Tuesday, September 20, 2016

"I think I'll have the 'beverages'"

     For a smart guy, I can be pretty dense.
     Last week I was meeting a friend for lunch at Kanela Breakfast Club, a hip re-imagining of the old Greek diner. She picked the spot, and as I had never been there before, I eagerly examined the menu, drinking the excellent Bow Truss coffee. I was hungry, and my eye fell upon a promising entry, "BREAKFAST MEAT." I like meat, and read the description.
     "Peppered bacon, smoked ham, apple chicken sausage." Sounding good, I thought. "House made pork sausage, pork belly,  vegetarian sausage"—quite a lot, really—"veggie bacon, tofu." 
    The price was the first tip-off, "$3.99." A bargain for that yawning platter of protein. Then my eyes drifted below, "TOAST" and above, to the section description, "SIDES" and I realized, duh, that I wasn't reading the description of a meal, but of all the various meats available for $3.99 each. 
    I smiled. A person can get lost in a new menu just like in a new neighborhood, and no harm in turning down the wrong street for a moment and having to double back. I ended up ordering the "Lorraine Scramble"—peppered bacon, gruyere cheese, caramelized onion, charred scallion and toast for $11.99—and was happy both with my selection and that I managed to order an actual dish and not, oh, tried to order the entire "COFFEE" section, thinking it some kind of trendy coffee flight.   
    There are five Kanela locations, and the one in Old Town is airy and pleasant, and I passed the time until my friend arrived soaking up its details, and wondering why the Breakfast Meat had described its sausage as "vegetarian" but the tofu, later in the list, as "veggie." It seemed a sort of relaxation, a little twist of ease as the list went along, passing from the formal to the casual, which suited the place, and my mood.


  1. I go almost exclusively to "Greek diners," or maybe I should say Greek style or Greek owned diners. Their menus are always pretty much the same, the food as plentiful and nutritious as I can stand. Very few fancy items, but these days "veggie" items and dieters' delights are available. As Joseph Campbell said, "I always order the same thing and am never disappointed." The places I go to, if they char or caramelize anything, they apologize.


  2. There's a good Greek style diner in the No.Riverside suburb. Mothers DAy on 22nd. I've never tasted a better crème of chicken rosamarina soup in even better restaurants. I'm not Greek but can tell it's good. Basil's in Aurora has some fine dining, Greek food but of course it's pricier. Years back I visited a Greek restaurant in Greek town, can't recall if it was the one that closed or another and found the salad way too oily.

    NS your food blogs always ruin my diet. ;)

  3. Chicken or turkey sausage is better than pork if watching ones cholesterol.


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