it’s not really the meal that i love, though i enjoy it, it’s the experience. actually, it is the experience of eating it out at a restaurant.
see, i grew up in michigan where there are coney islands on every corner [maybe more than one] and going there for breakfast is just as natural as putting butter on your toast. it’s always the same. the food is quick, consistent, and delicious [though, it takes a bit of effort to screw up breakfast]. it is the perfect way to spend the morning getting adjusted to the world again and to mentally prepare to face the day. weekend mornings to me mean rolling out of bed, heading to the coney grabbing a quick [slow] bite of breakfast, sipping on coffee, catching up with a friend or family and planning the day ahead.
it’s funny because i never used to love breakfast, it was a meal like any other, often over-looked or filled with a pop-tart. however, somewhere in the past five to ten years i started to love it, to crave it. i think i started to cultivate my appreciation when i worked at a small diner [no, not a coney] in high school. it was only open for breakfast and lunch and mostly served breakfast foods. my best friend worked there and she would always get over medium eggs to eat. i despised them. i couldn’t stand runny yolks. the only eggs that existed in my world were scrambled. one day my best friend got me to try the over medium ["dippy"] eggs by using the toast to soak up the yolk and the rest was history. i saw how delicious “dippy” eggs could be, though only if the yolk is consumed on toast [not otherwise] and my love for breakfast was born.
unfortunately, virginia does not have coney islands. in fact, since moving from michigan, i have come to the conclusion that they are a uniquely michigan thing. and while i love breakfast, i love it most at coney islands, so trying to find substitute venues is challenging. i’ve done the staples: ihop, dennys, perkins, waffle house, aunt sarahs, and bob evans. while they each do a good breakfast, it’s just not the same. so while i wait for my next michigan trip to get a coney island breakfast, i am making do and enjoying each place for its highlights [ihop - boysenberry syrup, perkins - homefries, waffle house - cheesy grits, aunt sarahs - boysenberry syrup and hashbrown casserole, bob evans - biscuits and gravy].
though, i have to say one place in particular just lost my patronage, even as i wrote this post [and took the above photo]. bob evans. i stopped in there yesterday after my trip back from vermont because i was craving a good breakfast experience after waking at 4am for travel. when i reviewed their menu i noticed that they raised their prices [conveniently hubs and i were in one last weekend on our trip to mi. so i noted the difference]. while i did find that slightly off-putting it was obviously not enough to make me changes venues.
at the end of the meal, i went to pay the cashier. i normally do not check the bill before i swipe my card at breakfast because it is almost always the same or in a same price range, so i will say not doing that is my fault. however, when the cashier handed me a slip that said $9.19, i was a bit shocked. i only ate 2 eggs, bacon, and toast. no hashbrowns. not coffee. no juice. [i had water]. nothing else than pictured above. when i ordered, i was pretty sure it said the breakfast was about $6.50. so, getting to a grand total of $9.19 even seemed a stretch for me in virginia where they tax you on everything.
i questioned the cashier and he said i had the “meat breakfast”, whatever that means, and that my subtotal was close to $9 before tax. i say that while i recognize it is only a few dollars difference, i only had 2 eggs, bacon and toast, so i can’t even begin to see how that costs $9. he shrugs. i go back to the counter grab my things look for my waitress or the manager. they were nowhere to be found, but since the menu is still next to my seat, i look at the breakfast i ordered and showed it to the cashier and he continues to shrug. at this point i’m annoyed, not that i cannot spare the extra few bucks they charged me, but that they did it and now there is this chum of a cashier taking no action. i’m so annoyed and needing to leave at this point, that i just go.
i could have stayed, waited for the waitress or the manager, but i didn’t have time nor the desire to be confrontational. so i left, drove, and became even more irritated that the whole situation even happened. and so i am done with bob evans, no matter how good their biscuits and gravy are.
[side note: i find the prices of bob evans, ihop, perkins, etc too high in general, even before the bob evans price hike because by comparison the same breakfast that was $6.50 at a coney island the breakfast is $3.50... so i know that i am over-charged every time i walk into one of those establishments... hence another reason i love coneys more.]