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Coffee Cup Café

Town Square, Sully, IA - (641) 594-3765
Posted By Paul Kloss on 10/28/2003 12:26:00 PM
A late breakfast at the coffee cup café lacked some of the ambiance one typically finds in a roadfood joint. The waitresses were getting ready to switch over from breakfast to lunch and the menu did nothing to hint at any sort of deliciousness that would set the CCC apart from a Denny’s or IHOP. We even dared talk amongst ourselves that as long as the pie delivers the goods, the Sterns are less than picky about the rest of the place. To top it all off, banana cream pie wasn’t even on the daily pie menu. We ordered and waited and waited. Once the food hit the table, however, the Coffee Cup Café quickly proved it’s a worthy roadfood addition.

The cinnamon bun was yeasty and sweet enough to make one’s teeth hurt. Alas, no butter was on the side. The pancakes were impossibly large, impossibly fluffy and impossible to finish. They struck a perfect balance between the salt/sweet/griddle flavors that makes diner pancakes so luscious. Sausage patties were nearly as big as your hand and raised the bar for patties with their spicy kick. The hash browns were more like home fries-- perfectly brown and crisp. While it’s hard to mangle scrambled it’s equally difficult to create transcendent eggs. The eggs at the CCC aimed fairly high.

Humbled and fattened by breakfast, the pie menu still urged us on. Rhubarb and Coconut Cream were selected to decant for a spell in the car. I won’t recommend steering with your knees on 1-35 while trying to eat but I will recommend these lovingly crafted pies. Great crust, rich filling and heartland know-how combine to make the CCC pie a must order no matter the meal.

The CCC is a super friendly place even if you are immediately marked as not being from around there. The sparse setting of the place was completely redeemed by the wonderful food and I’ll see a bug crawl out of my food before I question the Stern’s nose for the dining gems that dot this great country.

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Rate this place
For pie lovers, a beautiful sight... Coffee Cup Cafe's coconut creme pie!
"For pie lovers, a beautiful sight... Coffee Cup Cafe's coconut creme pie!"
Cliff Strutz





Midwest cooks have a repertoire of salads found nowhere else.  Dutch lettuce, a favorite at the Coffee Cup Cafe, is a central Iowa specialty with warm, creamy-sweet mustard dressing, bacon, and hard-boiled egg all atop a bed of crisp iceberg lettuce.
"Midwest cooks have a repertoire of salads found nowhere else. Dutch lettuce, a favorite at the Coffee Cup Cafe, is a central Iowa specialty with warm, creamy-sweet mustard dressing, bacon, and hard-boiled egg all atop a bed of crisp iceberg lettuce."
Michael Stern


Coffee Cup Cafe's pancakes are soft and fluffy and fill up the entire plate.
"Coffee Cup Cafe's pancakes are soft and fluffy and fill up the entire plate."
Cliff Strutz


No state in the union is more passionate for cinnamon buns than Iowa.  While not the biggest, Coffee Cup's buns are among the best.
"No state in the union is more passionate for cinnamon buns than Iowa. While not the biggest, Coffee Cup's buns are among the best."
Michael Stern


A specialty of the Coffee Cup pie ovens, cherry berry is sweet and tart inside, with a savory crust that melts in your mouth.
"A specialty of the Coffee Cup pie ovens, cherry berry is sweet and tart inside, with a savory crust that melts in your mouth."
Michael Stern


Coffee Cup banana cream pie:  there is none better.
"Coffee Cup banana cream pie: there is none better."
Michael Stern


Hot beef tends to be more popular farther north, but the Coffee Cup version must not be missed. The beef is fallapart tender and juicy, the mashed potatoes are real, as is the gravy, and the bread is double-thick slices from a baked-here loaf.
"Hot beef tends to be more popular farther north, but the Coffee Cup version must not be missed. The beef is fallapart tender and juicy, the mashed potatoes are real, as is the gravy, and the bread is double-thick slices from a baked-here loaf."
Michael Stern


A classic Iowa tenderloin. It comes with pickle and onions. Ketchup and mustard are added by the customer.
"A classic Iowa tenderloin. It comes with pickle and onions. Ketchup and mustard are added by the customer."
Michael Stern


By 12:15 on a weekday, banana cream and coconut cream already had been crossed off the pie menu and there were only 3 slices of apple and 1 cherry berry remaining. But we needed cream pie, so we had a slice of Snickers Cream. Nevermind the kitsch component; this was a masterful cream pie the likes of which is rarely found outside of Iowa.
"By 12:15 on a weekday, banana cream and coconut cream already had been crossed off the pie menu and there were only 3 slices of apple and 1 cherry berry remaining. But we needed cream pie, so we had a slice of Snickers Cream. Nevermind the kitsch component; this was a masterful cream pie the likes of which is rarely found outside of Iowa."
Michael Stern


The pretty blonde waitress/baker apologized that since the peach pie just came out of the oven, it was still a bit runny.  Somehow, we managed to forgive her!
"The pretty blonde waitress/baker apologized that since the peach pie just came out of the oven, it was still a bit runny. Somehow, we managed to forgive her! "
Cliff Strutz


While we were disappointed there were no cinnamon buns on the menu the morning we stopped in, this tasty pecan roll more than made up for it.
"While we were disappointed there were no cinnamon buns on the menu the morning we stopped in, this tasty pecan roll more than made up for it."
Cliff Strutz


Locals who come in for breakfast every morning keep their own personal cups at the Coffee Cup Cafe.
"Locals who come in for breakfast every morning keep their own personal cups at the Coffee Cup Cafe."
Michael Stern


One of the surest signs of great Roadfood:  a row of pickup trucks parked outside the town cafe early in the morning
"One of the surest signs of great Roadfood: a row of pickup trucks parked outside the town cafe early in the morning"
Michael Stern


One day when we were having lunch at the Coffee Cup, a farmer drove up in his brand new tractor, attracting attention of people from inside the restaurant as well as passers-by on the street.
"One day when we were having lunch at the Coffee Cup, a farmer drove up in his brand new tractor, attracting attention of people from inside the restaurant as well as passers-by on the street."
Michael Stern



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