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Panclog #43: The Shack

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Why the French hate us (Brently)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Griddle Fling – Gingerbread Pancakes with Sausage (Jared)

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

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

The Shack did not disappoint.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grade:
Brent:  B+
Jared: A-

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Brent.

Panclog #42: Savannah’s Goose Feathers

Getting Goosed @ Goose Feathers


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

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

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

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

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

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

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Belgian Waffle with Bacon (Stephen)

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

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

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

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

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

J.B. Deluxe (Jared)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Grade:
Stephen:  C+
Jared: B

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Stephen.

Panclog #41: Cracker Barrel

Cracking wise about the Barrel


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bmer

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

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

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

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

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

Momma’s French Toast Breakfast (Jared)

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

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

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

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

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

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

I need to point out something.

syrup

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

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

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

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

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

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

Send recommendations and feedback to the Panclog’s Twitter.

You can also follow Jared and Brent.

Panclog #40: Original Cafe

Orating about Original Cafe
June 21st, 2018

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

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


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

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

Chicken Fried Steak & Eggs (Jared)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Coffee: $2.29
Chicken Fried Steak: $9.99

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

Stuffed French Toast (Brenter)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

Grade:
Brent: A-
Jared: B
Colby: B+

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Panclog #28: Pegah’s Family Restaurant

Punks picnic at Pegah’s
July 28th, 2016
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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

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