30 March 2008

kathy & dave's

dining date: 03.30.08
kathy & dave's on outer forest avenue next to the photo market
pricing category:
upper side of cheap
guest critic:
overall grade:

the lowdown:
- we felt like we had pulled over on some road in oklahoma after church got out -- like we were on a road trip in some foreign land without any hipsters or people between the ages of 16 and 40.

- the decor was quaint and kitchy...sort of like if the christmas tree shop had a baby with sizzler.

- the food took longer than you would expect at a diner...so make sure you like the people you’re eating with, or bring a book.

- very attentive wait staff and there were frequent coffee refills.

- no need to ask for any condiments because every table had their very own selection of them...including a large bottle of mrs. butterworth’s syrup.

- question: what is it with diners and their weird pricing and silly surcharges?! i mean, this wasn’t as ridiculous as ecky’s-bay, but ridiculous nonetheless. $0.75 for peanut butter or salsa, $1.10 for 1/2 a grapefruit, but only $1.00 for a banana, and all of the specials were $7.15.

the food

the benny girl
- sausage and cheese omelette with a side of salsa, grilled italian toast, a few of w.t.’s homies, and hot chocolate with whipped cream
- grade: B+

"i wasn’t totally sure where this restaurant was as we ventured down forest avenue this morning, so i was quite surprised when we pulled into the parking lot of the former pat’s pizza. as i stepped through the door and saw the steamed up, curved, greenhouse-esque windows along the side of the building, i was immediately transported back to my middle school days when i would eat individually-sized pizzas with friends and drink a can of dr.pepper through a straw. ah, the good ol’ days -- before i knew any better about the crap that i was putting into my body. (not that the sausage i ate today was free-range and organic or anything). after my trip down amnesia lane, we were seated in an oasis of condiments. let me pause for a second to issue a warning...if you continue reading this review, you will soon learn all of my guilty little pleasures, as i ventured very far from my norm this morning. this was a very indulgent breakfast, i tell you. okay, continuing now. as i perused the menu, cravings came over me. i decided to forgo my staple item, (the tea), and order a hot chocolate with whipped cream. the usual and wild toast were aghast. but not as shocked as they were when i disregarded the eggs benedict on special and ordered an omelette. have you ever seen prelude to a kiss, or freaky friday? i think they thought that was what had happened to their ol’ buddy benny girl -- that an old man was trapped in my body and my soul was off in some nursing home somewhere eating poached eggs and hollandaise. but i was craving a mexican-style omelette for some reason...what can i say? and it was really good actually. the bite-sized chunks of sausage were plentiful and tasty and surrounded by lots of gooey, yummy, melty, cheese. i have to admit, sometimes i really like american cheese. the salsa was mediocre -- i’m guessing ortega or one of those ones that are made in "new york city!" i wasn’t exactly expecting fresh salsa with cilantro or anything, but it was still a little disappointing. and it came in a little plastic container, which was really wasteful. sprinkling the omelette with tobasco definitely helped to liven up the bland salsa. the homies that toasty gave me were really good -- grilled well with a nice consistency. oh, that was one complaint that i had -- i did not want to pay an additional $1.50 for homefries. how many times do i have to say that egg dishes should always come with homies?! if i ever hold a public office, that will be my first order of business. okay, now for the best part of the meal, and my biggest confession ever. sometimes i like fake syrup better than the real stuff. so i was extremely excited to see a big bottle of mrs. butterworth’s on our table. and was even more excited when the usual suggested that i put some on my grilled italian toast to make a poor man’s french toast (or should i say "freedom toast"?) it was really yummy...especially when i put some smucker’s strawberry jelly on there too. m’m, m’m -- gotta love that high fructose corn syrup. between that little dessert and the hot chocolate, i definitely was bouncing all the way to marden’s, where i then suffered a horrific sugar crash. but alas. so all was good this morning -- the breakfast was very good for a diner. if you find yourself on outer forest ave for some reason, then i would definitely recommend checking it out. and be sure to get the deep-fried homefries so you can tell us what they were like."

