Corner Cafe

America needs more Cafe’s like the Corner Cafe in Portsmouth VA.

Now that I no longer live in Virginia, I always make a point of heading back to the Corner Cafe, in Portsmouth Virginia for breakfast, whenever I’m in town. America needs more Cafe’s like the Corner Cafe. When I lived in Portsmouth, my Saturday morning routine consisted of walking to the Corner Cafe for breakfast and good conversation. There is more to the Corner Cafe than good breakfast. Their menu is full of comfort food classics. Not to mention their daily specials.  When I say America needs more Cafe’s like the Corner Cafe, I base this on the sense of community built by enjoying comfort food with people from every walk of life.

Corner Cafe Bacon and Cheddar Omelette
Corner Cafe’s Bacon and Cheddar Omelette

What is so special about the Corner Cafe’s breakfast? Their three-egg omelette is a good example of why people return to the Corner Cafe. The eggs are light and fluffy. They don’t skimp on fillings such as cheese, vegetables, mushrooms, and meats such as country ham, bacon, or sausage. Nothing disappoints me more than when I don’t get a choice of cheese. This is never the case when it comes to the Corner Cafe. Another aspect of what makes the Corner Cafe worth a visit is they listen to how you want your meal prepared. I was not let down when I ordered crispy hash browns. The hash browns were served golden brown on the outside and fluffy on the inside. It may be a small thing; I also appreciate that I can order my English muffin grilled. The English muffin becomes saturated with butter, yum. If you haven’t tried an English muffin grilled you should.

Chain restaurants offer good breakfast choices. I’m not about to criticize a Denny’s or Perkins; but we need more community diners such as the Corner Cafe.  Community diners are like family. A place you know you will get a good home cooked meal, served by people you consider your friends. Do you have a favorite community diner? Have you been to the Corner Cafe? Leave your comments below.

Jack’s

Jack’s in Pleasant Hill, CA is a destination restaurant. They have a diverse menu, that’s sure to please.

I have to admit Jack’s was not on my radar when I went to California a couple of weeks ago. Even though I have been there countless times, I had other restaurants in mind prior to my arrival. What a pleasant surprised when the hotel I checked into was less than a block from Jack’s in Pleasant Hill. I tend to not promote a chain restaurant, in the case of Jack’s I’m not certain if you can call them a chain restaurant. Jack’s is family owned. When I was eating there on a regular basis, they had two restaurants in the San Francisco Bay Area, now they have four. Their web-site touts their dinner menu as Greek-American inspired. You will find everything from burgers to salmon on the menu.

Jack's Zuchini Cakes
Jack’s Zucchini Cakes

Zucchini Cakes have to be one of my favorite appetizers. Jack’s Zucchini Cakes are made with feta cheese, tzatziki, and cucumber-tomato relish. Even though they are deep fried, they are surprisingly light. Jack’s has made it a little harder to share. They used to serve three cakes and now they serve two. Adding to my disappointment, they used to be a little larger.  I chalk this up to inflation, trying to keep cost down. Even still, Zucchini cakes are an excellent way to start a meal.

Jack's Fish and Chips
Jack’s Fish and Chips

I have a new favorite Fish and Chips. No need to find an Irish pub if you live within driving distance from Jack’s. The portion size was surprising. Jack’s serves three large fillets of Alaskan Cod dipped in their beer batter. The cod was light and flaky. They serve it with lemon and vinegar or tarter sauce. I found I didn’t need either. I’m not certain my picture does this meal justice, but their Fish and Chips now tops my list.

Jack's Buffalo Chicken Salad
Jack’s Buffalo Chicken Salad

Given that Jack’s was so close, I actually ate their, breakfast, lunch, and dinner. One of my favorites in their salad section of their menu is their Crispy Buffalo Chicken Salad. There is no need for an appetizer. I’m certain you will not walk away hungry. The Buffalo Chicken  has just enough heat for those of us that like it spicy. But it’s not too spicy, for those that can’t take the heat. I would highly recommend this for anyone who likes chicken wings and looking for a hearty lunch.

Jack's French Toast
Jack’s French Toast

The French Toast breakfast was just ok. Nothing to write home about. Maybe it’s because I have been spoiled by restaurants back home. My first complaint was that the scrambled eggs did not seem fresh. They appear to come out of a premixed container. The French Toast was good, but they have served better. Brunch used to be more of an event at Jack’s. Now it is good, but if I still lived their, I would look for another breakfast spot. Don’t get me wrong, if you are looking for a family breakfast, Jack’s should be on the list.

With four locations in the San Francisco Bay Area, it should be easy to find a Jack’s to visit. I was impressed with the quality of the food and that they have kept the cost down. If I make another journey to the Bay Area, Jack’s will be on my list. Have you been to Jack’s? What is your opinion? Leave me a comment.

Dutch Country Restaurant

Fresh Peaches not from a can, is just the start of the dinning experience.

