Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Perk-up for breakfast at the PerKup Cafe

A year ago I visited the PerKup Cafe in Urbandale to sample this new eateries' loaded hash brown dish, the Breakfast Fusion [see blog post]. This mashup of various breakfast items plus onions, peppers and onions was tasty enough, but I took exception at the pale hash browns. After several revisits last month I am happy to say the hash browns now served at PerKup – whether simple or tricked-out – are among the crispiest I've had the pleasure to eat.

But what brought me back to this tiny cafe on the northwest corner of 70th & Douglas was a review in one of the local entertainment rags with the headline, "PerKup serves best biscuits and gravy in town." Bold words, indeed. Incredulously the absence of a published photo of said "best" dish piqued my interest even further. On a very busy Sunday morning at the Cafe I sat down for a plateful.

The biscuits and gravy ARE quite good; with plentiful, large chunks of sausage swimming in a well-seasoned gravy. Though a tad loose, the gravy is otherwise quite homey and delicious.

Are these the best biscuits and gravy in town? I can't declare that, but certainly among the best. I'll give props to the Waveland Cafe for toasted biscuits [see blog post] with peppery gravy awards split between the Waveland and D's Main Gate [see blog post]. But in regards to the aforementioned chunky sausage, PerKup rates at the top, and the gravy certainly has a genuine housemade appeal. I may enjoy gravies elsewhere but I'm certain more than a few places make theirs from a mix.

The thin pile of hash browns I ordered on the side – along with fried eggs – are quite brown and crispy! Enough so to require a little effort to cut off a forkful; just perfect! The eggs over easy were ideal. Though I had a short wait to get seated the food came out in no time!

Coming back the following Saturday I resolve to try a single biscuit with a side of strawberry jam. The jam is a little sweet for my tooth, but most things are anyway. The biscuit sported a tender crumbly texture with a subtle undertone of baking soda which I find appealing.

Pleased with the hash browns served the previous weekend I ordered the mirthfully named Hash Brown Taco. With sour cream, green onion, cheddar and bacon stuffed into a crispy shell of shredded potatoes,it should be called the Hash Brown Baked Potato. But whatever you wish to call it, the Hash Brown Taco is golden and crispy on the outside, and rather creamy on the inside. Overhearing an apt description by a patron at a nearby table, "It shortens your life." Scrambled eggs would pair well this dish.

Finally I sampled the Kayezwich breakfast sandwich with two scrambled eggs, diced sausage, mushrooms and jalapeños, a slice of American cheese, and 'revenge' sauce on wheat toast. I ordered the sauce on the side which turned out to be a good call. The 'revenge' sauce is quite zesty with a pronounced vinegary bite; it tastes like a mixture of mayo and hot sauce. The flavor is very glutamic and I find it extremely reminiscent of Baconnaise, which I abhor. I like the sandwich better without the sauce. The jalapeños and mushrooms more than compensate for its omission.

If you go to the PerKup Cafe for the biscuits and gravy, please note its only available on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings. Everything else is available six days a week; the Cafe is closed on Mondays.

PerKup Cafe on Urbanspoon

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