October 5, 2008
Ever see these kinds of signs when you’re driving through a small town? “Spaghetti Dinner!”
“Catfish Fry!” “Pancake Breakfast!” Well, no one makes breakfast like the Mechanicsville Volunteer Firemen and Paramedics. The entire town and then some comes out to have breakfast and to support our local fire and ambulance. I’ve gone to this with my husband and mother in law every year since I’ve lived here. It’s one of the things I look forward to every fall. It’s $6 for adults and $4 for kids 4-12 free for kids 3 and under.
You get in line, hand them or buy your ticket, and then wait in line for your plate. You get your food from hard working paramedics and fireman, then go sit down at a table where the minute your plate is empty or your cup of coffee, milk, or juice is empty, there is someone there to give you another pancake, sausage, egg, potatoes, etc etc or more to drink. You don’t leave hungry EVER and there is more than enough food and joy to go around. It certainly gives you a sense of community and friendship when you see all the smiles and are greeted with “hellos” and “how are yas” and “hey, how’s that crop comin’. ”
It’s a great way to see a community and to get a small town Norman Rockwell feel as you crowd into the firehouse, sit shoulder to shoulder and share a bottle of syrup and a smile.
Next time you see one of these signs, consider stopping. It’ll be worth it. 🙂
Ditto’s is one of those wonderful restaurants that you find in almost every small town. Especially in Iowa. You can order a skillet breakfast any time of the day, have a porkchop home style lunch complete with mashed potatoes, and supper of liver and onions with a hand dipped milk shake and finish off with a huge slice of homemade pies (if you’re lucky enough to get one before they’re gone.)
Brighton and I and occasionally Andrew, can be found on a lazy Sunday morning having breakfast. We occasionally go there for lunch or dinner and scoop up their huge nummy tenderloin.
Service is usually pretty good, they’re often busy and so it may take a while to get your first cup of coffee, but besides that, you won’t wait long. The owner can often be found in the kitchen in the morning and early afternoons. Speaking of coffee, they serve Farmers Brothers coffee, which is usually served at these kinds of little diners.
Dittos is located on Highway 30 on your way out of Stanwood or on your way into Stanwood – depending on which way you’re coming – or going. Stanwood is on the north side of Hwy 30. You can’t really miss it. And you shouldn’t.
We were so pumped that there is a new breakfast place in our area! The Skillet Cafe is located on the corner of the main intersection in Mount Vernon, Iowa. Brighton and I decided to test the breakfast menu. Just the right amount of choices made ordering a breeze. I chose the “Build Your Own Omelet” which came with american fries and toast. There is no ala carte menu, so of course I had to over order for Brighton from the “Kids Menu” that wasn’t on the board, but instead on a small paper menu beside the register. I ordered a coffee, which was in carafe’s and made for the multiples (which is OK by me – I can get my own and don’t have to wait for someone to serve it to me) but it was a little weak for my taste. All the condiments and silver were on a cart beside the self serve soda machine. It was an interesting take on breakfast but a good one.
They take your order when you walk in, then when it’s ready, they bring it out to you, but you are responsible for getting your own napkins, silverware, coffee, condiments, etc., as well as bussing your own table. Some people may not like this feature, but I rather enjoyed it. The price wasn’t outrageous, you could do things at your own pace (which is important with a toddler in tow) and you didn’t get a lot of things that you didn’t need. You certainly don’t go broke or hungry eating here, but your coffee buzz might be lacking a tad, that is if you drink the stuff.
Don’t skip it if you visit Mount Vernon.
Brighton’s Pancake Review: They were Good.
Mom’s Pancake Review: Kinda big, and a lot for him, so I feel like I wasted $3 unnecessarily, but they tasted great.
UPDATE: October 3, 2008
Brighton and I went back to Skillet Cafe this morning for breakfast. I had a philly omelet that had steak, onion, green and red pepper, and swiss cheese. It was great! They’ve started giving kids only 1 pancake (which makes sense) though the price is the same. The coffee was good. And despite my earlier post, you do NOT have to bus your own table. You CAN if you want to help out the staff, but they will come by and pick it up. It was a nice morning experience and the cafe was full which was a great thing to see!! Oh! And they’ve added free Wi-Fi. 🙂 So bring your iPod or laptop!