun was annihilating me in the face and there were few lights on in the restaurant to boot – throw a few shades up, flip the switches, and you’re in business.

Overall: Original Café is worth a trip. If they change the décor, they could become a brunch destination in south Overland park.

Brent: A-
Jared: B
Colby: B+

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Brent.

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