When a table for four is available at 10:00 AM on a Sunday at O’Rourke’s Diner, you know it’s going to be a good day. When you order “the sandwich”, it’s going to be a great one.
Of all the restaurants in Middletown, O’Rourke’s is probably the most renown. With good reason. From the delicious bread samples that you get when you walk in, (the cinnamon raspberry chocolate chip pound cake is a personal favorite), to the ultra-friendly staff, to the spontaneous visit you might get from Brian O’Rourke himself, to the amazing food they serve, you really can’t go wrong at O’Rourke’s.
I have tried a good portion of the entrees on their menu. That being said, they’ve almost always been in the benedict or omelet categories. Can you blame me? They have over 30 different varieties in these two sections alone! Today, however, was different. I decided to live a little, to go to a place where I had never gone before.
“I’ll get the sandwich”. I bravely told my waiter.
The sandwich, as described in the menu, is “a pair of pancakes stuffed with baked ham and cheese served with two strips of bacon, sausage links, two eggs, homefries, and toast.”
The idea of this meal is fairly overwhelming. TWO pancakes, TWO eggs, bacon AND sausage AND homefires AND cheese AND toast?!
First of all, would pancakes even taste good when paired with savory items like cheese and ham and eggs and bacon and sausage?
Secondly, what kind of condiment should you use? Yes, sausage and maple syrup are surprisingly good together. But eggs and maple syrup? Or pancakes and ketchup?
Third, how many carbs does a person need?!
My heart was pounding. “Ari, what have you gotten yourself into?” I thought, then the waiter put the plate down in front of me.
I took a sigh of relief.
Rather than being two plate-sized monster pancakes, they were each about the size of my fist. The inside contained a layer of cheese, a slice of ham, a sausage patty (not links), and the two pieces of bacon, and was topped with the two eggs (I ordered them over-easy).
The pancakes were fluffy and light, slightly buttery but definitely not overkill. I was shocked to see that they were actually complemented perfectly by the savory ingredients. I had forgotten that the taste of a pancake is quite bland on its own, therefore you can pair it with savory things and it’s definitely not overkill.
As far as condiments are concerned, I tried both ketchup and syrup. The ketchup worked well with all of the ingredients, including the pancakes. That being said, I find it difficult to say that ketchup really complements anything. It doesn’t really enhance any of the flavors, it sort of engulfs them and swallows them. The syrup, on the other hand, seriously accentuated the flavors of the pancakes, sausage, and bacon, and ham. The cheese, maybe because it’s melted directly onto the pancake, takes on a bit of a sweet flavor too, and therefore works with the syrup.
If you’re going to O’Rourke’s and you have no idea what to get, the sandwich is the perfect option. It includes almost all of the basic ingredients on the restaurant’s menu, but by combining them all into a sandwich, Brian adds a uniqueness that is signature to his cooking.
Try it, and let me know what you think.
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