April 2, 2011

P & S Restaurant

Generic storefront facade.
On the way to the farm this morning, I decided to stop by a restaurant I've been eyeing for literally 15 years now... P & S Restaurant.  I've never gone due to the nondescript suburban strip mall it is in. It looked like nothing to speak of and the West Side is full of decidedly non-tasty American greasy spoons. And then there is the name. Just try and pronounce it without laughing!

Upon entering, I was transformed into a different place and time.  I expected an ugly strip mall greasy spoon.  Instead, I felt like I was walking into the diner of a small Midwestern village. Along the right wall was a large mural painting of a 1800's small town scene. Along the left side of the long and narrow restaurant were a number of brown-padded booths with several families cozied up to breakfast. Near the cash register a waitress was hugging a family goodbye and at one of the tables another waitress was overheard saying, "More coffee Charles?". P & S clearly has a very loyal customer base.

The homey interior of P & S.

I was invited to take a seat at any booth. A second waitress came by, cleaned off my table and asked if I needed a menu or knew my drink order. I ordered a coffee with cream. A moment later a third waitress stopped by with a menu, my drink and some silverware. This is clearly a group effort, with very impressive service all around.

Coffee & Cream, $1.35

After scanning the menu, which includes several classic American items, I opted for "The Kitchen Sink", which the menu describes as home fries piled on top of an open faced biscuit, smothered with sausage gravy, topped with 2 eggs, and covered with cheddar cheese. The waitress taking my order commented that I had made a good choice with a smile. I added a side of bacon and an orange juice.

While I was waiting for the food to arrive, a gentleman at one of the tables next to mine walked over to another booth and struck up a conversation with another elderly gentleman. From the bits I overheard it turns out they knew each other from over a decade ago and had several things to catch up on. I was reminded of the slogan on the front of the menu, "Where good friends meet". This is certainly true.

The Kitchen Sink, $5.25

My food arrived about ten minutes later. The food wasn't much to look at, but I suppose that fits given the description of the meal. The taste, however, was quite a bit more to behold. While the food probably could've used a few shakes of salt and fresh pepper, and probably a bit of hot sauce, I was impressed by the light almost citrusy undertones in the sausage gravy. Overall the food formed a pleasant combination of flavors. The potatoes and eggs were cooked perfectly. I ate every bite and was quite full by the end.

Bacon, $2.45

The rest of the food was pretty standard American breakfast fare all around, but of pretty good quality. The coffee was some of the best I've had at a restaurant and I really appreciated the fresh cream in a separate pourable container. The most impressive thing I kept seeing over and over again was the service. It's clear the owner has instilled a real sense of ownership in the restaurant and has conveyed a sense of what good old-fashioned customer service is all about. Given that and its proximity to my domicile, I will certainly be back.

P & S Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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