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Archive for the tag “Breakfast”

Panclog #32: Perkins Restaurant & Bakery

Palin’ Around at Perkins

3/14/2017

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This is the March-iest Panclog since our fantastic and controversial review of John’s Space Age Donuts.  It was pretty epic.  I assure you that this edition is going to be tasteful and elegant.  If you don’t think so, the Panclog Pals recommend you watch a  couple episodes of Masha & The Bear in its original Russian.  This will calm you down and make you happy. Enjoy today’s Panclog review of Perkin’s Restaurant & Bakery.

Perkins Restaurant & Bakery is a chain restaurant that specializes in tasty pies and greasy (in a good way) food.  We went to the Perkins at 87th Street and I-35 in Overland Park, KS.  This location is open 6 AM – 12 AM Sunday through Thursday and open all 24 hours on Friday and Saturday. Check out their website to find a location near you.

Location/Environment: The environment is cultivated, like many other chains, in a style that promotes continuity between locations.  The first thing you see when walking in is a tantalizing baked goods section. This comes into play later. Keep your eyes peeled. The environment is one that is warm with wood – paneling, booths and checkout counter all be-decked in a light stained oak.  The location of this Perkins is perfect for people getting together.  It is right off the highway and has ample parking.

Service: The service at this Perkins is everything you want from a chain restaurant.  Our server not only gave us recommendations, but also kept our coffee full at all times.  Coffee being full is the key to being an awesome server.

Wait time for food: 5 minutes

Menu/Selection: Perkins specializes in American cuisine.  They are known for their baked goods that they hawk at the front counter.  The Peanut Butter Silk pie is something that every  human deserves.  Buy one for your favorite Panclog writer.  The menu offered by the restaurant is quite large with many options, with breakfast getting a couple of dedicated pages. The devotion to breakfast is much appreciated. The breakfast choices are typical, including various styles of pancakes, French toast, eggs, and assorted breakfast meats. Perkins does have a wide assortment of muffins served warm and tasty.  Perkins is in the midst of a push to get late night diners. Check out these specials.

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Check that out! All you can eat pancakes! Half priced pie! Perkins knows what those late night diners want. You can always find something you will want to put in your mouth. Read their extensive menu here.

Food:

Big Country Smasher (Jared)

 

Breakfast is not just for when you wake up.

My mother, the saintly Shari, once told me of the mythical “California Menu.”  This means that whatever is on the menu is available all day.  I believe this is the reason why famous people and fancy technological people (techies) live in California.  If you can get breakfast at any restaurant then you are 83% more likely to live a happy and successful life.*

*I made this statistic up.  But try to disprove it!

This dreamy California menu brings me to restaurants that serve breakfast all day long: IHOP, Denny’s, Steak & Shake and Perkins. Ask me what I want for dinner and I’ll tell you it’s gonna be BRINNER!  Breakfast for dinner is the king of meals. It feels wrong but I assure you it is so right.

Song obsession of this clog: Beacon Hill by Damien Jurado. Enjoy.

I would have to say that Perkins has not done themselves proud in the marketing department, as that I don’t believe they have definitively declared themselves as a breakfast-focused restaurant.  And without this clear focus, many diners may perceive Perkins as a place of ill-repute.  Not all chains are bad. Not all Mom & Pop shops are amazing.  I give you a recommendation to make your life better.  Try all the breakfast places and then decide which ones are bad.  The bad ones you don’t have to go anymore.  But here is an even better recommendations, if you hear about a breakfast spot that you don’t know is good or not. Send it on over to us on twitter. We will give you the sweet hookup on whether or not its worth your time.

Let’s get a good look at my meal that is interestingly named The Big Country Smasher.
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Looks interesting, am I right? Let’s break down what is inside this dish. The crust is smashed up tater tots (I have a hunch that this gives it its name.) These tots are the salty greasy foundation of a well-balanced breakfast.  Next we have not 1, not 2, but 3,  the holy trinity of breakfast meats, ham, sausage, and bacon. Can you go wrong with throwing all of the breakfast meats into a breakfast dish?  That is a rhetorical question. On top of that meat, an egg that is cooked to your liking.  I chose over-easy because I love making a mess.  Then we add the warm comforter that is sausage gravy. Then garnish with some freshly shredded cheddar cheese.  Yep all of that in a bowl.  It is something to take in.  I’ll admit that, though this dish isn’t the prettiest, it hits the spot.

If you didn’t know, Perkins is known for their baked goods. If you go to a restaurant and they say that they are known for something, a good plan is to always try that something. Brent and I tried the blueberry muffin at the behest of our server.  Here is a picture!

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Yep, it was that good.  It was so good that Brent thought about eating the wrapper.  I would say this muffin was more cake-y than other muffins I have had. Some people butter their muffins.  This muffin was so fluffy and flavorful, the butter was unnecessary. Even better about this muffin is that it was a cheaper add-on because I had one of the Perkins specials.

Perkins is a good breakfast spot.  I would not say it is great, but it definitely should be added to everyone’s rotation.  If you don’t have a rotation of breakfast spots, hit me up and we will start getting that morning grub on.

Coffee: $2.29
Big Country Smasher: $9.29
Blueberry Muffin: $0.99


French Toast Breakfast (Brent)

 

A Perkins Panclog makes for a nice alliteration. It is not often when we get to play games with language while celebrating one of the few joys in life, breakfast. I recall mentioning that we were going to Panclog Perkins to my spouse and her response was incredulous, “Really, that place?” I am not sure my darling wife feels that Perkins is Panclog worthy. Sure, it is a national chain, and sure, it is not at the top of our list of restaurants, but we at the Panclog are equal opportunity breakfasters.

Perkins is exactly what you would expect it to be. A restaurant in the same vein as Shoney’s, Bob Evans, and, to some degree, Crackle Barrel. On long road trips, I like to stop at these types of restaurants to stretch my legs and grab a decent meal. Usually these establishments are clean and pleasant with staff who are kind and friendly. The Perkins that Jared proposed we patronize is no different from what you would expect and is inviting and warm. Albeit the restaurant was relatively empty for its size when we arrived at seven in the morning. We have been to this particular Perkins a couple times and it has wanted for customers each time.

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Jared was kind enough to purchase a blueberry muffin as an appetizer for our breakfast and shared it with me. Rather than slice the pastry in half like untrusting acquaintances, we shared it in a fashion that was more akin to Lady and the Tramp. There is nothing awkward about two grown men sharing an unadorned cupcake in this fashion. Get out there with your best buddy and go for it.

On a side note, how brilliant is having an appetizer before your breakfast actually starts. The depth of wisdom shared by the Panclog team is remarkable. The Breakfast Buddies should begin getting dessert as well. I wonder what breakfast ice cream would be like. Perhaps just vanilla ice cream with some crispy rice cereal thrown on it. Maybe a maple-flavored cheesecake with a crust made of grape nuts. I could go for an apple pie filling pastry pocket (wait, isn’t that already a thing?). We often say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It is time that we treated it as such, and make it a multicourse experience.

For this particular Panclog I opted for the French toast breakfast with a side of scrambled eggs and sausage links.

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Just a simple basic breakfast really, which was kind of what I was in the mood for anyway. The toast was cooked well with a satisfying crust on the edges and not too soggy in the middle. Sadly, there was not enough butter provided in my opinion. A breakfast place that brought out a butter-filled ramekin on the side would win me over in a heartbeat. Just to sound more fussy and entitled, a powdered sugar shaker placed on the side with be terrific too. That way you could get a nice pool of melted butter on the French toast and sprinkle enough powdered sugar on the top to make a nice glaze. This, my friends, pushes French toast to its highest heights.

