Saturday, September 6, 2014


Every now and then I run into someone that wants a ride in the -12 in the worst way, but seems to always run into some kind of last minute problem. You might be tempted to believe that perhaps this person really isn't all that interested and may simply be making excuses, but there's a discernible vibe that goes with that. With Trevor, I wasn't feelin' that vibe.  But try as we might, it just never seemed to come together.

Along cam this week's Myday Eve, and the weather forecast was looking good, and Trevor had no work obligations until a lunch meeting. Hey, I thought, breakfast at Urbana!

The plan worked perfectly, right up until I pulled up at the airport gate and realized that sometime between my first glance a The Weather Out The Window(tm) and my arrival at the airport, a patchy fog had moved in. I've dealt with this before, but in the former cases I have dealt with it poorly. The previous strategy was to sit around the airport waiting (or hoping) for the weather to left, all in pursuit of what is quite frankly a somewhat below average breakfast. This time I decided to try something different: we would go off airport for a better breakfast, then come back for a postprandial flight.

And I knew just the place, too.  There's a small diner in nearby West Jefferson that has the best breakfast menu for miles around, and it would only be a 15 minute drive. It's a rather pleasant drive too, so off we went. We would go to The Country Table, a restaurant that I like so much that I even wrote a Yelp review about it.
As much as I like to go out for breakfast or brunch (precisely which depends completely on how late my wife insists on sleeping in) on Sunday morning, it has gotten to be a bit of a nightmare. Unless you're up before the roosters, all of the breakfast places in Columbus are so crowded that breakfast becomes brunch or brunch becomes lunch before you have any hope of even being seated. Carryout is, of course, not an option for breakfast.  If I wanted to eat at home, it isn't hard to scramble some eggs. 
For those of us that live on the west side and enjoy a short drive through the scenic country that rolls alongside the Darby Creek, though, there is another option. The Country Table Restaurant, located mid-way through West Jefferson, offers a reasonably priced, tasty, large-portion breakfast with no waiting around hoping that your name will be called before you begin to feel faint from hunger.   
From the outside, The Country Table is a small unassuming place and as such doesn't attract the hoards of hungry post-church breakfast seekers that crowd the Bob Evans, IHOPs, and Perkins. In fact, I write this review somewhat reluctantly as I feel that I've happened across something so good that I ought to keep it to myself lest it become as popular and crowded as the places back in Columbus.
While the breakfast menu is not page-after-page extensive in the manner of the aforementioned chains, it provides for most everything one could want. And, unlike my friends at Bob Evans who seem to take some kind of perverse joy in removing menu items at random, I have yet to arrive to find my favorite selection removed from the menu. 
Both the ambiance and service are country casual, which is to say not in-your-face with faux cheerfulness, but not hurry-up-and-get-out distant. You truly do feel welcome and your patronage valued. There is nothing fake or corporate about this place.  Coffee refills are typically timed just right - refilling too soon ruins the ever-critical coffee-to-sugar ratio, while refilling too late leaves me cranky. 
My breakfast of choice is the Country Fried Steak smothered in country gravy with hash browns well done, eggs fried hard, and a side of sourdough toast.  I also enjoy the breakfast skillet, although I have trouble finishing it all.  If I time it just right, the skillet will last me from brunch until a later dinner.
It was closed. Locked up tight. That was a bit of a surprise - I see this now and then with small family-owned businesses that close on Monday or Tuesday mornings, but never on a Friday. Peeking in the windows, I could see that all of the furnishings were gone.

So by "closed," I guess I mean "gone."

Damn that Trevor!  Snake bit!!


The last time Co-pilot Egg and I had taken the canoe out for a float, we drove past a decrepit looking lost-in-time ramshackle that may nor may not have been an existing business. The faded sign out front said Henry's Restaurant. Knowing my penchant for seeking out largely unknown diners, you will not be surprised to learn that I suggested that we embark on a bit of a breakfast adventure - we would continue our trek to the west and see if I could find it again.

Just as I was beginning to think that I had gotten my wires crossed and might have to beat an ignominious retreat back to the airport, we found it.

Be honest: would you glance at this place and think "Oooh, yummy?"

Me neither, but that's kind of the whole point of seeking out places that only the locals know about.

The front side of the menu is standard breakfast fare. As it turns out, so is the back side. I ordered from the back - a three egg sausage and cheese omelet and sour dough english muffin, $4.00.

I knew what to expect regarding the "and cheese" - places like this use American "Cheese" (this is the complete and total extent of my food snobbery - I do NOT consider a yellow slice of vegetable oil to be "cheese") for everything. Fortunately, the sausage offered a complete redemption. Crispy on and tasty, and obviously locally sourced. I wish I had remembered to ask the waitress where I could buy some.

I like the place. I've decided that I will now refer to it as "Hank's."

Back at the airport, the clouds had lifted and Trevor finally got his ride.

I'm going to go out on a limb and opine that he enjoyed it immensely.

Back home, I found that my new camcorder, suction cup mount, and quick release latch had arrived.

It looks like the suction cup doesn't provide a very firm mount for the pan/tilt gadget.

That's okay, though, because the suction cup without the pan/tilt works very well. I will proceed with building the wing panel that the pan/tilt will bolt onto. That would offer the best of both: I could have the new camcorder fly in the cockpit for the pilot's eye view and have a (borrowed) GoPro mounted outside on the wing in a "best of both" setup!

I did want to do a quick test of the new camera, so I took it out to record some of the daily play session with young Cabot Bennett. The resulting video is a little shaky - I was throwing the Flying Squirrel while holding the camera in my left hand.  Still, I think the new camera works very well.

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