Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What's in a Name?

The Restless Rooster is a breakfast spot, cafe and coffee lounge at the corner of Elliot Street and Elm Street. They are just a couple more steps beyond what might be considered the business end of Elliot Street.  But people are discovering the yummy breakfast offerings, and the most recent time I was there for breakfast the place was filled up by 9am.

I have to have a discussion of the name, which strikes me as the kind of oddball thing that must have a story behind it.  But I don't particularly want to hear the story.  Restless Rooster leaves me flat. All the connotations are wrong for me and they don't seem at all to fit the clean, well-lighted place that is this lovely little cafe.

Beautifully clean interior of the RR

And now that I have made several trips out Elliot Street to taste their wares, I'm able to get past the name and just enjoy the food and nice service.

It's obvious that they specialize in breakfast and coffee. I've sampled the biscuits and gravy [which stand up admirably to any I've had south of the Mason Dixon line] and the corn waffle with maple and bacon from the specials menu. I could see right away why the place fills in the mornings. 

I also passed over the special breakfast burrito for the every day menu breakfast burrito and was very very glad I did. It's a build your own style, and you can even have it as a bowl without the wrap.  I got the wrap on the side, and managed to get a fantastic combination of 4 out of the dozen or so ingredient selections.

I've had mixed reactions to the coffees, enjoying the regular old coffee coffee and having a difficult time getting past the grossly over-sugared Almond Joy speciality coffee drink. Perhaps almond milk and coconut milk would not overpower like the almond and coconut syrups do.

I asked my friend Wolfie to go with me on the most recent visit because I wanted to try lunch. We both looked over the menu, which Wolfie noted was mostly variations on the same sandwich.  I saw a sandwich Cubano, so I was intrigued.  I later found out that the kitchen staff has some Cuban connections, and so this sandwich comes from direct experience in the milieu.

The menu has variety, but it's not overly ambitious.  There's something for everyone, but it's tight enough so that the kitchen staff can hone in on getting all the details right.

I found the balance in my Cubano to be delicious.  Nothing too much.  The thin ham and the moist, tender shredded pork were perfectly  complemented with the cheese and pickle, and the roll was substantive enough to hold everything together without being too tough or hard from grilling.

Since the couple who own the restuarant have had experience in Florida [the website provides an introduction and some background],  I'm presuming they had to get the sandwich down cold.  I appreciated it immensely. I want to see a few more of these sandwiches before I pass on to the next life.

Wolfie's idea was to try something very basic, to see how they treated a classic. He ordered a BLT.  He reported that it was a solid entry, if perhaps a bit dry.  No signature flash, but it fulfilled all expectations. He wondered if the price might be a bit high because of the ordinariness.  That made me notice that the sandwiches are accompanied by a sole dill pickle spear, no chips or fries or anything.  For me it made a satisfying lunch.  The Cubano was on a nice size bread.  For larger appetites one may wish to explore the offerings from the list of sides.

Putting the name aside, this cafe is well worth traveling the extra block, and they have several off-street parking spaces. I have always experienced very polite and cheerful service.  There have been a couple mistakes, but that is inevitable and no harm was done. 

LorreBob sez: check it out the next time you're in town and you want a great breakfast or nice lunch in a clean, bright location out of the fray.

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