the usual
- 2 eggs over-hard, wheat toast, homefries and coffee
- grade: B

"there’s nothing quite like forest ave on a sunday morning. i don’t usually wake up with an intense urge to take on 18 traffic lights and weird lane changes, but today was different. i was ready for the kathy & dave’s experience. although the place was hoppin’ with the after-church crowd, we managed to get a table pretty quickly. our short wait gave us just enough time to breeze through the coffee news quiz and admire the wooden ’scramble on in’ chicken. (look right). our table was a little cramped, although once the three of us interlocked our knees underneath the table it was doable. i was pumped to see that each table had their own stubby ketchup bottle, a close second in design to my favorite, the ’sharpshooter’ bottle. i was not pumped however when i saw a woman at the table next to ours sticking her fork into the bottle. that’s just gross. if you really think you can’t POUR the ketchup, at least go for the old reliable knife technique. i mean, i thought that was a given. anyway. i was in the mood for the usual today, but was shocked to discover that it was not listed as it’s own entity. of course you could get 2 eggs and toast, or 2 eggs and a steak, but not the standard diner protocol of 2 eggs, toast and homefries. although i was disappointed, it really wasn’t that hard to order the eggs and toast with a side of homefries. i guess it’s more about the principle of it. coffee refills were frequent, though the coffee variety could have been kicked up a couple of notches. i don’t think anyone would actually choose to drink new england coffee if given the option not to. especially if he or she enjoys drinking coffee at all. on to the food. my eggs were fine, over-hard, though barely. they were fairly flavorless, but were fine with salt and pepper. the homefries were also a little on the bland side, but were nicely sized chunks that held together and weren’t overcooked. they were delicious once i seasoned them and dunked them into a lake of tasty ketchup. the toast was standard cheap ’wheat’ bread, which i tend to enjoy. the bottom piece however was sopping in some sort of grease that i squeezed out onto benny girl’s plate for effect. oh well, i was full anyway. overall, kathy and dave’s is a tasty and pretty inexpensive spot. there’s plenty of parking out back, and tons of friendly service to go around. so if you find yourself out on forest ave some sunday morning with a hankering for a delicious breakfast, head over to the bayou kitchen. but if the wait’s too long at bayou, check out kathy and dave’s, for some pretty good eats."

wild toast
-chili and cheese omelette, pumpernickle toast, homefries, and coffee
- grade: B+
"so my recent breakfast choices haven’t exactly been off the wall, or me "pullin’ out a wild card", so i decided that today, the finest the spring has offered, i’d shuffle the deck and call out to my loyal fans that i would go balls to the walls and get me some chili ’n cheese. thats right, i went with one of the specials. and you know what? it wasn’t half bad. the 3 egg omelette was bursting with cheesy splurges of yellow american cheese, nuzzled in with a pretty basic chili. i mean, i don’t think it was homemade chili or anything, but it was pretty good. And even an hour later, while roaming amongst liquidated lionel trains, discount durex rubbers (a scary offering which i would strongly caution against), and enormous bras that i originally thought were butterfly nets, i still felt pretty good. in addition to my chili omelette i had some homies that were ok. they certainly weren’t awesome, as they had no seasoning and could have been crisped a little bit but they were palatable...moreso than when i went to the restroom and walked in on an employee awkwardly standing in there, as if they were either hiding to avoid refilling more cups of bad coffee, or they were trying to hide the fact that they would rather have been in mardens hitting on the hungover employee, moving tacky flowered-old-lady-dresses-for-a-flight to see their grandkids and doesn’t realize airlines don’t give a darn whether you look nice because they won’t even give you a complimentary package of 3 pretzels, let alone consider it high class to be in a winged-metal-walrus full of wanna-be mile-high clubbers and large bellied older men who are destined to be sun-tanned and sucking in their bellies at the cabana with their cigars and martinis. and then this employee fumbled out the door and as i went in for a closer inspection i spied out that the sink was dry...and we all know what that means...so then i went back to my table and having already eaten most of my toast that was brushed with that oily mixture they keep on the grill (not my favorite toast topping) and having eaten my fill of all my other meal options, i luckily didn’t have to even try to eat anything. my sleuthing unveiled to my fellow reviewers, they were mildy horrified yet benny girl still managed to squeek down her sugar concoction of phony syrup, which apparently she prefers...don’t worry fans, some of us are still reputable food critics. so after watching a sweet train roll by as we were leaving i must have hit my food coma as i then ran a red light with a cop right behind me...he was apparently eating condiment sandwiches or something because he didn’t even notice. so anyway, as i strolled through mardens after the meal and enjoyed the model train collectors running around counters with arms filled with extra track and miniature hobos and trees, i thought to myself, kathy & dave’s wasn’t half bad."

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