The eggs and sausage were good, but nothing that would generate a lot of excitement. Overall, that is what you could probably say about Perkins in general. The restaurant is good and you will not leave disappointed, but I do not see it revving anyone’s engines. Some mornings that is exactly what you need. Thus, I would recommend going to Perkins and putting the establishment in the normal cycle, but I would not suggest that you choose it above some other places. If you had to choose between the Big Biscuit here in KC or Perkins, head on over to the Big B. However, if you are heading on a long trip out of town and you are looking for something that is consistent and friendly then pop on in to Perkins. Perkins will fulfill those expectations.

French toast breakfast – $8.29

Coffee – $2.29

Overall: Perkins has earned the right to be visited on a regular basis.  Try it and tell us what you think.

Grade:

Brent – Perkins earns 3.25 stars out of five.

Jared – C++ or B– Both of these are now real grades.  Its better than average and worse than great.

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Brent.

 

Panclog #31: Tortilla Ranch

Rockin’ at the Ranch
1/25/2017
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Good day to everyone who is laying eyes on this fine blog.   Also to those of you are lucky enough to have a pretty person reading this to you. Audio-book style. Thank that reader with a gift like a bouquet of dandelions.  But before you go out to look for sub-par foliage in the middle of winter, you should probably wait until you’ve finished reading about our breakfast adventures at Tortilla Ranch.

Tortilla Ranch is a Mexican restaurant located at College Blvd and Antioch Road. They are open from 7 AM to 9 PM. But on Friday and Saturday you get an extra hour to dine because they close at 10 PM!! Don’t try to go there on Sundays, as they are closed.   Be nice and check out their website.

Location/Environment: The environment in the restaurant is nice. The chairs are straightbacked and wooden, and as such, can grow uncomfortable after a bit of time. The breakfast buddies do tend to overstay their welcome at restaurants. The wooden motif creates a warm atmosphere in the restaurant.  Tortilla Ranch is also located less than 3 minutes away from Brent and Jared’s jobs, respectively.

Service: The service at Tortilla Ranch was standard for the order-first sit-later style that is becoming popular in fast-casual restaurants.  Our cashier was very friendly and happily gave us water cups when we forgot to ask for them.

ait time for food: 4 minutes.

Menu/Selection: Tortilla Ranch tried to be as authentic Mexican food as can be.  They have a fairly small menu.  Smaller menus usually show that the restaurant is very proud of these items and do not want to stretch too thin to make a product that does not live up to the other items.  We were able to witness the staff prepping all of the produce for lunch service.  This shows me that they use product that is fresh.  Much appreciated. The breakfast menu on the website does not include everything that they offer.

Food:

Breakfast Bowl (Brent)

Your intrepid cloggers have opted to venture off the beaten path of traditional breakfast places opting to breakfast at what I consider a good burrito lunch destination, Tortilla Ranch Mexican Grill. I have been to this fine establishment a few times for lunch but never realized TR served breakfast. Needless to say I was surprised to hear this restaurant suggested for breakfast by Jared.

Meeting at our usual time of 7 am, we walked into the nicely decorated restaurant and perused the menu. Lunch type items with the addition of eggs filled the menu thus making them all the options,”breakfasty”. Not necessarily a bad thing. I ordered a breakfast bowl filled with chorizo, potatoes, eggs, cheese, pico, and avocado. There were some onions in there too I think.

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Looks lovely does it not.
This combination of flavors is quite good, but powerful. In all honesty, the dish was overwhelming as a breakfast option. I guess I prefer to ease slowly into my day. If I had this for lunch, I would have enjoyed it a great deal.

Nonetheless, the potatoes were tender but retained their texture; seasoned well if not a bit salty. The chorizo in the dish is also good. The remaining ingredients, like the pico, avocado, etc. are fresh, tasty, and well portioned. The downside, as noted earlier, is that there is a lot going on in this dish and it does not offer a place to relax. As each bite mounts, so does the intensity of the experiencing. The dish is not spicy hot; it just has many flavors that add up. To compensate, one must drink a copious amount of water or coffee to get the palate cleansed.

The coffee is good and inexpensive, just a dollar, if you buy a breakfast item.

While I would not recommend going to breakfast at Tortilla Ranch, I do highly recommend going there for lunch and/or dinner. The freshness of the ingredients, the care to which they prepare those ingredients, and the simple combinations assembled for their dishes is noteworthy. The next time someone wants to buy my lunch, an open invitation, I will be sure to steer them in that direction.

Breakfast Enchiladas (Jared)

Breakfast is the king of meals. Would you disagree? If you do, I am quite shocked that you are reading this fine award-winning blog.  My wife said this was a good blog.  That is an award. She has a BA in English! So, she can award people awards.  Because breakfast is king, restaurants have been trying to sneak other foods into the breakfast category.  Some are very successful. I.e. Pizza, Burritos, sandwiches. Some foods just don’t go over very well like porridge, soup, and perhaps even enchiladas.

If that doesn’t tell you what I tried at Tortilla Ranch, maybe a picture will help.
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Now that looks like a great picture.  I have been striving to become the Ansel Adams of food photography.  I prefer natural light and a subject that will be in my stomach soon after the photo is taken.

Take a journey with me through some of the people and things that tried to go outside of the box and did not succeed, Michael Jordan as a baseball player, Pop Tarts in Crush Orange Soda flavor, Watermelon Oreos, Vince McMahon as Owner of the XFL, and now enchiladas as a breakfast food.

I am not saying these enchiladas are not good.  I am simply pointing out that they were too strong for me to fully enjoy in the 7 o’clock hour. In fact, this enchilada would be incredible for lunch or dinner. Another thing I really enjoy but not at 7 AM:  beer.  Check out Brent and me in our other article series, Thirsty Thursday.  We talk about a famous person we want to have a beer with and then pair a beer that we think they would enjoy.  It is almost award winning.  Megan, please give us another award.  We work fairly hard.

Tortilla Ranch’s coffee is only $1 when you get a breakfast item.  I truly enjoy this incentive pricing.  I believe that more restaurants should do this.  As Brent calls it, “Coffee is just dirty water.” So come on down on the price.  If you can get away with it, please try adding horchata to your coffee as a fancy creamer.  It adds some lovely sweetness to your coffee time.

I will absolutely be visiting Tortilla Ranch for lunch or dinner for some authentic fresh Mexican food.  I suggest you do the same.

Breakfast Enchiladas: $6.95
Coffee: $1.00

Overall: Tortilla Ranch may be a pass for breakfast, but we both strongly suggest them for any other meal.  The fast-casual type of ordering will allow you to get some authentic Mexican cuisine for a quick lunch.

Grade:
Brent –
 Overall, I would give Tortilla Ranch Mexican Grill 1.5 stars out of five for breakfast, which bums me out. However, concerning lunch or dinner, let us make that 3.5 out of five stars.

Jared – D+ for breakfast. It would definitely be higher if I could get this breakfast enhcilada for lunch or dinner.

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Brent.

 

Panclog #30: McLain’s Market

Update 1/25/17: We recently visited McLain’s Market again, and we are proud to announce that the foul odor has disappeared.  We wholeheartedly recommend McLain’s.  Go on, child. Eat good food.

Munching at McLain’s
11/29/2016

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McLain’s Market is the sister store of McLain’s Bakery in Waldo. McLain’s Market is located on the Northeast corner of 435 and Roe Avenue. McLain’s Market is less than 2 months old.  They opened on October 11th, 2016. You can check out their website if you like. They are open for breakfast, lunch and light dinners.

Location/Environment: McLain’s is across the street from a Quiktrip where a Shell gas station once stood. McLain’s is very easy to get to thanks for them being right off the highway.  McLain’s is what you would call country-urban.  It is decorated in a chic but home-y fashion.

