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Archive for the tag “Brent”

Whom I Had a Beer With – Hayden

By The Honorary Brent Morgan

When my children were younger and curious about alcohol my wife and I responded to their questions honestly. We always tried to answer their questions in an open, honest, age appropriate way. Reaching their teen years of course their curiosity started to peak, and we talked about it more. I requested that each of them show some self-discipline and wait till they were 21 so that I could enjoy their first drink with them. Now, I harbor no illusion that they have not imbibed prior to 21, but I do not mind kidding myself on some things. 

My eldest recently reached the 21-year-old milestone and I invited him to go out the Saturday after his birthday. I would like to say his response was effusive, but he simply said, “sure.” Granted that is effusive for him.

Most first time “Legals” go out with only one thing in mind, “I am going to get hammered as quickly as possible. I want a night I will not remember, so I cannot regret.” But I figured we need to do his birthday right. Make it an evening that is fun and memorable. Thus, here is a cocktail recipe for doing it right.

21st: Doing it Right

Ingredients List:

Find a Friend: I figured the best thing to do was invite my buddy Jared to the event. It is safe to say that Jared, and his family, are really members of our family. Plus, he happens to be one of the most affable and kind people I know. Jared cared as much as I did about ensuring Hayden’s night would turn out as a delightful experience.

Set a Dress Code: Most folks, at least in my circle of influence, celebrated their 21st while away at college. With the limiting factors of college life, like a lack money, an unwashed wardrobe, Cheetos dust covering your hands and face, and a group of friends deeply desiring to tie one on, would prevent the decision to dress sharply. We went the opposite direction and set a dress code of button-down shirts, jackets, and looking decidedly well groomed. Besides it is impossible to overdress for any occasion.

Pick a Variety of Establishments: I was concerned about our ability to be able to visit at least 3 places before the reduced Covid-19 hours hurt us, but we were able to achieve that goal. My goal was to hit 3 different places with a distinctly different feel in each one. Granted the specter of infection did establish a common thread amongst each site, but I was cool with it. To misquote Seth Meyers, “stay safe, where your mask, social distance, we love you.” In every other aspect, each bar we landed at had a vastly different atmosphere.

Get Home Safe: Not sure this ingredient requires any other details. 

Directions:

Step 1: Leave your son’s girlfriend’s birthday party she planned for him and find Jared already in your home, digging through your refrigerator. Quickly change clothes, check your hair (well I didn’t need to), and take a few pictures as if you were headed to prom.

Step 2: Make your way over to location 1 with haste.

J. Rieger & Co distillery was our first stop. J. Rieger is located in an industrial area on the northern side of Kansas City with Evergy right next door in case you want to pay a utility bill. The J. Rieger building sticks out like a small oasis amidst a desert of industry and serves as a welcome respite.

As a brief aside, our journey north on I-35 provided us many views of Kansas City’s skyline, perhaps the best in the United States.

Having not made a reservation, we were asked to wait for a bit before a table would open. To me this was perfectly fine as they have a museum of sorts describing the history of J. Rieger and the long history of distilling and brewing in the Kansas City community. The museum section has a lot of novelties that are interesting to look at. If my spouse were there, we would have hung around and read every word on every card.

Stepping over to the gift shop we began to eyeball the special Monogram Whiskey 2020 Edition Oloroso Bota. We were immediately pounced on by a staff member who had a well-practiced pitch. The Monogram whiskeys are the special varieties that are output by the distillery. Try as we might we could not find a price tag. As the old saying goes, “if you have to ask, you can’t afford it.” Luckily, we did not have to crush the salesperson’s dreams as another customer strolled up and bought a bottle. Peeking at the sales slip (I know this is rude) showed me that yes, this is a lot more than I want to spend.

While the other customer’s sale was completed, we were called up to our table. We meandered up the stairs to the second floor and lamented that the slide down was currently closed due to the Covids. The host enthusiastically greeted us with, “you guys look great!” A truer statement has never been spoken, granted he did look much better than we did. We were guided to a comfortable area that had a small divan and a couple wing back chairs. After a few pleasantries with the host we awaited our server perusing the online menu on our phones (online menus in restaurants is yet another intriguing twist Coronavirus caused).

A quick check of Hayden’s ID let our server know that it was his birthday. I was not carded of course, because servers and bartenders feel sorry for bald men. Why add another indignity to this poor, follicly challenged soul. While we offered advice to Hayden on his first drink ever, our server went to grab some water. After many offered ideas Hayden settled on a Monogram Mule, which is a Moscow Mule but made with the special whiskey. Jared opted for their Monochromatic and I selected for a Rieger Whiskey on a rock, singular.

