Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Colonial Kitchen--Kitsch-en

Going to the Colonial Kitchen in San Marino was just like visiting my grandmother's house. Well, not my grandmother's house, because mine is a crazy hoarder. It was more like visiting your grandmother's house.

There are glass display cases with ceramic figurines and a grandfather clock...

useless books laying about...

a gift shop selling necklaces and...stuff...

a hidden away Elvis dining room...

And this... hanging on the wall. Just like your grandma's house.

It's clear to see that Colonial Kitchen is a bit of a design mystery. It's folksy and homey and loves Elvis and has weird stuff everywhere. The overstuffed booths are covered in green leathery upholstery that reminds me more of an Italian restaurant than a diner. The low mood lighting and fixtures do the same.

#1Diner Companion Antoinette and I met up with our friends Lidia and Josh for breakfast one morning. We arrived around ten and had to wait just a minute for a table. Sadly, they were not seating in the Elvis room at this time. I think it's just for special occasions.

The menu had an odd habit of placing quotation marks on parts of the titles of the dishes. For example, the menu listed "The 'Reuben' sandwich" which was right next to "The Hot Beef" sandwich.

Antoinette ordered a turkey sandwich with a side of potato salad. The sandwich was good. It was very thick and didn't skimp on the meat. The potato salad was odd. It was all potato and mayonnaise. No egg at all. It didn't taste bad, it just tasted weird. I actually HATE potato salad with too much of an egg taste, but this was just wrong.

Lidia and Josh split the Belgian Waffle breakfast. It was pretty standard. The bacon stood out as being pretty good.

I ordered the Louisiana omelet. Much like my 1961 cookbook "What Cooks in Suburbia" has a recipe for a sweet and sour sauce which is basically ketchup and more sugar, Colonial Kitchen thinks "Louisiana" is just a place holder for "spicy." The omelet was good, mind you, it just had very little to do with Louisiana. Oddly, it was served with salsa and green chiles, y'know, staples of the southern diet, with a slice of Swiss cheese over the egg. The sausage inside the omelet was at least an actual hot link, so the name wasn't a total misnomer.

The hash browns were really disappointing. They were chewy and lumpy. Apparently, this is a style of hash browns known as "Cafeteria." This comes from cooking a lot of potatoes all at once and then keeping them warm for an extended period time. The starch from the potatoes gets all sticky and gross over time.

Colonial Kitchen is a little disappointing in the food department. In the "WTF" department, it gets a solid 'A.' I can't really give it positive recommendation though. It's fun to go there for the kitsch and the possibility of dining in the Elvis room, but otherwise it is an easy skip.

Food: Okay.
Service: Okay.
Price: $6.95-$9.95
Pie: Yes.

Colonial Kitchen
1110 Huntington Dr
San Marino, CA 91108
(626) 289-2449

No comments: