Restaurant Review: Country Corner: The pancakes are worth it

Posted by Tegan O'Neill

It is no secret that Country Corner Cafe does a good breakfast. On any given weekend morning, the place is swarming with people who know how good the homestyle cooking is, and others who will soon find out.

Waiting for a table is just one of Country Corner's charms. It is not for lack of space, though, that customers must write their names on a whiteboard and watch the seconds tick into minutes before a table becomes available. There are two dining rooms - one is open and airy, akin to a farm house b&b, and the other is small and stuffy, akin to a small town dinner. We sat in the former.

Looking around at the kitsch mounted on the walls, the hardwood floors and the cream colored dining ware, it seems that the name Country Corner could not be more fitting. The clink of spoons against coffee mugs and the buzz of conversation between friends constitute the caf??'s cheery soundtrack.

The service was slow, and I would not have minded a speedier refill on my coffee, but this shortcoming can certainly be forgiven. It was a busy Sunday morning; all of the waitresses were obviously doing their best to keep things on track. Our waitress, despite the frenzied pace at which she was running, graciously took the time to answer our questions concerning the menu and bring us extra plates and little containers of real maple syrup.

Another cup of coffee was not necessary anyway. Country Corner is not the type of place that you expect to have good coffee, although it's practically obligatory to order it nevertheless. At this sort of breakfast joint, the java is just a liquid to wash down with the meal - especially handy if said meal contains that magnificent substance otherwise known as peanut butter.

Jars of Saratoga Peanut Butter Company Peanut Butter are on sale in the waiting area-cum-gift shop, but the substance canalso  be found in smaller quantities beneath two thick pieces of french toast, squeezed between the homemade strawberry jam and slices of banana. The strawberry jam is a homemade concoction that is so good it borders on addictive. The PBJ Cristo turns boring brown bag lunch fare into a fun breakfast treat. Spectacularly sticky peanut butter meets sweet jam beneath cushiony egg battered french toast. It oozes jam as it is cut into, and when bitten into, the peanut butter skids and sticks to the roof of your mouth. The breakfast version of this sandwich is more satisfying than its lunchtime inspiration

Sadly, the Florentine Benedict with baby spinach and roasted red peppers was nothing special. The poached egg was beautiful and the English muffin was fine (quite soft and easy to bite into), but I was expecting something more exciting. I could not taste the hollandaise sauce at all, which is usually the best part,. The red pepper was great because, for one, I could actually taste it, but also the size of the medium dice nuggets packed each bite with a perfect amount of pleasurable punch.

The fried oatmeal is worth a try if you are up for a breakfast experience off the beaten path. The concoction sounds more bizarre (and unhealthy) than it actually is. As our waitress kindly explained, fried oatmeal is made by first mixing the oatmeal and its accompanying ingredients (in this case, apricots and cranberries). The oatmeal is then packed into a loaf pan and chilled. After the oatmeal has congealed, it is sliced into hefty portions the size and shape of Texas Toast and then slapped on the grill for a little frying action. The end result is not all that different from the standard bowl of oatmeal. True to form, the oatmeal is grainy and moist and not all that sweet without the help of some syrup. The one advantage to trying the fried oatmeal is the chance to sink your teeth into yummy gummy apricots - a food seldom showcased on menus.

The pancakes are an absolute must. I had the banana pecan and the cranberry walnut. Three adjectives - fluffy, thick, pillow - say it all. The banana pancakes were not overwhelmingly flavored by banana. In most bites, I hardly tasted the starchy tropical fruit. The flavor was faint and hardly distracting. It just added a thin layer of dimension. The rare (but welcome) whole slice of banana ushered in a whoosh of flavor mixing things up before the pancake could get dull. Packed with walnuts and bursting with berries, these pancakes are ready to rock and roll. Apart from the nuts and fruit, the pancakes are honest-to-goodness good pancakes. The finished product stays true to the

I definitely plan on going back to Country Corner. Plain and simple: the pancakes stole my heart away. I have to go back for more.

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