Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Sister's Kitchen

I've long maintained that Waffle Shop of State College, PA, serves the best breakfast. A few breakfast joints in the Triangle (Brigs, Courtney's) serve a good breakfast, but they're no Waffle Shop. So when a new breakfast-style restaurant opens up, I have to try it...just in case. You never know, right?

Introducing "My Sister's Kitchen", located less than five minutes from our house in Durham. My Sister's Kitchen hasn't been around long. It may not even be as old as our nearly two-month old daughter. (The building had been occupied by a Greek restaurant called Zorba's. The old Oh! Brian's building is still vacant, by the way. It's been two years now!)

Being a new restaurant and all, I did not expect even Brigs or Courtney's quality, let alone Waffle Shop quality. But hey, might as well give it a shot. It's been a while since we've gone out for breakfast. (Not since last December!)

My verdict: this is a low-budget breakfast joint. Great prices, but a short menu, and the food - while not bad by any means - is reflective of the prices. I have two main issues with the menu: 1) No French toast?? 2) According to the menu, they offer grits as part of a meal but not as its own side. I'm sure they would have given me grits on the side had I asked for it, but that should be on the menu. This is North Carolina, right? (Note: there is a lunch/dinner menu on the reverse. Pictured above is just the breakfast menu.)

But this is a very new restaurant, so I am willing to cut them some slack. A quick glance at the restaurant's mixed Urbanspoon reviews indicates that these folks haven't been in the restaurant business for long, so they have a lot of kinks to work out.

The level of service depends seems to depend on when you get there. When we arrived between 9:30 and 10:00, there was only one other customer in the restaurant, but by the time we left, there were several groups of people in there. So while our food was served in 7 minutes, 55 seconds (2nd fastest of 2011 behind Danny's BBQ), had we shown up an hour later, I think it would have been an entirely different story. The level of staff that was there cannot support a more than half-full dining area. (The wait staff is also a bit raw on experience.) Other "kinks" they have to work out include occasionally running out of something (according to the Urbanspoon reviews), and only putting one menu at each table rather than one menu per potential customer. But they'll figure all of the details out eventually. I don't know when they get most of their business, but they might be better served closing at 2 or 3 instead of staying open until 7 as they do now.

This place is never going to approach Brigs or Courtney's (and certainly not Waffle Shop), but as long as that's not what they're trying to do (which it's not), then that's okay. Their best bet is to try and stay "low budget". Based on the afore-mentioned Urbanspoon reviews, it appears the biggest area for improvement is the occasionally slow and/or inattentive service. Hopefully that will improve in time, because I think service will ultimately decide whether this restaurant is successful, because it's hard to screw up pancakes. (Although it has been done.)

As for me...we'll probably come back next time we don't feel like waiting in line somewhere else, or maybe just because. Sometimes I like to support "the little guy". I'm rooting for them.

1 comment:

Andrea said...

So who serves the best breakfast in the Triangle? We've tried some local places but haven't found "the one" yet.