Southern Benedict

Jenny (my spouse) and Kate (our second daughter) have introduced me to a new diner in downtown Delavan—new to us, at least; apparently it’s been here for years, but we’ve just become aware of it. The name is the Sunmist Cafe.

Coming from blue-collar roots, I like diners in general. There’s a certain ambiance (not a blue-collar word, I realize) that puts me at ease—as long as the country music isn’t turned to high. (As a child, I heard enough country music, and nothing else, to last a couple of lifetimes, though I do still like the old stuff, like Ernest Tubb, Patsy Cline, Hank Williams, and so on.)

This diner is something special, however, in that there’s more on the menu than you’ll find at most places. In particular, I’ve fallen under the spell of something they call a “Southern Benedict.”

You’re probably familiar with Eggs Benedict: Two English muffins topped with a slice of Canadian bacon apiece, then a poached egg on each, and Hollandaise sauce dribbled over it all. That’s a tasty breakfast.

Now, can you guess what a Southern Benedict might be?

As my daughter Chris (the oldest) puts it, faking her grandfather’s Southern accent: “English muffins! That’s too hoity toity. We’ll use biscuits. And instead of Canadian bacon, good ol’ country sausage patties; it’s still pig. And what’s this here Hollandaise sauce? We’ll drench the whole thing in sausage gravy instead.”

The Sunmist Cafe serves it’s Southern Benedict with a side of American fries (a.k.a. fried, sliced potatoes), which goes great with that extra gravy. I can never quite finish the plate—the Sunmist tends to serve big dishes of everything—but I always wish I could. It’s that good.

—Les

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