Notes from Virginia: Roll ups to die of a cardiac arrest for

One deliciously roasted chicken, one oversized burrito, and a number of local bottles of wine later, it was already time to pack up and head out of the country side.

I’ll spare you the sob story about how painfully short this stay in heaven was. I had one more “must do” before leaving though, which was to have a good old, southern breakfast at a diner/coffee shop. Of all the American staples, this is one that I feel is sorely missing from Geneva’s cityscape. Granted, Milles et une envies, the bakery at Rive and the falafel places in the Paquis provide some pretty robust contenders for 4am splurges and hang over remedies. But there’s nothing quite like an order of eggs over easy with home fries and a side of waffles or pancakes.

This time, I wanted waffles. I was dead set on waffles. In fact, we called the place ahead of time to make sure they had waffles. To my great surprise, they actually did NOT have waffles at the place we usually go to. A little brainstorming and we wound up at Kathy’s. It has no charm other than its authenticity as a southern american diner – ie, it was perfect, a true original, no pretense, no gimmicks, just diner food and all you can drink coffee.

Here’s a potential shocker: I really don’t like pancakes. They’re thick and absorb all the good maple syrup, so you keep adding more, and the pancakes just loose their consistency as they get spongier and spongier. Yuck. Hence my appreciation for waffles, which have that nice crispy outer layer and the groves to carry the maple syrup and melted butter.

So you can imagine my surprise when I was irresistibly drawn to the what they called roll-ups. These are “thin” (read: normal) pancakes rolled up like a crepe, with various ingredients on the inside. I chose banana pecan, and I gotta say, a week later I am still daydreaming about them. The bananas were cut into slices about 2cm wide, then the pancakes were rolled up around them. Three pancakes were rolled up like that on a plate, with three dollops of fresh whipped cream and a scoop of whipped salted butter that was already busy melting over the pancakes. The whole was peppered with caramelized pecans and maple syrup to taste.

Oh but that’s not all. There were the grits, which were prepared just right (ie, they tasted like papier maché) and some delicious, thinly sliced and home fried potatoes that were almost like potatoes chips, but thicker and less salty. Definitely something worth trying out at home. And last but not least, the overwhelmingly over salted Virginia ham.

I said it before and I said it again: Virginia is indeed for lovers. And now Kathy’s pantastic pancakes gave me one more good reason to head back down there. In the meantime, anyone want to open up a Euro appropriate diner in Geneva??

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