Service: McLain’s Market is a order-first sit-later establishment.  We had a small group of people in front of us, this provided the perfect duration of time to peruse the menu and make a decision.  The coffee was served from their espresso machine area.  This could cause a wait if the barista is busy making orders. All workers in the bakery area and cash registers had chipper attitudes.

Wait time for food: 7 minutes

Menu/Selection: McLain’s Market is not just a breakfast spot.  They are also open for lunch, and afternoon appetizers.  Did you also catch that this place is a bakery?  That means they have delicious sweets and desserts, too.  McLain’s also serves beer and wine. It looks like a wonderful place to get together with an old friend and share some pastries while sipping on some wine.  McLain’s has been kind enough to publish their menu on their website.

Food:

Market Bowl and Almond Croissant (Jared)

Mornings are simply better when you are able to share it with good people over good food.  Seriously is there anything better than coffee conversations? Well maybe a conversation over a nice beer. Oh that reminds me! Go read the interesting series of Thirsty Thursday posts.  Read them with a chilled pint of Milwaukee’s Best! Click here for beer reading material!

Walking into McLain’s Market feels great. Why you ask? Well I’ll tell you why, this place is aesthetically pleasing to both the eyes and both the nostrils.  They have some of the cutest décor that you will find west of the Mississippi.  You know those east-of-the-Mississippi people have some incredible decorating skills.  We can all agree on that. And that nostril thing?  It is not as gross as it sounds.  McLain’s is a bakery. That means they bake stuff. Baked goods smell incredible. I rest my aesthetically-pleasing case.

When waiting in line for the cash register, McLain’s brilliantly surrounds the customer with freshly baked goods.  This is my favorite type of entrapment.  They show you tasty things when you already hungry.  It worked.  I bought that almond croissant to prove to McLain’s that they have a good sales technique.

Let’s talk about this Market Bowl. When I read the description of chorizo verde, scrambled eggs, avocado, and potatoes.  I screamed, “TAKE MY MONEY!” They graciously accepted my payment. When I received my bowl of goodness, I was slightly confused.  For some reason, I was expecting an omelette or a scramble of sorts.  This was not a bad realization at all.  Just a surprise.  The layering of foods allowed me to choose the flavor combinations myself.  Bowls are hot right now.  Being able to hold your food and eat it makes people happier. That is a fact. I heard it on the radio.

The green chorizo was everything you want in chorizo.  It is sliced a little larger than I have seen it before.  The spice level of this chorizo was perfect.  Spicy enough to make you rethink all of your life’s decisions but not spicy enough to make you do anything different. I usually don’t like onions and peppers in my food, but when hidden inside this bowl, I guess they are fine.

The almond croissant is flaky and gooey.  It will fit perfectly in your stomach where the sweets go.  I want more.  I believe I will be going back this week just to get more pastries.  I have a sweet tooth that needs to be satisfied by more goodies from McLain’s.

I must say when Brent and I visited this fine establishment, we were struck by the scent of natural gas.  I stated that it was something like “butt smell.”  I am at the assumption that this was a one time event. We will find out next time I check it out.

Large Coffee: $1.99
Market Bowl: $6.50
Almond Croissant: $3.00

Pepper Jack Burrito (Brent)

McLain’s Market is a newly opened bakery/breakfast place that the Panclog crew recently visited. Located on the corner of Roe and 107th St in Overland Park, KS, McLain’s repurposed an old gas station on the site to build out their restaurant. They recycled a building, and for that they are heroes.

The work that the McLain’s team has done to remodel the building is terrific. The outside and inside stylings complement each other quite well. There is a lot of exposed wood and steel throughout the décor, with some old west style accents (maybe?). I am not an interior decorator so my best guess for style is Urban Country. You would be better off checking it out for yourself at your nearest opportunity.

Let’s pause and look at a nice picture.
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Ordering is a simple process: check the overhead board, make some decisions, walk to the counter, place your order, pay some money, and you’re done. Back in the inner workings of McLain’s your breakfast is prepared and will be delivered to you. Or at least they will yell out your name so you can go grab it. If you bring a Jared, there is a good chance he will jump up and get your food for you. He’s nice like that.

I apologize for the momentary lapse in writing. I took a moment to look at the nice picture again. I should probably remove the picture as she is very distracting.

Back to McLain’s. The food appeared very fast. As I wasn’t feeling 100% that day I looked for something that would be relatively small, but I also wanted to find something that was representative of a full breakfast. Enter the breakfast burrito. Specifically, McClain’s Pepper Jack Burrito.
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As a brief aside. When I get creamed by a bus and go to heaven, I would like to meet the inventor of the burrito and give that person a hug. A hug so long that it is almost inappropriate and awkward. I would like the inventor, whomever she or he may be, to know that I truly appreciated their invention and look forward to burritos throughout eternity.
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The burrito is similar to most other breakfast burritos in that it contains eggs, another protein, cheese and seasonings. In this particular case, McLain’s includes sausage, eggs, pepper jack cheese, red potatoes, and serrano sauce. In my opinion, the eggs of a breakfast burrito are the most important part to get right. The eggs need to provide a firm base to support all of the other flavors, but should not be the main event. Runny or stiff eggs have a tendency to ruin the experience (if you would like to experience runny/stiff eggs I would send you to my office cafeteria). If you would like to experience eggs done properly, I would send you to McLain’s.

The potatoes in the burrito provide a very nice additional texture to the dish. The potatoes themselves are seasoned well and properly cooked. They are tender to the tooth but are not mushy or grainy. They help support the eggs in their job of providing a background for the more flavorful components.

The other ingredients provided quite a kick. I assume the sausage is regular pork sausage and it is quite good, although there could have been a little more. The pepper jack and the serrano sauce were also flavorful and added a bit of heat to the burrito. I would imagine that many folks might consider it extremely spicy, but I felt it had just enough heat. The spice made for an adventurous breakfast. Paired with hot coffee you will want to have another beverage at the ready. Something like orange juice and/or water, which is what I did.

I would be remiss though in not mentioning that the restaurant had a strange odor. To me it seemed like a residual fragrance from the gas station; Jared had a more colorful description for it (See butt smell above). The staff suggested that it was something odd about that morning, so we must head back sometime soon to check it out.

Pepper Jack Burrito – $6.60

Overall: McLain’s is an excellent place to grab a breakfast. The seating was a little uncomfortable for our long breakfast sessions, but that shouldn’t be an issue for most. Especially if you are in a rush. The staff is friendly and quick to help. McLain’s has the type of atmosphere that puts you in a good mood.  If the strange odor was a one time problem, McLain’s could become a mainstay in anybody’s breakfast rotation.

Grade:
Brent –
McLain’s has my hearty recommendation, 3 out of 5 stars. If the odor disappears on our next visit I will give them 3.5 to 4 stars

Jared – McLain’s has the stuff to be great. I will have to give it a C+ if the odor persists.  Possibly an A- if we went at a bad time.

Expect an update from us soon!

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Brent.

 

 

 

Panclog #29: Wooden Spoon

Spooning at the Spoon

October 21st, 2016

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The Wooden Spoon is a family-owned breakfast-lunch spot across the street from Johnson County Community College.  It does not have any website, but a simple Facebook page.

Location/Environment:  The Wooden Spoon is a quaint little restaurant on the corner of College Blvd. and Quivira in Overland Park, KS. When I say little, I mean it. The dining area is tightly packed with 8 or 9 different tables that makes it a bit of a challenge to maneuver around. The décor is nothing to get excited about either. What you can expect is good food and a delightful staff. The door opens promptly at 7.

