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Olean's

1605 S. Adams St., Tallahassee, FL - (850) 521-0259
Posted By Michael Stern on 2/12/2014 8:36:00 AM
You won't need a ton of money if you come to Olean's Cafe, but do bring plenty of appetite. Posted on the wall above the service counter is a vast menu from which to choose. Everything is piled in abundance into Styrofoam clamshell containers, which customers either take out for eating elsewhere or bring to one of the handful of tables in the airy dining room.

Breakfast is especially grand, the Olean omelet less a traditional omelet than a casserole, each serving of which is a block of food about the size of half a brick. It reminds us of a high-rise frittata: eggs baked with sausage, ground beef, potatoes, onions, peppers, and tomatoes, all under a mantle of melted cheese. Every forkful is a different medley of taste and texture; a single serving is a mighty meal. But you do want to side it with a serving of grits (or cheese grits), preferably garnished with rivers of melted butter. Fried chicken, which is available with or without a waffle as its trivet, comes encased in gnarled, crust-hugged skin that fairly drips fatty juice with every crunch. It is the most flavorful chicken imaginable.

For lunch, Olean's menu lists a full repertoire of classic southern side dishes such as collard greens, mac 'n' cheese, fried okra, braised cabbage, blackeyed peas, and candied yams. Everyday entrees include catfish, smothered pork chops, baked or fried chicken, and chitlin's. Ribs are featured Thursday, mullet Friday and Saturday.

The morning we stopped in, one server wore a t-shirt from the 2012 presidential campaign that said, "Congratulations Team Obama. The 47% Have Spoken." While some d├ęcor is indeed devoted to the 44th President, there is another deliverer who is even more important in this place: Jesus Christ. Testaments to the son of God are everywhere on the walls: plaques with religious homilies, posters for church events and gospel sings, and bas-relief praying hands. If you don't drink ice tea with your meal, an equally sweet alternative is Hawaiian Punch-colored "Jesus Passion Juice," the secret ingredient for which, Olean told us, is love.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Olean Omelet
Fried Chicken
Chicken & Waffle
Obama Breakfast
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Olean's omelet is a monumental breakfast, a block of eggs baked with sausage, ground beef, potatoes, onions, peppers, and tomatoes, all under a mantle of melted cheese.
"Olean's omelet is a monumental breakfast, a block of eggs baked with sausage, ground beef, potatoes, onions, peppers, and tomatoes, all under a mantle of melted cheese."
Michael Stern





Good waffle, great fried chicken. With this dish, it's always a bit of dilemma choosing which route to go: syrup or gravy?
"Good waffle, great fried chicken. With this dish, it's always a bit of dilemma choosing which route to go: syrup or gravy?"
Michael Stern


This charming woman took very good care of us at the cash register.
"This charming woman took very good care of us at the cash register."
Michael Stern


You will find Olean's across from the FAMU campus in a once-futuristic hut built many years ago as the first of several Mahalia Jackson Chicken houses.
"You will find Olean's across from the FAMU campus in a once-futuristic hut built many years ago as the first of several Mahalia Jackson Chicken houses."
Michael Stern


Fried chicken is great for breakfast as well as for lunch.
"Fried chicken is great for breakfast as well as for lunch."
Michael Stern


Olean's walls are replete with suggestions that customers see the light.
"Olean's walls are replete with suggestions that customers see the light."
Michael Stern


The 'Obama breakfast,' conceived during the 2008 presidential campaign, offers plenty of everything at a low, low price.
"The 'Obama breakfast,' conceived during the 2008 presidential campaign, offers plenty of everything at a low, low price."
Michael Stern


Your host in Tallahassee: Proprietor Olean McCaskill
"Your host in Tallahassee: Proprietor Olean McCaskill "
Michael Stern


Wall decor at Olean's is a fascinating collage of religion, politics, motivational homilies, and personal photos. Below the 'Try Jesus' bumper sticker is a picture taken when Rev. Jesse Jackson visited.
"Wall decor at Olean's is a fascinating collage of religion, politics, motivational homilies, and personal photos. Below the 'Try Jesus' bumper sticker is a picture taken when Rev. Jesse Jackson visited."
Michael Stern



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