Monday, December 8, 2008

Big Fatty's for breakfast...

Breakfast is the king of meals. Actually that should be stated as "any meal where bacon can be made a central ingredient is the king of meals" (especially according to my wife). On trying to do something exciting and new while my mother was in town, we opted away from Cosmo's Cafe, Pete's Coffee Shop, or Market Square Kitchen as we'd already visited them with her. Previously in line at Cosmo's someone behind us, who was unwilling to wait 3 minutes to order a meal, suggested to their rather large pre-Church breakfast group they go to Big Fatty's. Then Metro Pulse reviewed them very positively in one issue and they earned a runner's up in the Best of Knoxville reviews so... it sounds great!

The dining room is friendly and has some fantastic art lining the walls. The stray foosball table and cubby holes on one wall are a bit out of place but somehow right at home at the same time. We were greeted politely and seated ourselves as expected. So far, so good.

When our server first came to the table she deposited a small pile of strawberry muffins covered in a sticky, sugary, and delicious sauce of some sort and said someone else would be along to take our drink orders. When that someone else arrived and took my coffee order, along with my mother's, life was going swimmingly...until a show stopper: my wife ordered tea. "Oh, we don't have any." he responded. Really? No tea? Really? Not even Lipton's or some other generic tea that comes in a basket and is never looked at? Nothing. Full stop. You want something warm to drink because it's November, grey, and depressing out? Drink coffee. My wife ordered water. Strike 1.

The menu sounded appetizing, if not surprisingly expensive for what was advertised, consisting of standard breakfast foods including eggs, bacon, hash browns, pancakes, grits, and biscuits. What else do you need or want? Well, they also included Lox and cream cheese, a delicacy I let myself have at most once a year lest I eat it daily and gain 30lbs immediately. Mom and Wife opted for the "Little Fatty" with bacon, eggs, "hash browns", pancakes, and a biscuit. Ok, it's not little and sounds pretty yummy. I wanted Lox. "Ooohh... we don't have that. I should have told you," responded our server. Now, ok, it's not the end of the world but nothing else on the menu was calling to me after getting my heart set on salmon, capers, red onion, and a well toasted bagel bound together by pure fat. Not only that, none of the ingredients are terribly perishable. The only problem might be the bagels but how hard is it to arrange for delivery? And there's a high-end grocery store half a mile down the road. Strike 2. Ok, fine, I also ordered the "little fatty" because it was easy (yeah, an exciting lot my table was, right?)

The food arrived promptly and warm so no real complaints there but... the hashbrowns were not. They were in fact home fries, which I happen to love (here's the widely known secret: I love potatoes more than any other food on the planet), but were not as advertised. The biscuit was fine but not exceptional, the pancakes were likely from a mix, the bacon was a little dry, and the eggs were just fine. Now, nothing on the plate was bad per se, just not exceptional. I suppose the cost could be attributed to the number of ingredients on the plate, but not their quality. I was disappointed. Strike 3. Damn.

Just to add insult to injury, one of my servers, while refilling my coffee grabbed the mug by the rim instead of the handle. Don't touch where I'm going to put my mouth, that's not cool. Blech! Strike 4?

I love breakfast and I hate disappointing meals. I have gone through tons of restaurants that start great and I eat there almost exclusively for months straight as quality goes down, and then I always end up moving on. At least in this case I'm not overly attached.

I understand that dinner is a different story entirely, and I am open to that possibility, but I will go cautiously into that meal and try not to get my heart set on any NYC delicacies then.

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