Service:  Perhaps the best feature of The Wooden Spoon is how easy it is to sit back and enjoy a leisurely breakfast. A Panclog breakfast typically lasts a couple of hours and we can sometimes feel the desire of the staff to flip the table for a waiting customer. I can easily say the staff at the Spoon doesn’t seem to mind. The staff seems as interested as we are in having a leisurely morning and enjoying the time as it slowly ticks away.

Wait time for food: 15 minutes

Menu/Selection: The menu at The Wooden Spoon isn’t as extensive as many other places, but, what they do have they do well.  Prices are also quite reasonable.

Food: 

Egg Croissant Sandwich & Single Hash Brown Casserole (Brentley)

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I have recently settled on the Egg Croissant Sandwich the past few times we have been there. The sandwich comes with scrambled eggs, your choice of bacon or sausage, and cheddar cheese. I am sure you can order your egg cooked differently should you desire it. It may sound sacrilegious to order sausage over bacon, but that is what I prefer. I feel that the larger piece of sausage balances with the eggs better. To top it all off you get a toasted, buttery croissant to act as the bread for the sandwich.

I love croissants, they are one of my favorite pastries. The downside to a croissant is that they can be dusty, leaving crumbs everywhere.  When toasted, the outer layers become much more brittle increasing the crumb to shirt ratio.

Like I said, the sandwich is terrific, although I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that a couple of times the edges of the croissant have been burned. Not a big deal to me, but it is something to be aware of.

The Wooden Spoon also offers a Hash Brown Casserole that can be ordered as a side. The casserole is offered in two configurations: meat and vegetarian. I have not had the vegetarian so I cannot comment on what it is like. However, the meat version of the casserole has bits of bacon and sausage in it which significantly impacts the flavor of the dish. The casserole is always served steaming hot, so tread carefully when your food is delivered.

The coffee is simple and good, with a very large pot sitting next to the cash register. None of the employees seem to mind if you get up and refill your cup yourself. Which is just as nice as having a carafe of coffee at the table. Being able to have consistent access to coffee makes it much easier to sit back and relax with your breakfast buddies.

Egg Croissant Sandwich with Sausage and Cheddar – $4.99

Single Hash Brown Casserole with Meat – $3.99

Coffee – $1.99

Double Burrito and Single Hash Brown Casserole  (Jared)

 

A wooden spoon is something every kitchen should have. If your wooden spoon isn’t slightly burnt from leaving it in the mac & cheese pan, then you aren’t living right.

The Wooden Spoon is a place that you are almost guaranteed to see the same patrons every time you go. This is a great sign when searching for a family-style restaurant environment that makes you feel at home.  The owner/operators are a lovely couple that open the store every morning.  I have been able to enjoy many of the options on the menu, from the egg bacon panwich to the sometimes special french toast.

I am always shocked at how short the menu is.  I have been bombarded with novel-sized menus as of late.  Have you ever been to the Cheesecake Factory? That menu would take days to read if you are as slow at reading as I.

Breakfast burritos have recently been classified, by myself, as heavenly.  Which means  God has claimed the breakfast burrito as his own special breakfast item.  Is anything better than the lovely carb-laden tortilla wrapped around warm eggs, sausage, and pico de gallo? Sorry, the answer is a hearty no.  Wooden Spoon’s burritos come split in half. This simple cut brings these burritos into a special club of foods that come in pairs and need to be savored.  Oh who is in that club you ask? Maybe you have heard of a couple of them. Reese’s PB Cups? Yeah. Swiss Cake Rolls? Yep. Nutty Buddies? Oh yeah.  Oh wait, these are all sweets.  I mean of course they are sweets. Which means, um, that they need to be savored.  Yeah.  That is what I am saying about these burritos.  You should know that the breakfast burritos come dry and then you add the salsa of your choosing to give some moisture.  Very very tasty.

Let’s start talking about casseroles.  Casseroles sound like something your 84 year old grandmother is going to “slip into the oven for you kids.”  Yeah not too appetizing.  They also make me think of the name Cassie.  I knew a girl named Cassie once.  I am almost certain that her full name was Cassandra. But wouldn’t you like her more if her full name was Casserole? Maybe her parents fell in love over a casserole at their favorite granny-ran diner.  I think more people need to be named after their parents favorite food.  I am naming my third child Cereal Sova.  How amazing would that be?  That kid is going to be a great person.

The hash brown casserole at The Wooden Spoon is something that will attempt to change your perception of casseroles.  It is full of cheese, breadcrumbs, meat and hash browns.  The hash browns, although finished in an oven or salamander, still have the greasy taste of the griddle.  Although the casseroles may come out a little dry, a little salsa or hot sauce will bring the cassie to life.

Double Burrito: $5.49
Single Hash Brown Casserole: $3.49
Coffee: $1.49

Overall: All in all, I am happy that it is one of our regular haunts and look forward to dining there many times again. You all should come and join us there some time.

Grade: 

Jared: I do declare that The Wooden Spoon will receive a B- grade

Brent: I give The Wooden Spoon 4 out of 5 stars.

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can follow Jared and Brent on Twitter.

Panclog #28: Pegah’s Family Restaurant

Punks picnic at Pegah’s
July 28th, 2016
peggy

 

Pegah’s Family Restaurant is a Kansas City based diner with 3 locations.  We visited the Shawnee location at Johnson Drive and Nieman.  You can peruse their website right here. Pegah’s is open 6:30 AM – 8:00 PM everyday.

Location/Environment: The Shawnee location of Pegah’s is right down the street from my house.  This tends to be my pick whenever I am choosing the venue of the week’s Breakfast Buddies convention.  It allows me to wake up about 8 minutes before our rendezvous time.  The environment is a standard American diner.  I would not place it in the “greasy” category nor in the “fancy” category either.  Pegah’s features traditional booth seating.

Service: Service was just lovely.  We were seated right when we arrived.  Then the coffee was brought immediately after.  Our server was quite attentive. She took our order and kept the coffee pouring.  I can not tell you how much I love when a server legitimately gives out recommendations.  It means they are taking some interest in their job.  So all servers, do that!

Wait time for food: 13 minutes

Menu/Selection: Because Pegah’s is open all day, they have everything from waffles to grilled beef liver.  So they have it all.  Pegah’s is not a restaurant that will blow you away with all their different types of omelettes and pancakes.  They strive to have a little bit of everything and be good at it.

Food: 

Combo Breakfast (Brentley)

 

Overcoming several scheduling conflicts, we were finally able to make it out to Pegah’s Family Restaurant to Panclog. Ordinarily scheduling isn’t an issue, however, this time we invited the King of Shawnee, KS to join us. He was kind enough to step down to our level and join us for breakfast. I truly felt blessed that the king opted to breakfast with the plebeians. At Pegah’s we were able to experience all that is great about the Panclog, from friendly conversation to good food.

Pegah’s is a simple diner that can be found in the downtown Shawnee area. The restaurant, while showing some age, is clean and inviting. The wait staff is friendly and usually quick to serve. Although this time we had an odd experience. Not long after finishing our meal, coffee service seemed to end. We, Jared and I, hung around for another 45 minutes or so talking, and it wasn’t until the end of that conversation did the coffee service start up again. I’m not sure if this is a problem, perhaps the staff assumed that since one of our group had left, that we would soon follow, causing a little confusion. I am glad the situation got rectified.

This leads me to a public service announcement: We Breakfast Buddies always overstay our welcome, in a good way. So please keep the coffee coming.

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I had the combo breakfast which included biscuits and gravy, eggs (scrambled), and a sausage patty. There was nothing earth shattering here. The biscuits and gravy was good. The gravy could have been a touch creamier and could have included more sausage. I was also hoping for a little more kick to it. That being said, the B&G was fine.