Over my right shoulder I spied our server headed back to our table and noticed he had four drinks on his tray. I thought, “huh,he must be delivering an item to another table.” Which of course he wasn’t. I had forgotten the tradition that bars will give the 21-year-old birthday boy a free cocktail. So, Hayden added a No Laws cocktail to his drink list. Which of course Jared and I added another, a Heim Beer and another whiskey, respectively. 

With that, we sat back, drank slow, and conversed. We did not talk about great philosophy, science, or religion. No heady topics were dissected. Just a conversation amongst three men happy to be in each other’s company. A small competition did erupt of course, they always do. Hayden showed us a long set of heart emojis exchanged between him and his girlfriend which prompted Jared to suggest who would receive the quickest response from their significant other if we sent them a heart emoji. I think my spouse barely beat Hayden’s, but she certainly beat Jared’s remarkable bride. When Jared sent me a heart emoji, I responded significantly faster than all the women in our lives #SubSecond. That’s just how we roll.

With our drinks finished, our conversations pleasantly continuing, and the bill paid, we headed off to step 3. I was still pissed the slide was closed.

Step 3: As we stepped toward Jared’s minivan, he asked what the next stop should be. Knowing that he had other options in his mind, I suggested we try out the Green Lady. Hayden had mentioned to me that several of his buddies liked going thereand I figured, “why not?”

A quick jaunt to a spot a block or so away from the Power & Light district we parked and strolled over to the Green Lady. A bouncer sat outside checking ids before he would let anyone in. As he checked ours, I could feel his heart saying, “man those guys look amazing.” Ever the professional he held it in.

Walking into the Green Lady was like stepping into a Red Velvet cake. An overwhelmingly sweet patina of your grandmother’s burgundy upholstered furniture exploded on every surface and light fixture. It caused immediate confusion as to why this place was called the Green Lady. Is she color blind? Am I?

We perused the available spaces on the main floor and felt there wasn’t enough space to social distance, so we opted for the basement. Headed down the backstairs we passed the lower bar and scoped out a table that would work. 

As every restaurant, bar, pub, seems to have a different procedure for ordering. In this case we headed back to the basement bar and opened a conversation with the mixologist. Once he discovered that Hayden was a neophyte, and yes, I am sticking with that idea, he quickly dispatched Jared and I with our orders. Jared was offered a Sazerac and I, a Pendergast. 

Hayden though, received a series of diagnostic questions as if the bartender was planning a surgical procedure. What do you like? What have you had? What have you already had this evening? What don’t you like? Etc. Hayden’s responses can be summed up as follows, “I don’t know” and “Sure”. The apothecary got to sample what it is like to be a parent. Amazingly enough, after this 21st-Teen-Beat Magazine Quiz, the chemist offered the perfect concoction to Hayden: A Paper Plane.

With our drinks stylistically made, we headed back to our table. We sat back, talked, smiled, laughed and genuinely enjoyed sharing our cocktails. Spoiler alert, the Paper Plane was the best cocktail of the evening. I highly recommend looking up the recipe, making it for yourself, or finding your favorite 21 and over establishment and asking the bartender for one.

Ordinarily the Green Lady would have live music, but due to the plague, it was not available on our excursion. Live music must be an integral part of the experience at this club because otherwise it is a bar like any other. Nursing our drinks for a bit we opted to move on to one of Jared’s new discoveries.

Step 4: Walking up the front stairs we exited the Green Lady and found our way back to the chariot. With Jared behind the wheel he drove us to a wonderful find of his – Drastic Measures, found in Shawnee, KS not far from Shawnee’s City Hall.

I highly recommend stopping by Drastic Measures as it is a fun but laid-back environment. But if you wish to visit, you must agree to their house rules: 1. Use your manners 2. Inside voices 3. No hate speech or hate wear 4. You will not be served if you are visibly intoxicated.

The lounge is small and only has a few tables. However, there are several comfy chairs and sofas, which gives the place a friendly and relaxing atmosphere. They also provide games and cards for your enjoyment. 

We quickly settled on a high-top table and perused the menu. They offer several cocktails with a surprising variety. I am sure they can make whatever you want, but I like the fact that they offer a smaller drink menu as it gives one confidence that they make those drinks well.

For me, I followed what many would say is the boring route. I requested a simple vodka poured over ice. Drastic Measures serves Rider Vodka from a local favorite, Union Horse Distillery. I am a huge fan of their whiskeys, but this was the first time I tried their vodka. Served in a tumbler with a giant ice cube, the vodka was strikingly smooth and a pleasure to sip.

