This May, it will have been ten years since I have graduated from college. There was a reunion. Although the reunion started on Friday, we weren’t able to get there until Saturday. And, since I don’t like things like reunions or people, I decided that I would forgo most of the scheduled reunion weekend activities and spend the day eating. For breakfast, we decided that we would start with Uncle Bill’s Pancake House.
In college, Uncle Bill’s was useful because it was open after the bars closed and you could have a cigarette with your cup of coffee. I also recalled that they did a pretty good breakfast. We looked up the restaurant and punched the address into the Garmin. But it was weird. After a while, I just started remembering where to go.
When we got in, we were seated immediately. And I’m pretty sure that it’s the same gray haired woman who seated us as the last time we were there. At the table, the menus are printed on the place mats. These, too, appeared to be the exact same as the last time we were there, which is remarkable, as I find the font to be beautiful and modern (except for the cursive parts). What’s even more surprising is that, in the entryway, they have on display a copy of an old recipe from the 60s, and it’s the same font.
The food at Uncle Bill’s is similarly unchanged. There’s nothing particularly modern about it, but that is it’s charm. Eating at Uncle Bill’s is like eating in a time machine. The food always tastes like how recipes from old cookbooks read. Savory, filling, and satisfying.
My wife chose the eggs and sausage. And after much deliberation, I chose the country fried steak and eggs. They came with two biscuits that were misshapen and of different sizes – indicators of their made-from-scratchedness. My country fried steak came with a wonderful country gravy on top. It too, was lovingly made from scratch. You can tell because it has a consistency that is thick but not goopy. And it just tastes better. The steak itself was nuclear hot with a super crispy fried crust. Eating it was just wonderful.
The coffee at Uncle Bill’s is served hot and fast. It’s best with some sugar and some cream. But trying to maintain the right ratio of sugar to cream to coffee is impossible. As soon as you get it right, the super attentive servers at Uncle Bill’s will add more coffee to your cup. It’s a battle of give and take that I relish.
My wife enjoyed her meal, which came with a side of pancakes that were delicious and big enough to share. Her eggs, as well as mine, were perfectly cooked. Nice and dippy. But our collective favorite part of the meal was the hashbrowns. For some reason I can’t explain, the hashbrowns in my neighborhood back home have all fallen in quality. They just aren’t tasty. But here, although the hashbrowns could have been a little more crisp, they were so flavorful. I suspect it was from an extra heaping of careful attention and also butter.
As good as the food was, I didn’t finish my breakfast. Nor did I finish my wife’s breakfast, as I usually do. We had a long day of eating planned.