Breakfast At Nancy's

Well tomorrow may be the last day for Nancy's Home Cooking. Fans everywhere have been furiously raising money in an attempt to help Cindy King and her family save this beloved Clintonville Landmark. I've thrown my share into the pot - and I am betting if you know about the place you have too.

For my readers who don't know about Nancy's Home Cooking, here is what you need to know - Cindy King runs the best "greasy spoon" in the city. I love little places like this. I love the fact the food is honest - fried eggs, potatoes, meatloaf, chicken and noodles over potatoes (!!) and an endless cup of coffee. I love sitting at the counters and talking to the other patrons (even if they wish I wouldn't), and I love that Cindy and her family have made it a welcoming home away from home for so many people over the years.

I started going to Nancy's when Tony and I were dating. Twenty years of garbage omelets under my belt and twenty five for him. We have taken all kinds of people there - I once dragged a severely jet lagged friend from France there for a pot of coffee and a heaping plate of fried eggs and home fries as soon as he stepped off the plane. I've taken my mom. We've taken starving college students, business people and comic artists and they all love it. It is something that is complete in itself - more than the food, more than the location, more than the people.

So a couple weeks ago, Tony, Eric, Tate and I got up at the buttcrack of dawn and went down for breakfast. Garbage omelet, home fries, fried eggs, toast and sausage gravy all around. A word about the sausage gravy - YUM. Makes everyone else's - including mine - taste like wallpaper paste.

I also annoyed people with my camera just so I could take some good-bye photos for my collection. I would have stolen a menu if there were any...

Garbage Omelet, home fries and sausage gravy
- all topped off with OJ so Tate felt he was eating something "healthy"

I have a theory about how the space where Nancy's currently resides used to be a walkway or
alley between the buildings on either side. Someone just put a roof on it
and said "Rent it out!" I present my main exhibit for the court's consideration.

Ed at the grill. Bonus points (and a breakfast) to the first person
who can tell me what he has tatooed on his right calf.

From left to right: Eric and Tate. I think Eric had like 3 hours sleep and
Tate hadn't been to bed yet. Perfect time for food overload, then going back to bed.

The obligatory menu shot

Tony on his 3rd cup o' joe. Yes we were hogging the only table,
but we got there damn early to do it!

15 minutes after opening

An hour after opening. I didn't stay to see the line snake outside.

I have doubts about whether this last ditch effort will truly save Nancy's - it may save the business, but folks, it will change. Its the nature of the beast. Cindy is ready to retire - she's been at it a long time and deserves to rest a little bit. I've heard the city is requiring the building be brought up to code - and that takes money and the business would most likely have to close for a while to accomplish that. So let's say the King family decides to sell the place - I sure as hell would not buy it. I would not want to be known as the person who "killed Nancy's". As soon as you raised the prices, or made changes to the menu or do what you thought would be best for the business as a business and not as an Columbus institution, you would have detractors, people whispering behind your back "She's killing this place - its not like it used to be." or "The fry cook working doesn't make xxx like Ed." or a million other numerous thing that each and every patron has come to love about the restaurant. Nope - it is a thankless task that I would not want.

I hope the place makes it for a while longer - long enough for my daughter to learn the joys of eating there on Saturday morning with a hangover on her last fiver. Not that I would know anything about that...


Big Momma said...

I believe he has a Pittsburgh Steelers logo as his tat!

I love Nancy and am crying at just the thought of never having their taters again. Sigh!

Big Momma

Rosie said...

Bingo!! We have a winner!!

I have a new breakfast place for ya - it ain't Nancy's but the food is pretty darn good...

Caleb said...

I found your food blog going through a few links. Glad I ran into it. Didn’t know that the food blog/recipe community was so big online. I love your posts!

I was wondering if you would like to exchange links. I’ll drop yours on my site and you drop mine on yours. Email at ramendays@yahoo.com or stop by my site and drop a comment. Let me know if you would like to do a link exchange.