Last Sunday, Sam and I headed for another breakfast joint, the 4 Aces in West Lebanon, New Hampshire. It is an “official” roadside diner, with an old railcar diner with a bigger restaurant built around it. After breakfast, I was on my way to the airport to fly to a 4-day conference. So here I am, a week later, getting back to my notes to let you all know about the GREAT food we ate.
A confession. I’m really bad at puns. I struggle to use them casually and they always come out awkward. So I had written most of his post making horrible card-playing puns and after re-reading what I had written, it was unbearably bad. So, I will spare you the bad puns. Maybe you can add them back in the comments?
Service was slow because the waitresses were fighting with the new maple syrup pump dispenser. They had tiny beer steins with tiny glass handles they would fill with real Vermont maple syrup and bring to the table – 4 hooked in one finger. Like Lou’s and The Fort, there was no “pancake syrup” – only good-ole Vermont maple syrup. And they didn’t charge extra for it. The staff really didn’t need the extra hassle of the pump dispenser – it seemed that most everything else was falling apart while they tried to serve breakfast. Two waitresses ran into each other and spilled hot water. A small child was running around loose and getting underfoot. We sat at the counter and the waitress came past four times before she was able to take our order. She was certainly apologetic for not being able to take our order, but still… We watched the syrup-pump show with hungry eyes.
Sam ordered the Irish breakfast that came with bangers and mash, bubble and squeak, scrambled eggs, and baked beans. I was weak at the knees looking at the home-made cider doughnuts under glass behind the counter. I ordered one, plus a scrambled egg and some hashbrowns with peppers and onions. Something about me and doughnuts around here – maybe it’s Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Just to note, I have no idea what bubble and squeak is… it looked like cooked cabbage. According to Jaime Oliver, a cockney wanker if ever there was one:
Bubble and squeak is a classic British dish of smashed-up winter vegetables, traditionally made from the Sunday roast leftovers. Use about 60 percent potato to get the right consistency, then whatever vegetables you like – carrots, Brussels sprounts, rutabagas, turnips, onions, leeks or savoy cabbage.
Supposedly the name comes from the sound the food makes while cooking. Only Klingon food should squeak while cooking… gak. (Sam notes that Klingon is closest in the linguistic family tree to Welsh. Mwynhewch eich bwyd! MP3)
I was pleased to note that my eggs were cooked in butter. Bonus.
Sam’s breakfast was good – as good as “traditional” Irish breakfast can be – but the beans were underdone. They needed another hour of cooking and probably once the “real” brunch rush showed up they would be perfect. My cider doughnut was a good doughnut, but not as good as anything from Greenbush Bakery. Please, someone go out and eat a raspberry rabbi for me…
The bill, like everywhere else we’ve eaten, was just shy of $22. We got there just shy of 9:30am and beat the rush.