Perkins Restaurant & Bakery
Sitting around the living room around noon on a Saturday, with a vicious thunderstorm having raged on through the early morning hours, myself, my husband, my sister-in-law and my brother-in-law decided that we should perhaps get ourselves together and venture out of the house in search of some sustenance. By this point, you’ve got to realize that we weren’t in California, thunderstorms that rage on through the morning just don’t happen in Southern California. We were actually in St. Paul, Minnesota where these occurrences are certainly more commonplace. After discussing the fact that we were hungry, we came to the agreement that while it wasn’t technically breakfast time any more, because it was Saturday, it didn’t matter what time it was because we could surely find breakfast somewhere. My sister- and brother-in-law listed off a couple of places they like to go to on lazy Saturdays to get breakfast, and as soon as they said Perkins, my husband emphatically stated he wanted to go to Perkins because he hadn’t been to one in over 10 years. Not being from Minnesota, I had no idea what Perkins was. It was explained to me that Perkins was a chain-restaurant that served breakfast all day long and made really good pies and baked goods. That was good enough for me. As long as it was something new and I’d never tried it before, I’d give it a try.
Perkins Restuarant & Bakery started in 1958 as a pancake house in Ohio. From the popularity of that one store, Perkins has grown over the years into a franchisor of over 440 full-service family dining restaurants with locations primarily in the Midwest, Pennsylvania and Florida. Ok, so that explains why I’ve never heard of them before. There are Perkins locations in 34 states and 5 provinces in Canada. Their websites states that they are known for their secret recipe buttermilk pancakes, omelettes, salads and Melt sandwiches.
When we arrived at the restaurant, we were immediately greeted by a bakery display cases filled with fresh made pies and other baked goods. The interior of the restaurant is very reminiscent of a homestyle setting you could find anywhere. In fact, the restaurant really reminded me of Marie Callander’s back home. When our waitress asked for our drink order, I immediately asked for hot chocolate. I have a real weakness for hot chocolate, especially if we’re going to be eating breakfast foods. On a damp and stormy Saturday morning, what better way to get going than with a cup of yummy, chocolatey, hot chocolate with whipped cream?
As soon as I perused the menu, I knew exactly what I was going to order. Hot chocolate isn’t the only thing I’m a sucker for. I’m a huge sucker for Belgian waffles with strawberries and whipped cream. If I ever go out for breakfast anywhere, which I hardly do, Belgian waffles are what I most likely will look for on a menu. And if the restaurant has Belgian waffles, 99% of the time that’s what I will order. So, I was happy to see Belgian waffles with strawberries and whipped cream on the menu at Perkins, so I knew I was set. I ordered my meal with a side of breakfast potatoes, because after all, I love potatoes too. The Belgian waffles were terrific! They were perfectly cooked, nice and crispy on the outside and still tender on the inside. The strawberries were great too. They weren’t too sweet, and the waffle wasn’t drowning in strawberries. They gave you just the right amount of strawberries for the waffles and with just the right amount of sauce so that the waffles didn’t end up all soggy! And instead of globbing on whipped cream on top of the strawberries, Perkins also provided just the right touch of whipped cream.
Finally, the breakfast potatoes were fantastic too. Super crispy and flavorful on the outside and smooth and creamy on the outside. What a perfect breakfast!
My husband and my brother-in-law both ordered a dish called the Tremendous Twelve. It came with your choice of 3 eggs cooked any way you like, a serving of breakfast potatoes, your choice of 4 sausage or bacon and 4 buttermilk pancakes – so basically everything you could want in traditional breakfast food. My husband got his eggs sunny side up, while my brother-in-law took his eggs scrambled. They both got bacon with their breakfast rather the sausage. Judging by the fact that both men devoured their food, I’d say it was probably pretty good.
Not only did they devour the potatoes, eggs and bacon, they both chowed through their pancakes as well. On the table was a serving tray filled with 3 different types of syrup for the bacon – there was regular maple syrup, a berry syrup and an apricot jam syrup. My brother-in-law drenched his pancakes in the apricot, my husband did the same with his but with the berry. Next thing I knew the plates were cleared of food!
My sister-in-law ordered a made-to-order omelette with ingredients of her own choosing, which included lots of veggies. The omelette came with toasted rye bread and breakfast potatoes. I saw this gorgeous omelette come to the table piled high with broccoli (ok, and mushrooms) on top and it looked so good that it almost, almost made me regret not ordering an omelette. My sister-in-law really liked her omelette, and like the rest of us, finished off her breakfast as well.
We had a good time just sitting there, enjoying each others company, chit chatting and watching this lazy, and stormy, Saturday morning go by. Perkins turned out to be a the perfect solution to quiet our hungry tummys, and allow us to relax and spend some time together.