The eggs were cooked well although they needed additional seasoning at the table. Speaking of scrambled eggs in general, I wish that restaurants would put a little more effort into them. I prefer eggs to lighter and fluffier which I think can be accomplished by whisking them more vigorously. To me, seeing pockets of egg whites shows an egg that will not be able to live up to its very best.

Much to my daughter’s chagrin, I opted to have sausage instead of bacon. I can feel the disappointment brewing on her face. Pegah’s sausage was good but not great. It is indicative of the restaurant on the whole. I do enjoy Pegah’s a great deal and I am always happy to show up. It is a restaurant built around comfort. Just don’t expect to be totally blown away.

Yes, I do plan on going back. Pegah’s should find its way into anyone’s regular breakfast rotation.

Combo Breakfast: $8.95

Coffee: $2.49

Malted Waffle and Eggs  (Jared)

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If you read Brent’s fantastic review above, you may have read an interesting piece of information that we planned a special guest for this edition of the Panclog! We dined with the “King of Shawnee.”  I will keep his true identity a secret for now.  I am deeply saddened that he was unable to grace my inbox with some deep royal wisdom about Pegah’s.

Pegah’s is a lovely diner with an even lovelier staff.  If you aren’t entirely pleased by the food, I think you will still come back for the kind service.  Now let’s talk about some food.

I enjoyed my first malted waffle at this here diner.  I was so confused by the name. Did it have malt liquor in it?  I did some quick research at my local library and discovered malted waffles have malted milk powder in it.  That is the fancy ingredient that changes its name.  I would have to say that it keeps the guts of the more moist with a more creamy mouthfeel.  I truly enjoyed this waffle.  I would have asked for another one if I was a bigger man.  Is that a pun?  Don’t tell FlapJack but i enjoy a nice break from the floppiness of pancakes sometimes.  Waffles have such nice structure and the pockets keep butter and syrup so nicely blended.  Also watch Blended.  it is a fine film.  It even features my favorite actor.

Waffles can also have a bad side.  A side that is just slightly overdone that it will become crisp and dangerous to cut.  Overdone waffle flakes can become a shiv in no time.  On the other hand, underdone waffles are just pancakes with some lines in it.  The waffle at Pegah’s was just right.  It just crisp enough.

Eggs are such an exciting food that can be cooked in so many different ways.  In the last couple of years, I have been switching my egg preference every time I order them.  This visit I landed on overhard.  It turns out when the yolk is so cooked I need something to season the eggs.  Usually the yolk can be enough for me.  Eggs are good.  Try them.  Did you know soft-boiled is a thing? Weird.

Malted Waffle: $5.95
2 Eggs: $3.98
Coffee: $2.49

Overall: Pegah’s Family Restaurant is just that. A restaurant that will make you feel like family.  It will not blow you away with the quality of cuisine.

Grade: 

Jared: 56.5 out of 73 made-up points.  Or a C+

Brent: 3 out of 5 stars – a solid C

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitteror thepanclog@gmail.com

You can follow Jared and Brent on Twitter.

Panclog #26: Savannah is in Georgia

Panclog – Presidents’ Quarters Inn
I hope you like Spanish Moss.
Vester
To celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary, my blushing bride and I headed down to Savannah, GA, sans children. I’m not exactly sure why we chose Savannah, other than the fact that I had travelled there for business in the past and that it seemed to be a pretty cool city. Nonetheless, I was pretty certain my wife would like the location and have a wonderful time. But, to be truthful, we could have gone anywhere and we would have had a great time, again, the kids were not coming with us. A lot of time had passed since she and I had taken vacation together and this trip was long overdue. My fellow panclogger and his wife were kind enough to watch our children, all of whom are teenagers, in what was certainly a most arduous and terrifying task.
Savannah, GA is a terrific city with tons of history, beautiful squares, interesting shops, and remarkable streets and buildings. We spent nearly our entire time in the historic district which has very strict rules on how the facades of buildings should appear. Within these strict guidelines however, every building seems to have its own unique character. When visiting a new place my wife and I always seem to get into a discussion on whether or not we could live there. We will even go so far as to look for “for sale” signs, and check websites for realty listings. We determined pretty quickly that we could live in Savannah. I’m sure my fellow panclogger would love to take over parenting of our children.
Pressies

The Bed and Breakfast we stayed at is named “Presidents’ Quarters Inn”. It is located closer to the river side of the historic district rather than the middle. Don’t let that concern you as the historic district is roughly 2.2 miles square making it easy to walk the entire area. While the inn is right in the thick of the historic district it is nestled into a nook that feels very private and separate from the rest of the area. The inn has a large variety of rooms roughly ranging in price from $189-$325 per night (prices do vary depending upon season). Each room is named after a president; we ended up staying in the Nixon and Monroe rooms.

The inn is quite cozy and the staff is incredibly helpful and nice. Each member of staff was quick with a greeting, and more than willing to help with any questions. They also provide great suggestions for places to eat and activities to do in the area. The inn offers wine and hors d’oeuvre every day from 4:30pm to 6:30pm, an amenity we took advantage of. During our stay the inn offered Pinot Grigio, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. All were quite good. The hors d’oeuvres offered each day were different. While we were there the hors d’oeuvres included crackers with a flavored spread, cucumber and salmon sandwiches, and peppered salami. Coffee and various juices are available throughout the morning. They also offer Sherry, a fortified wine, starting sometime during the afternoon and is available till late evening.

Like any bed and breakfast the Presidents’ Quarters offered breakfast for guests every day. Breakfast is served in blocks of time every half hour. Presidents’ Quarters provides two breakfast options each day. The evening before you just need to check in with some member of the hotel staff and let them know what time you would like to be down for breakfast and what breakfast option you would be selecting.
Option 1 for breakfast is the Continental. Its contents are the same every morning with a granola cereal, muffin, fruit yogurt, and a large fruit cup. That isn’t to say that what is served is the same every day. The dried fruit and flavoring of the granola will vary, as will the kind of muffin, and type of yogurt. I ended up selecting this option twice during our stay
.Contnental

Option 2 for breakfast is the chef’s special, which alternates between a sweet and savory option every day. I also selected the chef’s special on two different days.

On the first day Bananas Foster French Toast was served, along with some oranges, and sausage patties. The French toast itself was quite thick, with a crispiness to the edges that opened up to a softer center. The toast soaked up the syrupy glaze from the bananas foster topping which was very sweet. Without the sausage on the side and the black coffee in the cup, the sweetness of the French toast would have been overwhelming. In any case, I really enjoyed this breakfast.
FT

Oh, by the way, that is a huge dollop of whip cream on top.

The second chef’s special I had was the Orange Ricotta Pancakes with a side of Applewood smoked bacon. The bacon was fantastic and was cooked perfectly to my taste. The pancakes were quite good, but subtler than I expected. I guess I expected the cakes to be more over the top given the bananas foster experience. I also wasn’t sure how the ricotta was going to go over. The ricotta’s only affect was to make the pancakes seem creamier than normal. The pancakes tasted just like normal flapjacks with just the slightest hint of orange. You almost had to be looking for the flavor. As the cakes came adorned with powdered sugar and whip cream, there was no need to add jelly to the top.
Pancakes
Overall I would give the breakfasts 4 out of 5 stars.

In regard to the B&B we would return to the Presidents’ Quarters Inn without a second thought. The entire experience is well done and the staff should be commended. At your next opportunity book a room, or two, or three, and get on down there.

Panclog #25: Ginger Sue’s

Surely Sweet with the Sue
May 11th, 2016
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Ginger Sue’s is a bruncheonette that has 3 locations in Kansas City; the original in Liberty, the second in Lee’s Summit, and the one we frequent in Olathe, KS. Ginger Sue’s is open daily, 6:30 AM – 2:30 PM. Throw them a like if you care to.

