One of the cool things about traveling is having the opportunity to both see people we wouldn’t normally see and eat at the best kept open secrets a town has to offer. We had an opportunity to meet my girlfriend’s faboo cousins at the Penny Cluse Cafe in downtown Burlington for breakfast.
Normally When we arrived we had about a 15 minute wait to be seated. During that time I perused the menu and considered ordering the venue’s namesake breakfast of 2 eggs, homefries, with biscuits and gravy. As we sat down I checked in on Foursquare and saw a “tip” from Candace that read: While the meal named after the restaurant is fantastic, bypass it and go for whatever the special french toast is with a side of bucket of spuds. Wash down with a tangerine mimosa. repeat.
So, following that suggestion, I ordered the Maple Cornbread French Toast that came with a rhubarb compote and an order of Sleepy Nate’s Biscuits & Gray. Now in all honesty I’ve never had cornbread French toast before, but now I wonder how I could ever have normal French toast again. It was thick, fluffy, and utterly fantastic! I thoroughly enjoyed them and felt that pairing with the rhubarb compote was part of a formula for perfection.
As for the biscuits and gravy, well, they were okay. Having had true southern biscuits and gravy, it can be hard to impress me with that dish. I will acknowledge that the serving size was plentiful and if you’re into herb creamy gravy then it may very well be for you too.
The only thing that may have eclipsed the food was the atmosphere. The cafe is actually a converted home with huge windows that allow an inordinate amount of natural light. I was a bit surprised to find out that it had previously been a Ben & Jerry’s Scoop Shop, but that moved down the block onto Church Street which has become a sort of pedestrian strip mall. I’m sure there was extensive renovations done and, in fact, they are still doing work expanding a portion of the building according to a construction permit posted above the menu.
All in all, the Penny Cluse Cafe provides a great experience and is probably Burlington’s best kept open secret.