Word of mouth is one of the best ways to find new restaurants. My neighbor recommended the Dutch Country Restaurant in Hanover Pennsylvania. One thing I noticed about restaurants in this area, go early. In general I prefer to go early, so we had no problem getting a seat; but it didn’t take long to fill up. Dutch Country has an extensive menu. I would recommend looking at the menu on-line before you go. My neighbor had high praises for Dutch Country. It didn’t take long for me to realize the food here is really good.

Dutch-Country-Peach-Waffle
Dutch Country Restaurant’s Fresh Peach Waffle

Fresh Peaches on a waffle anyone! The special this morning was Fresh Peaches Waffle. No canned peaches here. No need for syrup. Dutch Country’s Fresh Peaches Waffle was good to the last bite. It says a lot for a restaurant that serves fresh, not from a can food. Under normal circumstances, the waffle would constitute a meal by itself, but we wanted to try several items on the menu.

Dutch-Country-Smoked-Sausage-Omlet
Dutch Country’s Smoked Sausage Omelet

I wasn’t certain where to begin when it came to their selection of omelets. I could have settled for my standard bacon omelet, instead I ordered on the Smoked Sausage Omelet, with cheddar cheese. I’m a huge fan of smoked meat in general; put it in an omelet with cheddar cheese, now you have won me over. Given a choice of toast or biscuit, I opted for their biscuit. Biscuits have a tendency to be dry, not the Dutch Country biscuits. There biscuits are buttery and flaky. A perfect compliment to the omelet and country potatoes.

Dutch Country Eggs and Sausage
Dutch Country Eggs Over Easy with Fresh Sausage

Dutch Country’s Sunny Side Up Eggs with Fresh Sausage and Country Potatoes was completely appetizing. The Fresh Sausage is lighter in flavor, yet tasty. I would recommend this for a person who doesn’t like spicy food. I mentioned in the past I’m not a fan of Country Potatoes. To give an honest review I had to try them. The Country Potatoes looked and tasted good, you can tell one of the cooks sliced them fresh that morning. Their seasoning was just right.

I think it’s needless to say, Dutch Country Restaurant will become a regular stop. Word of mouth in this case was dead on. Next time I see my neighbor I will have to thank him. If you have been to Dutch Country Restaurant or have another favorite breakfast place, leave your comment below.

Firehouse Grill

If you want a true taste of Americana, visit the Firehouse Grill in Littlestown PA.

In my opening statement about Road Warrior Dining, I talk about hidden gems, Firehouse Grill is just that. Firehouse Grill doesn’t really standout on the street. The restaurant is flanked by an antique shop on the right and a pawn shop on the left. So what makes Firehouse Grill special; it is because it is Americana. Go to The Firehouse Grill at 6:15 A.M and you will experience Americana firsthand. By 6:30 in the morning the coffee is flowing, and the restaurant is packed. The old timers are drinking coffee and swapping stories. Firehouse Grill is a restaurant that makes you feel like you are partaking in an extended family meal. First thing in the morning the clientele is predominantly farmers getting ready to start their day.

FH Int 3
Firehouse Grill Interior, Littlestown, PA

It says a lot about a restaurant that has a line of people waiting at their door at 6:00 A.M. on a Saturday. The Firehouse Grill has a steady crowd all day long. Just as with breakfast, lunch has its regulars. As people come through the door  the waitresses ask them if they are having their usual. Along with the standard lunch fare, they have daily specials. My favorite is the meatloaf. One thing about the Firehouse Grill, they do not serve dinner, they are open 6:00 A.M to 2:00 P.M, six days a week. They are closed on Mondays.

firehouse-grill-breakfast-rev
Firehouse Grill Littlestown, PA

Looking for a hearty breakfast, Try a Firehouse Grill omelet with sliced potatoes.  The selection of omelets isn’t much different than most diners, the difference comes in how they are prepared. They do not scrimp on ingredients.  My preference when it comes to omelets is their sausage link with American cheese. I can’t say enough about the slice potatoes. I’m not a fan of home-style potatoes; I actually prefer shredded. The way the Firehouse Grill prepares their sliced potatoes, has me rethinking my feelings towards home-style potatoes.  The potatoes are sliced about a quarter inch think and fried to golden crispy brown. They are seasoned just right; I didn’t have to add salt.

French Toast 2
Firehouse Grill French Toast

As much as I enjoy their omelets, I equally enjoy their French Toast. No thin slices of bread here. The bread is thick with a delicious eggy center, grilled to perfection. Even though I enjoy maple syrup, it’s not needed with Firehouse Grill’s French toast. One of my biggest complaints when I eat breakfast out is usually the bacon. It is hard to find a place that actually serves something other than a limp, greasy slice of bacon. Firehouse Grill’s bacon is thick and crispy; again, I have nothing but praise. If omelets or French Toast is not your thing, Firehouse grill has a full breakfast menu.

Americana has a home in Littlestown, Pennsylvania, it is called the Firehouse Grill. If you want a good meal. that gives you feeling of home cooking, go to the Firehouse Grill. There is a reason people line up at 6:00 A.M; come experience it for yourself. Have you been to the Firehouse Grill or have a favorite breakfast place? Share your thoughts below.