I would like to note that this location is sadly located in the same storefront of the 3rd ever Panclog spot, 119th Street Diner. Please check out that wonderful review and enjoy the baby photo of Stephen and I.

Location/Environment: The Olathe location of Ginger Sue’s is less than a minute away from Brent Morgan’s home.  This makes Ginger an obvious choice to host many a #BreakfastBuddies meetings.  The environment is clean and simple. There are more tables than built-in booths.I believe that this gives a restaurant a more sleek and crisp feel.  The music was fantasticly fitting to the rainy morning that it was.  Ginger Sue’s makes a great first impression and is cut from similar cloth to First Watch. The restaurant is bright, open, and inviting.

Service: Service at Ginger Sue’s is excellent. It has been noticed on many occasions that they like to staff pretty heavily in the mornings. Servers tent to be quick and attentive no matter how busy they are. The church rush and families eating Saturday brunches do not slow the servers down.

Wait time for food: 13 minutes

Menu/Selection: Ginger Sue’s serves breakfast and lunch very well.  We all know which menu is the more important of the two. Breakfast > Lunch. Sometimes you have to include a lunch menu for people who don’t have the guts to eat breakfast food at every meal.

Ginger Sue’s has daily specials.  These specials aren’t really publicized any where in the restaurant.  These specials are recited to you by the server.  You may see a review of a special later on in this very Panclog.

Food: 

Belgian Waffle with Bacon (Brentley)

“You need to be very careful. You are already on thin ice.”

I heard these chilling words as I kissed my blushing bride as I prepared to leave for Ginger Sue’s. It seems that I did not properly reset the alarm in the morning and it went off a few additional times whilst I took care of my morning ablutions. In our home, we do not wake my beloved before she is ready. Her eyes must open naturally or there will be ugly times ahead.

It is at times like these that I begin uttering selfish prayers. “Please Lord, cause my children or some innocent bystander to do something that will draw my wife’s ire. Otherwise I fear that my world will crash around me.”

With fear and trepidation, I wandered over to Ginger Sue’s for the Panclog. A place that was certain to provide some calm before the storm.

Ginger Sue’s Olathe location is very close to my home, which makes it a place that I like to frequent fairly often. Ginger Sue’s has even made it into the regular rotation for the Cloggers. We Cloggers go to breakfast about once a week – consider this an open invitation to join us.

The food at Ginger Sue’s is fresh and well prepared. This restaurant is definitely not a greasy spoon. For this Panclog I ordered the Belgian Waffle with an a la carte side of bacon.
Vaffle

The waffle was light and airy. I am not entirely sure why, but I gravitate to the waffle served at Ginger Sue’s pretty regularly. Perhaps it is the berry compote that is served with the waffle of which I am a huge fan.

Ginger serves a peppered bacon that is pretty good too. Although it may not be to everyone’s taste.

The coffee at Ginger Sue’s is usually quite good. However, on this fateful morning it seemed off. Also, Ginger Sue’s does not provide a carafe for the table, which is something I am beginning to prefer.

Speaking of music, give the band, BABYMETAL, a listen. The group is fronted by three Japanese, teenaged girls who sing well. What makes this group interesting is the band behind the singers plays a speed metal sound while the singers come over top with J-Pop vocals. The juxtaposition of these two styles mixes well and it is just weird. I would recommend starting with their songs, “Karate”, and “Gimme Chocolate”.

For those still wondering, I did survive the day when I inadvertently woke my spouse. I just happen to be an inch shorter now.

Waffle: $5.25
Bacon: $3.00
Coffee: $2.25

Aloha Awakea Omelette and Pancake of the Day  (Jared)

 

Ginger Sue’s is a gem in the breakfast world.  At first, I wanted to not like this place as much as I enjoyed 119th Street Diner.  The sour cream pancakes are still a focal point of my mouth’s dreams. I can not forget the good times I had beginning this fine blog.  So when I come across a breakfast spot that now inhabits something I used to enjoy, I start to worry that something nice has become desecrated.  After the first breakfast burrito, then peanut butter and banana pancakes and then the aforementioned aloha awakea omelette, I knew that Ginger didn’t ruin anything of my past. She made it better.

Omelettes are eggs with stuff in it. Sounds simple. I have personally ruined at least eleventy egg dishes.  I have not learned the art of balance of flavors when it comes to sharing egg flavor.  I always think more is a good thing. I find myself thinking, “Brisket is good. A pound of brisket should be enough for a 4 egg omelette.” Turns out I am wrong.  That is the near mythical amount of too much brisket.

The Aloha Awakea Omelette is a tasty concoction of egg, ham, pineapple, cheddar-jack cheese, and toasted coconut on top. I can not state how beautiful it is when salty and sweet come together. Be it salted caramel lattes from Starbucks, potato chips covered in chocolate, or ham and pineapple together. 5 out of 7 tongues agree that salty and sweet is meant to be. Please try this and tell Brent how much you loved it.  Mr. Morgan can not  have pineapple unless he wants to take an expensive trip to the emergency room.

The omelette came with some breakfast potatoes. These were some of the most delicious breakfast potatoes that I have ever experienced.  They were seasoned wonderfully and then cooked to the crispiness that you have always heard about but have never experienced.  I want more.

Now to the reveal of the Pancake of the Day. Firstly we have the buttermilk pancake base.  A classic beginning to many pancakes masterpieces.
Secondly, we add apple cinnamon. A normal addition. Dr. Jared Söva of BSI Breakfast Studies Inc. explains “Carbohydrates love to be connected to the natural sugars that fruit possesses.”  I can not deny that I truly agree with that doctor. The most common addition to pancakes is a fruit flavor. The cinnamon is there to refresh the mouth with some spice.
Next we add bacon.  Because bacon. Do we need any other reason.
Lastly we add goat cheese. WAIT WHAT? Goat cheese!?! In a pancake?  CHEESE?? Oh cheese? That tasty stuff that you peel from a stick during lunch? But from a cute little goat. perhaps from a goat like this. The goat cheese gives the pancakes some tartness that will bring the magic of this pancake of the day together.

Altogether I would gladly get this pancake again.  Savory pancakes are a necessity in a life like mine.  I am surrounded by sweet things so much that I need a break.

The prices are very standard to the brunch industry.  I will be coming back. And I hope to one day meet Ginger. The pancakes are quite something special.  They are large and in charge.  If you don’t like pancakes.  Try the omelettes.  They are infinitely better than any egg dish that I can make you.

Aloha Awakea Omelette: $7.75
Pancake of the Day: $3.00
Coffee: $2.25

Overall: I would highly recommend paying Ginger a visit. Enjoy her breakfast and her nice mix of music.

Grade: 

Jared: A

Brent: 4.5/ 5 stars or B-

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitteror thepanclog@gmail.com

You can follow Jared and Brent on Twitter.

Panclog #24: Niecie’s Restaurant

Nice is Normal at Niecie’s
April 19th, 2016

IMG_1120Niecie’s is a locally owned diner that opened in 1985.  They have 2 different locations one in Raytown and one at 6441 Troost Avenue. The Panclog visited the latter.  You can visit their website and enjoy a lovely instrumental version of “At Last” by Etta James. Their hours re 5:30 AM – 8 PM every single day.

Location/Environment: The location we visited was enjoyable.  The route from my house took me through quaint little Brookside. The interior of the Troost location was vintage; tile floors and wooden fixtures.The décor of the restaurant was simple, relaxed, and inviting. All of these elements made the place feel like home, or at least a place that was just as comfortable. The music was classic pop.  Humming along was absolutely necessary.

