Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Secret Hash-browns

I am stuck on the horns of a dilemma. You know how our family is on a never-ending quest for decent hash-browns, and we go on this quest together, because we love each other, and we all love potatoes? Well, what happens, hypothetically, if one of our members goes to a restaurant that is far too small to accommodate a party of our size, for an on-the-sly breakfast experience without the rest of the club?

I decided that I would solve the dilemma by never writing about it on the blog. I decided that if I loved it, I would keep it to myself anyway, because it really is far too small for anyone new to go there. There isn't even room for the people who already do know about it, so what business have I to inform even the ten people who read this blog that it exists? If it were delicious, I decided, I would keep it to myself. (Which is hard for me, I might add, because I am not called the Flapper for nothing...)

If it sucked, I would also keep it to myself. How could I trash such a small, unassuming, family-owned business? In fact, either way, I could go out, have my quiet little breakfast, and no one would be the wiser. My family would never have to know that I had breakfast with another.

OK, OK, but the thing is, there's the potato quest, which is sort of a higher calling, and the truth is, I had the perfect hash brown, at this quiet, little, overcrowded, family-owned business, while I was out cheating on my family over Sunday breakfast, and all I want to do now is shout it from the rooftops of the world. The perfect potato. Really. Never frozen. Richly browned and crispy, but almost healthy tasting from a lack of greasiness. The only competition for these potatoes comes from Jimmy's kitchen, when whoever is cooking the potatoes tries to keep them in the skillet until even Judy will say they're brown enough.

The rest of the food was only so-so, but who cares? Somebody actually cooked my potatoes until they were crispy. Somebody cared enough to never freeze them, and then dedicate some grill space and time to them. Somebody shaped them nice and flat so the insides wouldn't get soggy, and somebody carried them outside to me, even though I didn't say anything special like, "extra crispy".

So, OK, here's the deal. I don't want you to go there and take up the seats, but I do have the responsibility to tell you that the potatoes are perfect. Just don't tell anybody else, OK?

Colossal Cafe
1839 E. 42nd St.
Minneapolis, MN

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Rehashing the Town Talk

I believe I gave the Town Talk diner a tepid grade last time. It might have even been as low as a C+. Well, let me tell you, yesterday morning, I ate steak and eggs there that had to raise their grade at least a full letter. Granted, it was 11:00 by the time the food arrived (speed of service lowered the grade, which surprised me because sometimes at the TT you feel over-served), and I had been up since 6:00, and I had run for half an hour of that time, so I was fairly faint with hunger by the time I ate. However, even in my state of near-starvation, I was able to recognize that the food on my plate was flawless. The potatoes were American fries, and they were crispy enough. Yes, I did say that the American fries were crispy enough. It was a good day. The steak arrived cooked exactly to my liking, which is a miracle since I totally choked when I ordered and said something like, "Um, medium. On the rare side. I mean, rare-ish". And the eggs, well, frankly, I don't remember the eggs very well, because I ate them before my plate hit the table. The yolks did mix well with the slight sauce that covered the steak and made for some good plate-sopping. The whole meal made me grateful for food.

But you know how I get when I haven't eaten for seventeen hours.