Tuesday, August 20, 2013

“Hub City Diner: From Jukebox to Jambalaya, 1950's Rise Again

“People in Lafayette love to eat. They have their pick between upscale, boutique, roadhouse, quirky, and a (blessedly) few chain restaurants. Then there are establishments where…you're barraged by a riot of colors that were oh so fresh in the 1950’s and now have a decidedly and proudly retro appeal. Vinyl and Formica rule.

“Booths with shiny sparkly red and beige vinyl banquettes and gray Formica tabletops line the wall and are matched with smaller aqua and black banquettes against a center partition.
In snappy contrast, aqua steel tube chairs and Formica tabletops fill the center, all atop the shiny black and white tile floor. Cart the whole room into the Smithsonian and you’d have a defining period piece.

“The food is All-American with enough Cajun twists to remind you that you’re in southwest Louisiana. It’s tasty, inexpensive, and served with a smile. Families and couples wander in…. Pink flamingos, which flourished on suburban lawns in the 50’s…are…regular fixtures at the Hub City Diner” (ptatlarge.typepad.com).
We have had a couple of lunches over the years at Hub City Diner, but never a breakfast. And since I think that breakfast is what diners do best, that, along with a glowing review of their sweet potato and pecan pancakes, set us off one morning.
An assortment of advertising signs, including one for the "American Dream" and another for two Hardy Boys books, The Secret of the Old Mill and The House on the Cliff

The breakfast menu contains the items that you would expect but there is a category titled “Big Egg Combos” listing items like: Big Mike’s Special with three eggs served with an eight-ounce hamburger patty, grits or diner browns, and biscuit or toast; The Big One! with three eggs cooked to order with two pancakes, a ham steak, and grits or diner browns; 2x2x2x2 with two pieces of bacon, two eggs, two pancakes, two sausage patties, and grits or diner browns; and Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs smothered in cream gravy and served with three eggs, your choice of grits or diner browns and your choice of toast or biscuit. Way too much!

Since it was the sweet potato and pecan pancakes that brought us here, this was my obvious choice.
My two medium-size cakes were full of pecans and tasted of Thanksgiving spices. What was most enjoyable was their light crust which helps to retard the seepage of syrup that can make pancakes soggy.

From a list of possible breakfast meats, ham steak, sausage patties, smoked sausage, and bacon, I ordered the smoked sausage. This was a nice piece of lean sausage, but was nothing to especially rave about.

Chuck ordered a little bit of this and a little bit of that. His breakfast consisted of French toast,
a slice of ham, and a bagel with cream cheese.
The French toast—made with locally-baked French bread—was quite good, although when compared with that served at French Press or Brick & Spoon (a future blog), a bit boring. And the ham steak looked as though it had been sliced from a formed chunk of meat. And, finally, the bagel was more than a bit burned.

So much for breakfast being what this diner does best. We should have come for lunch and had the $9.99 special with your choice of meatloaf or chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes, veg, and your choice of apple or pecan pie. All this plus sweet tea.

A pretty average breakfast merits a pretty average score of 2.5 Addies.

To review the role of Adler, Kitty Humbug, and the Addie rating system, read the November 14, 2011 blog.

The following remarks are those of the writer’s only
and do not reflect the opinions of the Editor.

This was a pretty short blog and I have white space to fill. So indulge me. I am going to rant.

There is a personality, Glen Macnow, on a Philadelphia sports-talk radio station who, when lamenting the human condition, would say “we’re going to Hell in hand basket.” And so is the state of much that is on TV.

Do you, like me, remember when TLC was The LEARNING Channel? Now it is home to programs like that favorite of dirty old men everywhere—Toddlers & Tiaras. And that program’s spalpeen—Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. (Spalpeen is a word I learned from reading Charlie Pierce’s blog at esquire.com. It means “rascal” or “scamp” and Charlie uses when referring to “Ron Paul’s spalpeen Rand.” Technically, it refers to a young boy, but I like it and am using it here.) Then there are such heartwarming family dramas like Sister Wives and My Teen is Pregnant and So Am I. And don’t get me started on 19 Kids and Counting. Tell me. Have you ever seen Jim Bob headed off to work carrying his lunch pail or briefcase?

And some other channel shows Bridezillas about soon-to-be-wed women engaging in perpetual tantrums. Or, on another channel, there’s Double Divas which I think is about women with mammoth breasts.

And are there any new ideas? First we had Pawn Stars. Now we also have Hardcore Pawn, Hardcore Pawn Chicago, Cajun Pawn Stars, and Beverly Hills Pawn.

Do you wonder why I spend my time watching food programs? Although I must, in full disclosure, admit to a weird fascination with The Real Housewives of New Jersey. It’s like slowing down to stare at an accident.

I feel so much better now. Thank you.

1 comment:

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