Jared selected the Deadeye Diaz whose flavor notes are described as smoke, spice, and tropical fruit. It is made with mezcal, passion fruit, ancho reyes, lime, and infused olive oils. The drink is beautiful with the oils pooling in droplets on the surface. Aside from its appearance its flavor is very nice, although I expected a bigger punch based upon its ingredients. 

Hayden opted for the Rapper’s Delight. Its flavor notes are described as a bright daiquiri variation with lingering flavors. The Rapper’s Delight ingredients include white rum, citra hop infused falernum, pineapple syrup, and lime. Unfortunately, I cannot comment on the taste of this concoction as it contains pineapple, which, if I were to consume some, would make for interesting event. I offered to give it a try and cause the event, but my compatriots were not interested in a trip to the hospital.

Speaking of which, given Hayden’s poor beverage choice, I have decided to sell him. No reasonable offer refused.

The atmosphere of Drastic Measures lulled us back in our seats and into an easy conversation that slowly covered an hour or so. They are doing something right at that location. Do yourselves a favor and give them a visit. I know I will visit again.

Step 5: Bringing our conversation and drinks to a conclusion we meandered back to our vehicle. No one worse for the wear. The pacing of the evening, the easy conversation, and the slow consumption made for a relaxing, pleasant evening.

Very quickly we found ourselves home, safe and secure, fulfilling our primary ingredient, “Get Home Safe.” I can say several things about our evening that are important, but here are just a couple. 

First, there was absolutely no pressure on our young initiate to drink until drunk, let alone, till he blacked out. What we were able to demonstrate was a fun night where intoxication was not the primary goal, but rather friendship, bonding, conversation, and enjoyment came first. 

Second, it was yet another opportunity for me, the father, to take another transition in my relationship with my son. As my children have grown, I have looked for moments where my relationship with my child can grow and change into something larger, more open, and better. This was one of those moments. When Hayden turned 18, he kind of wanted to know if the rules were the same, or did they change. To me they changed quite a bit. He was an adult now and he should behave as such. What that means is, while he is in my house, he will behave as an adult. Which means, he will communicate when he will be in and out (no permission required, unless it involves my car), and he will take care of the home, like any other reasonable person. Otherwise, I trust him to make the right choices. 

Having spoken with another friend about our evening, he wished his father had done something similar for him. I feel that every child looks to their father for guidance, leadership and transition. Preparing an evening like this is such a simple and fun task to make that happen.

As he turned 21, I expected our relationship to grow into more of a friendship. I have spent a significant portion of my life trying to pour mine into his. Now it is up to him to ask for and consume that “wisdom”, what little I may have. He may not realize it, but that was one of my primary goals of the evening. To transition our relationship further into adulthood. He may always look at me as a father, but I will, from now on, look at him as his own man.

That being said, Jared brought out a treat for us to close out the evening, 99 Bananas. Before I describe what 99 Bananas is, let me repeat, we were in the safety of our home. 

So, 99 Bananas is a beverage that Jared described to me when I visited him prior to our event with Hayden. It is a 99-proof schnapps style banana flavored liquor. From inside his jacket, Jared pulled out to airplane sized liquor bottles containing the beverage. After some descriptions to the surrounding parties, I found a couple of shot glasses to load up with the liquid. I gave it a quick, small taste, and almost gagged. It was shockingly gross, as if the worst banana flavored candy exploded in your mouth. Jared knew what he was going to experience on his small taste. My spouse concurred after taking a small sip herself. The daughter thought this was quite funny, and I explained to her that it would probably catch fire, which, of course, it did.

Poor Hayden watched all this activity prior to his sampling his own shot glass, which he finished. His face looked like he had never tasted something so revolting in his life. His one comment after drinking all of it, “Oh, I feel it now.” He was certainly right.

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 #21: Mom’s Kitchen!

Mom’s Magic Meal
February 9th, 2016 – 7:07 A.M.
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Mom’s Kitchen is a locally owned diner.  It is located in near downtown Olathe at 530 E Santa Fe. They do not have a website. But you can check out their Facebook. They are open from 7 AM-2 PM on Sundays and 6 AM- 2 PM every other day of the week.

Location/Environment: The restaurant itself is a simple whole-in-the-wall type of place pretty close to the Olathe, KS courthouse. If you are one of the lucky few on jury duty, I would recommend walking over to this place for a quick and easy lunch.

Please read that last sentence without a thought of sarcasm, you should be excited about fulfilling your civic duty. While we are on the subject of civic duty, get out and vote!

I would not describe Mom’s as a greasy diner.  I would describe it as a diner that has aged well.

Service: The service was wonderful. Coffees stayed full. You could tell that Mom’s Kitchen was the type of place that servers are happy to learn names and to swap stories of what’s good in their lives.

Wait time for food: 10 minutes

Menu/Selection: Mom’s Kitchen is full of the standard breakfast foods and also the extended diner menu.  If you can find it at a diner, Mom’s will take care of you.

Food: Below you may read some pancake topping blasphemy.  Please take up all disappointed and offended feelings with Brent’s Twitter. You have been forewarned.

Pancakes with Bacon, Eggs, and Hash Browns (Brentley)
Mom’s kitchen is a straight up diner from years past. At least that is the feeling they seem to be going for. It a restaurant I, and my family, like a lot and one we should probably go to more often. It helps that we are friends with one of the staff who is a terrific person.

Mom’s kitchen offers the standard breakfast fare you’d expect from a diner. I was tempted to go for the chicken fried steak and eggs, or the pork chops, but instead I ordered pancakes with bacon, eggs, and hash browns. I was quite pleased with them. My guess is that the full menu of items is available throughout the day as I saw another patron order a cheeseburger. One of these days I am going to have to get over my cultural mores and order a French Dip sandwich for breakfast.
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The pancakes were light and fluffy, the bacon was cooked just right, the hash browns met expectations, and the eggs were decent. Overall, it was a very satisfying breakfast.

The coffee was great too. Some of the other places we’ve visited should do themselves a favor and hop on over to Mom’s to see what they are brewing. Mom’s coffee is full flavored without a burned, or over-roasted, quality. Mom’s Kitchen isn’t trying to find some interesting twist on the burned flavor that the Seattle based organization seems to love.

You may have noticed a lack of syrup on the pancakes in the picture. For good or ill, I am not a fan of maple syrup on pancakes. Actually, with rare exception, I am not a fan of other syrups on pancakes either. Part of the issue is that maple syrup doesn’t taste good in my opinion. The other is a texture thing. Syrup has a tendency to turn pancakes into soup. A pancake is a glorious food item. Pancake soup, not so much.

For those fretting over the fact that these pancakes look incompletely adorned rest assured I added more to them than just butter. Although plain buttered pancakes are quite tasty in their own right. You see, when it comes to pancakes, I am a jelly man. Adding some straight up plain grape jelly on pancakes makes them magnificent. And let’s keep it to plain grape jelly. If you bring Concord grape jelly, well, you can fly that plane straight back to France. Or back to Concord, Massachusetts, as that is where Concord Grapes were originally developed.

To whom do we owe for this amazing culinary secret, Mrs. Martin, my kindergarten teacher. She made pancakes for our class one morning and offered jelly as the spread and I have followed the nobler jelly path from that day forth. Just once I recommend that you set the syrup aside and go the jelly route. I am certain you won’t look back.

2 Eggs, Pancakes, Bacon, & Hash browns – $7.99 on special

Blueberry French Toast  (Jared)

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Mom’s Kitchen is such nice name.  It makes me think of such great breakfasts that my mother has made me in the past such as Dutch Babies, Cinnamon Rolls, and of course pancakes.  So yeah, these are good memories. If you do not know what Dutch Babies are, then you are truly missing out.

Mom’s did not disappoint.  When I walked in I saw a chalkboard sign that informed me of the specials then told me to ask about their Blueberry French Toast.  I try to always abide by things signs tell me to do.  I asked our waitress of their blueberry french toast and she kindly told me that it was french toast made with actual blueberry bread made by them.  I was truly intrigued. It never had a chance against me.  One of my greatest enjoyments of being married to a chef is some incredible banana bread.  And when that banana bread starts to almost become stale, we french toast the crap out of it.  So freaking good.  I am a huge fan of delicious flavored bread being turned into even more delicious breakfast treats.

I was expecting a blueberry quick bread type of flavor. Meaning overly sweet and intensely blueberry-y.    But Mom went against my expectation and created a simple blueberry hint to the french toast.  It was just the perfect hint of blueberry in every bite.  I can not say anything negative about these French toast slices, except that I should have ordered something savory to counteract the sweetness of the syrup and powdered sugar.

The coffee was in the top 3 of coffee I have had during my Panclog career.  Seriously, they do it so well.  Also I enjoy that the coffee mugs were of a thicker variety. This keeps the coffee warm!!! MAGIC!

The 2 slices of Blueberry French Toast were $5.49

Overall: Mom’s Kitchen is a lovely bruncherie that makes you feel at home if you are a regular.  It can be slightly daunting when you see a waitress treat some guests like family and others like one-time guests.  The interior feels dated but it makes the food taste that much better.  Check it out with your friends on New Years Day or any other day. 

Grade: 

Jared: B+

Brent: A-

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter or 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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