Sometimes, all a person wants in a restaurant is variety. If a girl craves Italian food, but her friend is in more of a breakfast mood, there are few places—excluding casinos and Denny’s-style chain restaurants—that will accommodate their diverse needs.
Often, with large and varied menus come mediocre meals that can rarely be described as fresh or homemade-tasting. Not honing in on one category of food is potential restaurant suicide. Unless an eatery can offer first-rate omelets, pancakes, sandwiches, pastas, steaks and seafood, why would anyone bother with diversity when they could eat somewhere else that specialized in superiority?
Café at Franktown Corners, where a waitress will be more than happy to give you a side of inch-thick, toasted, locally made bread ($1.75) with your Greek-style pizza, is a fabulous find that combines an enormous menu with supreme fodder.
When I arrived at 11:30 a.m., the overcast sky made the front patio look tempting. There was one table left.
“You don’t want to sit there,” the hostess said in an abrupt tone and started showing me to a booth.
“I thought I saw an available table,” I said.
“Yeah, but it’s right next to the road, and it gets really noisy. It’s not the most enjoyable place to sit.”
I appreciated the honesty. She seemed concerned that I shouldn’t have a disappointing dining experience. As I waited for my friend, Bob, I was thinking about hearty supper food, although a unique breakfast offering might have changed my mind. The menu, however, included all the standard breakfast fare—lots of different combinations of eggs, meat, hash browns and shortstacks.
When Bob arrived, he ordered the veggie scramble ($7.95), one of the slightly more distinctive egg items.
The dish came with a hefty side of hash browns, which were appealing because of their crispiness and yet alien lack of greasiness. The eggs came with a variety of spring garden vegetables and a cheesy white sauce drizzled over the top. It was mild, yet every flavor was distinguishable.
I opted for penne pasta (one of four noodle choices) with creamy pesto sauce (one of about six sauce choices) and artichoke hearts, spinach and pine nuts (three of about 12 accompaniment items). It was so velvety smooth, rich and perfectly al dente that I ate about twice as much as my stomach could handle.
Prices are quite reasonable. The enormous dish of pasta, which would probably cost at least $12 at a genuine Italian spot, was only $8.95, and it tasted as good as the last authentic pesto pasta dish I had.
“This place is a little schizo, but I kind of dig it,” Bob said.
The menu’s not the only thing at the café with many personalities. As I scrutinized my surroundings, I noticed an eclectic hodgepodge of the pastel colors, a black-and-white tiled drink counter, classy wooden furniture and art nouveau travel posters. As quirky as it sounds, everything at Café at Franktown is schizo in a pleasant way, like if you found out that you were actually your two best friends, your boss, your spiritual leader and your millionaire friend down the street. Imagine how convenient that would be.