This restaurant has closed.
85 S. Second
In the summer time, I like to mix things up a bit. I suggested to Warren that we wake up early on a camp/work day and ride our bikes to breakfast somewhere. The kids voted for Cafe Eclectic (or "Coffee Eclectic") since they love the donuts there, but I wanted to try a new place. When that new place ended up being Cockadoos, we ditched the bike idea (it would be an 1.5 hour commute) and decided to drive. We actually decided to drive two cars since my office is near the restaurant.
Jiro and I "raced" Satchel and Warren downtown. I figured at 7:30am we could just park in front of the restaurant, but some delivery trucks foiled this plan. We ended up parking at a meter by the Flying Saucer about two blocks away. Or rather, I did. Warren decided he wanted to move his car closer to the restaurant. I had already fed the meter (which I didn't technically need to do until 8am) so the boys and I walked to the restaurant. We waited outside for a few minutes until Warren joined us and we went inside.
Surprisingly we were the only people in the restaurant. Fine by me. The kids asked if we could sit on all of the bright pillows lining the front windows, but I explained that the benches were more of a waiting area than an eating area. Instead we picked out a nice booth. A waitress greeted us, gave us menus, and asked for our drink orders. I asked for iced coffee, Warren went for a latte, and Satchel said, "I'd like a cappucino." I have no idea where he learned that but it was hilarious. I think the waitress was a little shocked, but recovered enough to offer him and Jiro orange juice. (The only other juice they have is tomato.)
While she was getting our drinks, I read the menu to the kids. I didn't get far before they were both clamoring for cathead biscuits and gravy--their favorite restaurant breakfast. I thought for sure one of them would want the Shag--a breakfast sandwich made of French toast, bananas, and Nutella--but they didn't. Continuing to read the menu only resulted in them tacking on hashbrowns and a Belgian waffle to their order. I explained that they would never be able to eat that much, but they protested mightily. "You can SPLIT and order of biscuits and gravy and then you can get something else on the side," I offered. Satchel looked at me like I had killed Santa and invoking his future teenager self, said, "No, I want my own order."
All of this grumbling made it hard for me to determine what I wanted to eat so when Warren offered to share the Memphis Bar-B-Que omelet with me, I readily agreed. He was also eyeing the sweet potato hashbrowns. When the waitress came over, I just ordered everything--the omelet, the sweet potato hashbrowns, the regular hashbrowns for Satchel, the waffle for Jiro, and the biscuits and gravy for them to SPLIT. I gave Satchel my death stare and said, "You'll share and like it!"
All of this happened a lot quicker than typing it all up did because after the waitress left we were still laughing about Satchel's cappucino order.
"Is it cappucino or CRAPpucino?" Satchel asked.
"Crappucino is what they make at Starbucks," Warren answered.
"Enrique and I made up a drink called CRAPpucino at school," Jiro said.
"Do you crap in a cup?" Satchel asked while much giggling ensued.
(Look I didn't name this blog Dining with Monkeys for just no reason at all!)
From there we went onto discuss the tragic story of the couple that was struck by lightening in North Carolina. The man planned to propose. He survived but his future fiance did not.
Warren told us, "The woman's last words were 'God, baby, look how beautiful it is.'"
Before we could get too deep into how scarred the surviving dude was going to be the kids started kicking each other under the table and whining about how hungry they were. I looked over towards the exposed kitchen and told them that it wouldn't be much longer and to try and be patient. These monkeys wake up hungry!
Our food came out a little while later and looked great. At first I thought the waitress had actually brought us two orders of biscuits and gravy, but she told me that she had it split up already. I thought that was super nice and I was so happy that I had stuck to my guns and made them split an order. The cathead biscuits were huge! She had also brought Warren and I an extra plate since we planned to share. With our huge order we barely fit everything on the table!
After attempting to eat half a biscuit without cutting it, Jiro asked me to please assist him with my mad knife skills. He and Satchel then proceeded to quietly eat for about 5-10 minutes. I got the omelet all split up and dug in. I was worried about a bbq omelet, but it was actually good. I was pleasantly surprised. I was going to ask Warren what he thought about it when he got up and told me he was going to feed the parking meter.
"What?" I said. "You only put in one quarter?"
"I didn't put in any quarters," he said.
That's when I noticed it was just now 8:00am (the time at which metering begins). I said nothing and let him go put money in. Obviously he was picturing an elite squad of meter maids who descend upon innocent breakfasters early in the morning. Who was I to crush his fantasy?
Warren was back in no time. Meanwhile Satchel, who had yet to touch his hashbrowns, was complaining of a stomach ache. Warren gave him the "I told you so speech." Jiro, who had easily polished off his biscuit and gravy was now busy instructing me on how to cut up his waffle and how much syrup ("seri-up") to put on it. Warren was busy trying to push the sweet potato hashbrowns on everyone, but no one was interested. They came with marshmallows on top and after one bite I said, "They remind me of Thanksgiving." This isn't bad, but I don't usually eat too much sweet potato casserole on Thanksgiving.
Jiro finished one quadrant of his waffle and then demanded that we go to the bathroom and wash up. The bathroom was very nice and clean, but there was no changing table or suitable place for diaper changing, just an FYI. (I say use the long bench up front--lol.) We went back to the table and Jiro ate a second quadrant of waffle and once again requested we go wash up. (Syrup is sticky, people!) Then back at the table, he polished off the rest of Satchel's hashbrowns. I'm telling you that kid is all Greenberg!
By now it was about 8:15am and the restaurant was pretty packed. Our waitress was having to hustle. I asked for the check and a small PGF certified to-go box for the half of Jiro's waffle that was left. I was patiently waiting, but Warren was fidgety. "Why don't I go get the car and bring it around?" he suggested.
"Why don't we just wait two minutes to finish this transaction," I replied.
He looked at me. I looked back. Then he sheepishly said, "The meter is about to expire."
"You only put in one quarter?" I asked. It was deja vu.
"You said it wouldn't take long to eat," he said. (Like the way he tried to turn it on me?) "If I would have put in two that would have been a total of $1.50 just on parking," he continued. (Actually my .75 plus his .50 would only be $1.25. I'm surprised Satchel didn't pick up on this and go on and on and on. He's kind of the Math Police in our family.)
"You're not going to get a ticket," I said as I handed the waitress my credit card to pay for our $36 breakfast. THIRTY-SIX DOLLARS. Yes, the meal in which Warren went out of his way to save .25-.50 on parking cost us $36 plus tip. And you know I'm a good tipper, so let's just be real. FORTY FOUR DOLLARS. ON BREAKFAST.
It was good, and I definitely think we'll be back, but we won't be ordering EVERYTHING that sounds good! Take my advice, if your kids can read, or just wake up super hungry, take the time to plan your order before going in. In fact, you can order via Facebook and Twitter too, so you could order ahead and have it ready when you get there. Maybe then, you could even get away with just one quarter in the meter!