Re:I'll take Potpourri for $1200.00, Alex.
Wed, 07/28/10 4:29 PM
One more interesting stop in Iowa worth reporting..... If you asked me what the quintessential Roadfood small town restaurant would be, I would most most likely answer, Coffee Cup Cafe in Sully, Iowa. A town of less than a 1,000, seven miles or so off of I-80, it feels a million miles from anywhere. Cousin Johnny and I had breakfast here in 2007 and thanks to the friendly service and local townspeople, it was a memorable meal. The first rate pecan roll and pie surely helped. The drive through the backroads of Iowa was made more difficult by a detour, which took me from paved roads to unpaved roads. But, that's what rental cars are for, right? Strangely, Coffee Cup Cafe is open for breakfast and lunch, but close at 1:30PM on Saturdays. I was the first in the door when they reopened at 5:00PM and grabbed a seat by the window. The plan was to get the Dutch Lettuce, but the young waitress explained that they only have two options on Saturday nights, all you can eat broasted chicken or roast pork. Although disappointed, these are some pretty good choices here. Even though I was planning on meeting Roadfooder blizzardstormus at Machine Shed in a couple of hours, where I would undoubtedly order the Iowa Chop (pork), the roast pork sounded too good to pass up. In a very short amount of time, the restaurant had filled up with locals. The first thing out was the bean soup and like just about every bean soup I've ever had, it was too salty. My entree came out and this was a good looking plate of food. The one negative on the plate was the green beans, which tasted like they were from a can. The corn was fresh and highly seasoned. The mashed potatoes were definitely not from a box and covered in a peppery chicken gravy. At first, I was going to ask for some gravy to put on top of the pork, but after one bite, those thoughts disappeared. Tender, moist, full flavored, this pork was wonderful. Some heavy on the mayo cole slaw and a small biscuit also came with the meal. As good as the pork was, I stopped after one plate. Now for the real reason why I was here, pie! The single most important thing I have learned from the Roadfood books, is order your pies as soon as you arrive, because they could run out of your favorites at any time. The first thing I asked the waitress when I sat down was how much banana cream was left. When she told me only three slices, I told her to reserve me one. While I was eating my dinner, a couple came in and sat at the booth across from me (they had a different waitress) and I heard them order a slice of the banana cream each. I kept an eye on the situation and as soon as the other waitress took the banana cream pie plate out of the fridge, my waitress ran over and she was obviously telling her than one slice was already reserved. She looked over at me watching and smiled. Nicely done! Of course, if I was smart, I would have had her bring the slice to my table right away, so there could be no mix up. I won't make that mistake again! Anyway, I watched the couple slowly fork into their pies, dissecting it and making lots of yummy noises. I heard them tell people at another table that they had called in to make sure Coffee Cup Cafe had the banana cream pie, before getting off the interstate and were thrilled it was still available. We all watched as the one waitress went over to the list of pies on the wall and crossed banana cream off. I told them I had reserved the other slice as soon as I sat down and we laughed over it. They introduced themselves as Leonard and Kathy from Chicago and they told me they read about how good the pie here was "in some book." I asked if it was Roadfood and they answered, "Yes, how did you know?" Turns out they were recently vacationing in Maine. She had found the book at the airport, hit a bunch of restaurants in Maine and were now Roadfood fans. Just that morning, they decided to drive to Iowa and hit some of the recommended places. Very cool! My slice of banana cream pie was delivered and I couldn't have been happier. Incredibly airy meringue, with simply perfect banana filling, this pie is one of the all-time greats! Because they had forgotten to take photos of their own, Leonard came over and snapped away at my pie. While we were talking, a pretty blonde walked over to our table and started chatting. I recognized her from our previous visit, since she waited on Johnny and I and she was one of Coffee Cup Cafe's bakers. Since she had made this banana cream pie, she was thrilled to hear all three of us rave on about it. I did get Leonard, Kathy and the expert baker (never did catch her name) to pose for a photo together. We were having a real nice time chatting, but I knew I had to go since I was meeting blizzardstormus in Urbandale, on the other side of Des Moines. On the way out, I snapped a photo of Leonard and Kathy's blackberry pie, which they were now sharing and the pie list, now with banana cream, blackberry and pecan wiped off. Coffee Cup Cafe 616 4th Street Sully, Iowa 641-594-3765 http://www.roadfood.com/Restaurant/Reviews/550/coffee-cup-caf
<message edited by buffetbuster on Wed, 07/28/10 4:57 PM>