(The Summit Cafe has closed down)
It’s a shame everyone lives so far away from The Summit Cafe.
The signage to tables ratio at The Summit Cafe in Edmond is intense. Restauranteur textbooks suggest a 1:15 ratio is adequate, but Summit bombards its patrons (and anyone at the Waterloo and Coltrane crossroads) with a whopping 1:2 ratio. That’s just two tables for every sign.
According to a lady, who may have been a waitress, a quarter dollar from every plate goes to signage upkeep.
And this next one is my favorite.
“Have you read John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley in Search of America?” A friend asked me the other day.
“No,” I said, “Is it any good?”
“Yes,” he said, “I’ll lend it to you.”
And he did lend it to me.
Only the copy he leant me looks brand new, like it’s never even been cracked, which is weird. I’m pretty sure he has read it because he said it was one of his favorite books ever and he knew a bit about it, which means he probably just couldn’t find it when he went to look for it, and then, since he’d already told me he was going to lend it to me, he had to go out and buy a new copy.
The pricetag says it cost him $15.00. I feel a bit weird about the whole thing.
The book is about Steinbeck’s coast-to-coast journey in a Winnebago.
“At the roadsides I never had a really good dinner or a really bad breakfast. The bacon or sausage was good and packaged at the factory, the eggs fresh or kept fresh by refrigeration, and refrigeration was universal.”
Actually John eggs don’t need to be refrigerated, the shells are air-tight, hence they are sterile.
John Steinbeck it turns out – not so smart.
*Note: after fact-checking I discovered that The American Egg Board recommends you keep your eggs refrigerated.
Sometimes good food takes ages to cook
Looking around at the other patrons, who were also all waiting for their food, I felt a kind of kinship. Yes, we were all hungry, but we were also all city folks with big houses in suburban North Edmond, the kind of folks who listen to country music sometimes on the radio and stop by country diners occasionally. These were my people.
And when it arrives you’re really hungry
That’s what they call the “Summit Avalanche”. Not a bad rendition considering nobody’s ever seen an avalanche on this flat piece of prairie.
Here’s what I like about the Summit Avalanche… it’s different… enough. It’s all the staple American breakfast ingredients put together in a slightly different way. It’s familiar enough to be desirable, yet different enough to be exotic – like my wife, who is part Choctaw.
Here’s the Summit Cafe’s menu for those of you who like to look at that sort of thing – check the prices, make sure it’s reasonable.
Tip: Get your money’s worth out of the signage, take a few nice pictures like I did.
My wife ordered two blueberry pancakes ($7.99) and we shared everything with my son, who ate only pancake. He was right. Children have the best opinions.
If my son could talk in sentences he would have said, “Dad, these are the best pancakes in Oklahoma City!” and he would have been right.
“I might even say roadside America is the paradise of breakfast except for one thing. Now and then I would see a sign that said “home-made sausage” or “home-smoked bacons and hams” or “new-laid eggs” and I would stop and lay in supplies. Then, cooking my own breakfast and making my own coffee, I found that the difference was instantly apparent. A freshly laid egg does not taste remotely like the pale, battery-produced refrigerated egg. The sausage would be sweet and sharp and pungent with spices, and my coffee a wine-dark happiness.”
To paraphrase Mr Steinbeck: American roadside breakfasts taste awesome, but a breakfast you make yourself, with fresh ingredients, and home-made sausage, can taste even better.
Try it and let me know how it goes.
For more information about The Summit Cafe visit their Facebook page.