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The morning could not have been more perfect for sipping lattes and catching up with my sister, Kelly. April mornings in Texas can be absolutely lovely with slightly cool breezes and sunshine. We have to take advantage of every day of good weather because with summer fast approaching, our time outdoors will be limited. A restaurant patio in Texas, in July, looks like a ghost town. My hot-natured self considers myself lucky every year that I make it through the 100-110 degree weather. I am still quite disappointed that this year’s winter did not get very cold. I feel cheated somehow.
I had read reviews of Oddfellows in the Bishop Arts District (right next to Tillman’s Roadhouse….another restaurant I must visit soon) and knew what I was in for. Oddfellows is a leisurely experience so there is no need to get in a hurry. This is not the place to come for a quick breakfast and we timed it so we had nothing but time this morning. So waiting for our coffees for 15 minutes was no big thing at all. Even lukewarm, my Vanilla Latte kept me interested til the last drop and it sure was pretty to boot.
The atmosphere of the restaurant reminded me of being in a country kitchen. It was bright, airy, and had a homey feeling to it.
The restaurant is quite proud of their suppliers and boasts them on a mirror sign above the expansive coffee area. I wish every restaurant would post where they get their meat, produce, etc. from. Perhaps this would cut down on the number of restaurants serving up scary, un-identified (no-one-is-going-to-claim-it-and-for-good-reason) meat. It’s exciting to think that the meal you are about to eat was grown in a garden or on a local farm where owners take pride in their vegetables and animals.
We had a great table close to the serving station. I was able to get a glimpse of many different meals as they were plated before distribution to the tables. We both happily watched as the meals whizzed past us and made mental notes of things we should try in the future….I for one will return for their famous Macaroni and Cheese that comes with buffalo fried chicken on top. And yes, people order this dish even in the late morning.
The other good thing about sitting close to the serving station, was that the Plating Specialist (I’m sure there is another name for it, but I quite like the one I’ve come up with) overheard me ask the server if it was possible for the pancakes I ordered to come out after our other entrees. I quite prefer my pancakes served at the end of the meal, dessert-style and still warm. He even came over to our table (after he heard our server tell me it was too late and that the order was placed) and told me he would be happy to keep the pancakes under the warmer until we were ready. I was completely impressed by this service! Oddfellows definitely has a jewel in him.
As we perused the menu, I couldn’t help but notice how the food was so reasonably priced. We were able to order 3 entrees for right at $25 (tax included). Kelly had so sweetly bought our coffees before the meal, so they were on another tab. How cool is it that some of my baby sisters have professional jobs now and can pick up a tab for me once in awhile! Kelly and I decided on the Salmon Scramble, Huevos Rancheros, and the Pancake Sampler.
The Salmon Scrambler had a mix of interesting flavors including the goat cheese, salmon, and guacamole. The salmon was quite salty and seemed to be a little tough and wasn’t quite what I had expected. I did see someone eating it on a bagel, and it was thinner and appeared softer and if I come here next time, that’s what I will be ordering if I’m in the mood for salmon. I think this meal was good, but when we compared it to the Huevos Rancheros…it just didn’t stand a chance.
Now the Huevos Rancheros was delicious. There was a perfectly hard fried egg on top of a tostada on top of black beans, with tomato sauce covering the top. It was served with guacamole and fried potatoes that were seasoned well. This meal definitely goes on the must repeat list.
Finally, it was time for the Pancake Sampler. The server was a little concerned when I ordered this on top of the 2 other entrees. He could tell I was a first timer and had not seen their giant pancakes before. I can’t blame him…he had no idea who he was dealing with. I am not one to mind ordering way more food than I can handle. Which is obvious by my giddy smile when the table becomes filled with plate upon plate of new culinary creations. A plate full of the biggest pancakes I have eaten to date is right up my alley.
If you are looking for a great place to go for pancakes, look no further. Oddfellows knows what they are doing. I knew I was in for something special when I saw that they had flavored pancakes on the menu. I was excited to try the Red Velvet pancake, but as it turns out, this one was my least favorite. It had a different consistency than the other two pancakes. This one was more sticky/chewy in its texture and it wasn’t very sweet. The gingerbread was my second favorite it was fluffy, but hearty in its texture and reminded me of a spice cake and had a ginger bite to it. It is definitely something pancake lovers should try. The highlight of the pancake feast was most definitely the chef’s special, Mango Banana pancakes. These were light, fluffy, and had the fruit taste throughout the pancake. There were larger (decent size that was perfect for the size of the pancake) pieces of fruit throughout and it’s hard to believe that the chef was able to keep the pancake light and fluffy and fresh-fruity-flavored throughout. If you are at Oddfellows and the pancake special is Mango Banana, I would strongly suggest you at least order 1 pancake on the side.
Oddfellows should be an untimed experience. No need to be in a hurry because there will probably be a wait if you go during regular meal hours. We were there at 10:15 on Saturday morning and waited for about 30 minutes for a table. Just sit back, relax and enjoy the great coffee, food, and company in front of you. Kelly and I spent a leisurely 2 hours there for breakfast on a Saturday and we are certainly glad we did. We were fueled and ready to shop til we dropped.
What to Order:
1. Vanilla Latte – this place is known for their coffee
2. Juevos Rancheros
3. Gingerbread and Mango Banana (Chef’s selection) Pancakes
What to Avoid:
Salmon Scrambler – salmon was too salty and tough and the substantial amount of goat cheese was overpowering for my taste. Try the Truffled Egg Scrambler instead or even the Lox Bagel…this is what I’m planning to do next time.