Service: Service was incredible. Our server was terrific. Sharee was her name and she made us feel like we were the only people in the restaurant.  She was engaging and very fun to interact with.

Wait time for food: 6 minutes

Menu/Selection: Niecie’s has a full menu with a ton of options, most all of which sound terrific.
Niecies

The specials board on the morning we arrived had a few options that would probably be difficult to find at other places. Those items include Channel Catfish, Pinto and Hock, Tender Beef Ox-Tails, and Tender Pork Neck Bones. I don’t think I have heard of a restaurant serving pork neck bones before. I will most certainly have to go back and try the smothered chicken sometime.
Specials

Food: 

The Pancake Breakfast (Brentles)
Niecie’s Restaurant reminds me a lot of Mom’s Kitchen. Both are straight up diners with pleasant staff and great food.

I ordered a simple breakfast of Pancakes, Bacon, and Eggs. All of which came out warm and tasty. The bacon and eggs were quite flavorful and pleasing to the palate. The bacon was crisp although not overly so.

The pancakes were exactly as you would expect, fluffy and filling, with plenty of butter to spread around.

 

As noted in a prior Panclog, I prefer to spread jelly on my cakes instead of pouring syrup all over them. I am pleased to report our server vindicated that opinion expressing how good jelly is on pancakes. You need to get out there and try it, you won’t regret it.

If you do somehow regret the jelly, just fill the comments area with all manner of vitriol about the evils of jelly on pancakes. You can take extra credit for creativity if you make me laugh.

The coffee served at Niecie’s was terrific by the way. It tasted fresh, clean, and didn’t have the burned flavor that some other restaurants and shops seem to be aiming for. The coffee had very little after taste and didn’t require any adornment. I would go back just for another cup.

My experience at Niecie’s was excellent. I could heap on more praise, but don’t want to sound like I am going over the top. Basically, when you have the opportunity, head on over and enjoy a great meal. I know I will be returning sometime in the future.

It bears mentioning that the floors were kind of slick at the location we went to.

Pancake Breakfast – $7.29

Sunrise Breakfast and French Toast  (Jared)

 

Niecie’s Restaurant, I should declare that my good friend at work, Alisha, recommended this fine establishment for the Panclog.  Thank you Alisha! This Niecie’s is located on Troost Avenue.  I would like to say that both Brent and I both received concerned looks when we told people where this was.  I want to say that people shouldn’t be scared of a street only because of a name’s reputation.  Experience the city and then make your own mind up about where you don’t feel like going.

The sunrise breakfast came with sausage or bacon, 2 eggs and a biscuit.  I almost always choose bacon over sausage because I feel like bacon has much more flavor than standard sausage.  I also like to experience all types of egg flavors.  To make that happen, I rotate through different egg preparations. I.E. Scrambled, Sunny-Side Up, Over easy, Over hard.  Today I chose over easy.  The biscuit was fluffy and buttery.  It was perfect with some jam.
The French toast was spectacular.  It was slightly egg-y which I love.  I do not want a very dry French toast. I have had both sides of the wet/dry french toast spectrum. This French toast played the fence to my exact liking.

The coffee was extremely simple and nice.  It was some of the best Joe I have had in the Panclog era of my life.

Sunrise Breakfast: $3.85
French Toast: $5.89
Coffee: $2.09

Overall: Niecie’s is near the pinnacle of diner experience. Altogether friendly service, great prices, and tasty food combine for a truly splendid experience for any meal.  Check it out or be bummed.

Grade: 

Jared: A-

Brent: A

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitteror thepanclog@gmail.com

You can follow Jared and Brent on Twitter.

Panclog #20: Corner Bakery Cafe

Coffee at the Corner
January 12th, 2016 – 7:05 A.M.

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Corner Bakery Cafe is a nationwide fast-casual chain. We went to the 11705 Roe Ave. Leawood, KS location.  You can check out their website here.  Also please check out their Twitter.

 

Location/Environment: The Corner Bakery Cafe is clean, spacious, and has an inviting atmosphere. The eatery is much in the same vein as Panera, from how orders are taken to the style of decoration. Both restaurants seem to be using the same formula. Succinctly, The Corner Bakery Cafe is Panera minus the bagels. The absolute best piece of art in Corner Bakery Cafe is this fine statue:
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If you are thinking that you feel the strong urge that you need this, you are not the only one. I need this baker in my home.

Service: The Corner Bakery Cafe is a pay-first style restaurant.  You go up the cashier, who has a large menu on the wall behind them.  This style does not often lend itself to great service.  That being said, our cashier was very sweet and our plates were cleared promptly after our meal.

Wait time for food: 7 minutes

Menu/Selection: Corner Bakery Cafe has breakfast, lunch, and dinner.  They also have some nice baked goods for snacking.  It tends to be of a lighter fare.  They have plenty of sandwiches ranging from breakfast to grilled panini. You can browse the full menu here.

Food:

Buttermilk Pancakes and Eggs (Brent)
Ordering is done at the counter where the menu is displayed high above. There is an array of baked goods and breakfast sandwiches offered. I went ahead and ordered pancakes, which did seem slightly out of place given their other menu items.

Corner

Looks tasty doesn’t it. Two-thirds of it was.

The bacon was quite tasty and well cooked. My preference for bacon is to be crispy and juicy. The Corner Bakery did an excellent job at hitting the bacon sweet spot. The eggs were also very good. They were dense but light on the palate. I was quite happy with how those two items turned out. Unfortunately, it would have been wiser of me to have opted for a bacon and egg breakfast sandwich.

As you have surely guessed, I was displeased with the pancakes. There were a few things going on with these flapjacks that left me disappointed. Firstly, the pancakes were not completely cooked through. Secondly, there was a definite waxiness to the cakes that left a sad aftertaste and texture to the pancakes. Lastly, there was a distinct pickle flavor to the pancakes that implied an accidental spill occurred in the kitchen. Hopefully we caught the kitchen on an off day and that it is not indicative of their normal output. They certainly looked nice on the plate, but those looks were deceiving.

Per usual, I had black coffee with breakfast. The Corner Bakery offered four different roasts that morning, and I went with their darkest roast available. The coffee was good, but not better than what I can make at home.

Considering its price, $2.29, that was a little disappointing for an expensive cup of coffee.

Pancakes, eggs, and bacon – $7.99
Large Coffee – $2.29

 

Commuter Croissant  (Jared)

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I went in a different direction, didn’t I? This Commuter Croissant is exactly what it looks like. Tastiness.  I could have eaten 3 of them.  That is saying more about my ogre-like appetite than about the size of this nice sandwich.  This appetite is why I built one of those “complete breakfasts” you always see at the end of cereal commercials.  I added on some oatmeal and a slice of cinnamon creme cake.

The ordering process was a bit different.  After ordering and paying, I was given a buzzer.  The same type that they give you at Cheddar’s when they are packed and you have to wait for your Monte Cristo. Not that I have a lot of experience with that.  When  I sat down, I assumed I would have to get back up when the buzzer did its thing.  It never buzzed, but I was brought my food.  This wasn’t a negative.  But it did seem unnecessary to use the buzzers.

The sandwich was scrambled eggs, tomatoes, bacon, and cheese all on a buttery soft croissant.  I enjoyed this breakfast sandwich.  The tomatoes added a nice acidity to the heartiness to the sandwich.  I added on some steel-cut oatmeal for $1!  It felt like a steal,  I could not pass on this fine deal.  The oatmeal was topped with the perfect amount of cinnamon.  It was enough to flavor the whole cup without overpowering the creaminess of the oats themselves.  The oatmeal also was not hard like when I make it at home in the microwave. So that was cool.

Cinnamon Creme Cake was a nice table share.  It was dense like most coffee cakes, and very rich.  This richness led to the urge to share it with my tablemates.

