Coop’s Kitchen

Categories: All American, Casual, Diner, Eat-in
Comments: No Comments
Published on: May 14, 2014

"Nothing good is ever cheap, and nothing cheap is ever good."  This is the slogan – or warning – emblazoned on the front of the menu at Coop's Kitchen.  There are a number of other breakfast joints that may be cheaper, but it's not like they're charging double what other places do.  Is it worth the extra money?  I'm not sure – I've had a couple different experiences here.

coops_kitchen_001Coop's Kitchen has taken the spot last occupied by PardZee's on Bridge Street in E Syracuse.  PardZee's was a golf-themed breakfast and lunch spot, and some of the golf-themed decorations still haunt the spot.  PardZee's had been there for a number of years, and had built up a steady following.  After they closed, I'm sure many of the regulars moved on to other nearby spots.

The first time I visited Coop's was with my wife, around 10:30 on a Saturday morning.  There was hardly anyone there.  My wife is a stickler for coffee, and I was surprised when she found Coop's to be acceptable.  She ordered an omelet and I ordered a "big breakfast."  In no time at all, we had our plates in front of us, savory steam rising up from them.  She liked her omelet, and my french toast, eggs, bacon and home fries were all pretty tasty.  Well, mostly.  The home fries are just plain potatoes – nothing seems to be added during cooking.  They taste like what they are: hot potatoes.

For several years, we've mostly been going to Friendly's at the corner of Bridge and Erie Blvd on Saturday mornings.  The bill at Coop's for that first breakfast was just about what we paid at Friendly's last year.  Friendly's recently re-did their menu and their service and raised their prices, which is one of the reasons we were looking around for a new place.  Currently you get about the same amount of food for what you used to pay at Friendly's.

That said, I went back to Coop's again on a Saturday morning.  While the parking lot seemed empty, the place was packed!  I'm glad to see they found more people to visit for breakfast.  There is a counter in front of the open kitchen, but I chose to squeeze into a seat at the only empty table left.  The waitress dropped off a menu, saying "Here ya go," and disappeared.  I browsed the menu, which at 6 pages I think is a little excessive.  How many ways can you say "Typical breakfast fare?"  She came back and I ordered the hash and eggs with home fries and wheat toast.  Yes, go ahead and laugh – I also got a diet soda.

This time I had to wait.  Don't get me wrong – it wasn't an hour or anything.  Between 10 and 15 minutes.  Considering the number of customers in there, I think it was reasonable.  But a lot longer than the first time we were there.

I order my eggs over easy.  They seem to cook eggs in some kind of form, which keeps most of the egg around the yolk in an oval, with a little bit leaking out to make a fringe.  The eggs are also slightly overcooked.  Not burned or anything, it's just that very little of the yolk is left runny.  So piercing them over the hash left very little yolk to mix with the meat.  The home fries were again just fried potatoes.  The wheat toast was lightly buttered and cut on the diagonal.  There's nothing offensive here, it's all perfectly edible.  But there's also nothing particularly memorable here, either.  The reasons to have breakfast here, as opposed to somewhere else, just don't jump out at me.  Maybe you're in the neighborhood.  Maybe the booths are big enough to hold you and your friends.  The service is fast and friendly, but really no better than a lot of other places.

All in all, I can recommend it as a place for a hearty breakfast if you're near by.  But it's not exceptional enough to travel out of your way to visit.


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