Aug 18, 2009

Challenge # 8 : Have Breakfast in a Small Town Restaurant

Captain's Cafe in Manistee, Michigan

I just love American dive restaurants. Especially the ones that are packed with locals still smoking away in the smoking section. There is no other meal period more American than breakfast. While the food is down home basic, my two eggs lightly basted are always cooked to perfection - a problem I almost always encounter at the fancier hotel restaurants. I stumbled upon the Captain's Cafe in the lakefront town of Manistee, Michigan, about two hours north of Grand Rapids on interstate highway 31 on my way to play golf at Arcadia Bluffs. With the local paper in hand and my moleskine notebook in tow, I sipped my watered down coffee and simply enjoyed eavesdropping on people's conversations.

Cindy Lou, the one and only waitress in a peach t-shirt, pulled back hair and rimmed glasses greeted a regular upon his arrival.

" 'Mornin' Robert," she said. " 'Taters with your eggs?"

"Not today, Cindy Lou," he responded. He sat down across the booth from his friend, Mike, and talked high school football the rest of the morning.

Shortly after, three kids, around eight, six and two years old, walked in with their grandparents. Grandpa, proudly wearing his Vietnam Vet cap, was a dead ringer for Charles Manson. Their red-headed grandma faired no better with her oversized t-shirt and crumpled jeans.

Three seniors, two women and one man, came in towards the end of my meal and ordered three "Senior's Special."

"Two eggs, scrambled, with toast around the table."

"Coffee?" Said Cindy Lou.

"Sure do."

Then, the eight year-old boy with his grandparents must have said something bad when I overheard grandma snap at him.

"You better whatcher mouth, boy!"

My corned beef hash with two eggs lightly basted never tasted better.

Do you have any dives worth visiting? Let me know. I might just make it there one morning.

My usual American breakfast

Cindy Lou behind the counter

The dining room

Can't beat the price...


Kschenke said...

I'll eat eggs pretty much any time of the day. I've gotten flipping over-easy eggs down to an art. All I need are two eggs, salt, pepper and some whole wheat toast and I'm golden.

However, my favorite indulgence as far as breakfast goes is Eggs Benedict. When the yolk hits the richness of the hollandaise... I'm just in heaven.

chadwicklewis said...

Jesse's Chuckwagon. Small hole-in-the-wall place on Mackinac Island. It's about 15 feet wide and has the best breakfast. The best I've had in a while. It's been years since I've been there, but I still remember it.