Although Karen’s looks like what it is – a roadside café – when you walk in the door it feels like a home kitchen. There’s all kinds of chatter going on among folks at the counter and the cook behind the pass-through window and the waitress, who is the cook’s daughter. Above the window to the kitchen a sign says Therapy, and while the sign may be a joke, it is quite apparent that the regulars who gather at this counter and at the tables to the left come to Karen’s for sustenance that is as much social as it is nutritious.
There are hot lunch specials every day and a menu of sandwiches and hamburgers, but it’s breakfast when Karen’s glows with hash-house charm. Coffee arrives with the spoon in the cup, ready for stirring; that cup will be topped off and refilled countless times throughout the meal. Modest-sized pancakes, made to order, are available loaded with in-season blueberries or discs of banana; and beyond the usual breakfast meats to accompany eggs are both Italian sausage and a wonderful length of succulent kielbasa, cooked on the grill until dark and crusty. The most amazing morning meal is what’s listed on the menu as a Mr. Mac Belly Buster: bacon, sausage, cheese, potatoes, and two eggs, all piled into a hard roll.