Commuter Croissant: $4.99
Oatmeal: $1.00
Cinnamon Creme Cake: $2.79

 

Overall: (Brent) Overall, I would give The Corner Bakery a C-. I am not a fan of giving out such a low grade, but I think you have to if you do not plan on returning. I’m not saying this restaurant should be placed on the banned list, where you would actively refuse going, but it shouldn’t go on the suggestion list.
(Jared) I would have to agree with the sad sad pancakes.  I had a couple of bites and I knew something was wrong with them.  I am surprised he finished them. My sandwich and sides were tasty.  There was nothing to dislike about my meal.

Grade: 

Jared: B

Brent: C-

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter or thepanclog@gmail.com

You can follow Jared and Brent on Twitter.

Panclog #19: Jerry’s Cafe

Getting Jiggy with Jerry
December 22nd, 2015 – 7:08 A.M.

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Jerry’s Cafe is a small diner in South Kansas City, Missouri, located at 1209 W 103rd St.  Their hours are 6 AM – 3 PM every day but Monday.  Jerry never has a case of the Mondays. They have no website but do offer a Facebook page.

Hello again! Good day to all readers of this fine establishment.  I would like to announce the resurrection of a sadly dormant hobby of mine.  I would like to thank Alisha, one of my favorite coworkers, for begging me to do another Panclog.  I am also truly thankful for the constant support from Stephen and Brent to eat my favorite food.  Please enjoy this very new and tasty Panclog!

My wonderful partner on this edition is the one and only Brent Morgan!  You may remember him from his fine work on Panclog #14!

Location/Environment: Stepping into the small café you can feel a false edginess, beginning with their menu that displays a skull and crossbones made from bacon and eggs, to the caricature of Vincent Vega (more like Vincent Egga, am I right?) and Jules Winnfield from “Pulp Fiction”.

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We entered the restaurant on a chilly morning and quickly took the largest table available to us.  With 5 of us, this was a necessity. The entire place could maybe hold just over 50 people.  That being said, you may have to wait a while for a table. The table we chose was right up front next to the door and was labeled the social table.  The idea here is that this table was intended for open seating and one could expect to make a new friend that morning.  Although I like this idea a lot, we were not able to make a new friend as no additional person sat with us. Granted we pretty much filled the table.

Sitting by the door does provide its challenges, as a chill wind blew across our table every time the door was opened.  This isn’t a big deal, just something worth noting, as it might take away from your experience.

Service: While our server was very nice, the service at the restaurant was a little slow.  Judging from the staff and the number of patrons I would suggest this was the result of being slightly understaffed that morning.  Another downside to the service is that not all of the food items came out at the same time.  One of our breakfast buddies ended up waiting a little longer than the rest of us.  Good thing he was able to pound away the remainder of the cinnamon rolls. 

Wait time for food: 10 minutes

Menu/Selection: Jerry’s is truly a dive.  They know how to do greasy and they do it well. They have full plate entrees or side items depending on your hunger level.  They also have lunch options if you are one of those types of people.

Food:

Breakfast Appetizers and Coffee by Brent!

I enjoy restaurants that employ an eclectic array of coffee cups showing a variety of designs.  My coffee cup must have belonged to Carl at some point, as that was the name printed on it. Reading the compliments on the cup about Carl leads me to believe that he is a pretty decent guy.  My compatriot on this Panclog, had a festive, holiday themed mug (at least if I remember correctly).  The contents of my mug, straight black coffee, left a little to be desired.  The coffee wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good. When going to a breakfast place I usually hope to get a cup a coffee that is better than I can make at home.

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We ordered a couple cinnamon rolls to be shared amongst the six of us. Each roll was significant in size and was easily shared by all of us.  In general, portion sizes were large at Jerry’s.  The cinnamon rolls oozed a cream cheese based icing and were covered in melted butter.  Too much butter for my taste in this circumstance.  If they added a little less butter the roll would have been terrific.  Like the coffee, the cinnamon roll was good, but they missed an opportunity here.

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The Big-ish John {1/2 Order}  (Brent)

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For the “main course”, as if the cinnamon rolls were not enough, I ordered the Big John.  Actually, I ordered a half sized Big John.  The half size portion was big enough in my opinion and I cannot imagine being able to eat a full sized order.

The Big John consists of Sourdough toast, top with two sausage patties, hash browns, jumbo eggs and two slices of American cheese.  This stack is then doused in country sausage gravy.

I enjoyed the Big John quite a bit. The hash browns were crispy, much to my liking, and the eggs were cooked well.  Even though the sourdough toast was a bit difficult to cut, it did add an interesting flavor to the whole concoction. The cheese, while visible when eating, didn’t augment the flavor as much as I originally expected.  The dish would have been fine with or without the cheese.  

The sausage patties and gravy really tied the dish together. The toast and hash browns provided a solid platform for these two items. And, in all honesty, how can you go wrong with a good, tasty country sausage gravy.  While I wouldn’t recommend this item every day, I would definitely recommend it when you are open to something a little heavier for breakfast.  The half sized order of the Big John was a lot of food, so be prepared when ordering the full size Big John.

Reese’s Pieces Frisbee-Sized Pancake (Jared!)

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Although you can not see the Reese’s Pieces in this picture, I can wholeheartedly declare that those little pieces were inside of this tasty cake.  I do not know if you have read my work before, if not you will soon learn that I can not understate how much I appreciate the act of putting a pancake topping inside the batter.  It is a simple act that completely transforms the quality of the pancake.

That being said these pancakes had the perfect amount of Reese’s Pieces in them.  It would be very easy to skimp on the candy bits and make more profit.  You know, work that revenue down to the bottom line and do more accounting things.  Jerry could also get crazy with his candy and make this pancake more Reese’s Pieces than cake.  That would be a tasty disaster. The Reese’s Pieces melted into the pancake to create a lovely soft texture of delicious bread, peanut butter, chocolate, and little bits of orange, yellow, brown, and red.

I would like to take this moment to announce that Reese’s Pieces is pronounced so that Reese’s rhymes with pieces.  I have heard way too many people pronounce Reese’s with a very hard E sound.  REESEES.  That is gross.  Don’t do that. Enjoy this video to forget my rant.

Back to the pancake talk.  Jerry loves butter. This love is on display when you take a bite of the giant cinnamon roll or when you take a look at any pancake served in the place.  I think this butter love is great to an extent, but Jerry crossed the tragic yet important butter line of 1947. When Albert Einstein discovered the perfect butter serving in his lab.

I was a big fan of the syrup vessel at Jerry’s.
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A squeeze bottle for syrup is lovely.  The plastic ramekin was filled with warm syrup.  But we can all agree that that little ramekin is never enough for a pancake, let alone a frisbee-sized cake.

The pancake was a great portion size.  I kinda feel lame saying I only ate one pancake.  But then I slap on the frisbee-size and people stop calling me a lame pancake eater.  IN YO FACE, JERRICK!

Price: Jerry’s Cafe is a great bang for your buck. You get some big dishes for some small change.

Huge Cinnamon Roll – $2.99
Half Sized Big John – $5.99
Reese’s Pieces Frisbee-Sized Pancake – $5.99
Coffee – $1.79

Overall: (Brent) I would certainly go again, but would not necessarily make it a regular breakfast spot.
(Jared) Due to the large portions, I will definitely be back again when I need to eat too much.  I  may ask for less butter in the future.  I am glad we arrived early because people started to wait for tables around 7:45. I do not believe this spot is worth waiting longer than 20 or so minutes.

Grade: 

Jared: B-

Brent: B-

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter or thepanclog@gmail.com

You can follow Jared and Brent on Twitter.

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