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The Scarlet & Black

Breakfast all day at Frontier

By Eric Mistry

In a small town like Grinnell, all-day breakfast is hard to come by, unless you know the right place to go.

The Frontier Cafe, one of the new crop of restaurants that has recently popped up in Grinnell, specializes in all-day breakfast, but has a plethora of dining options for those who do not enjoy their pancakes or eggs at night.

I recently ventured over to 831 Main Street (just south of The Strand Theater) to indulge in some breakfast for dinner. The Cafe is a casual spot, with a nice, neutral atmosphere, and has a nearly limitless menu, with simple items at very affordable prices.

The decor was subtle, with a few small paintings and plants adorning the restaurant and humble looking tables and booths filling out the dining space. I was seated almost immediately, and a cheerful waitress brought out the extensive menu for our perusal. One thing was immediately evident about the Frontier Cafe menu: lack of options was not going to be a problem–unless you are a vegetarian or vegan, as the menu is fairly meat and egg heavy. There were a variety of options, from traditional fried appetizers, to wraps, to skillets, to salads, to breakfast combos. I opted to try out the mozzarella sticks as appetizers, followed by a Southwestern Skillet with an extra pancake on the side.

The mozzarella sticks made their appearance merely minutes after I placed the order, and I dug in immediately to the fried, cheesy goodness. They were well-fried, traditional and tasty. My skillet arrived soon after we finished the mozzarella sticks. Two nicely cooked sunny-side-up eggs laid on a bed of southwestern grilled chicken and a pile of hash brown potatoes, served with a few pieces of rye toast, pre-buttered. The pancake filled the mid-sized plate that it occupied, warm and accompanied by butter, jam and syrup.

The food at the Frontier Cafe, though it was rather predictable for a diner and lacking any intense flavors, was well made and filling. The food was easy to eat, and this is helpful for stimulating conversation, with less attention being necessary for eating. I found my skillet to be a generous portion and a good value for its cost. As I ate, I felt very relaxed in the casual environment and was able to enjoy my meal. The dining room was filled with a few families enjoying dinner, some eating wraps or sandwiches and others indulging in the breakfast fare. The chatter of the restaurant was a nice background for the meal, filling in the lulls of conversation.

The Frontier Cafe stands to join other breakfast-oriented student favorites, such as the A&M Cafe and the Westside Diner, as a popular casual option at any time. The broad menu, inexpensive prices and fast service make it a good place for eats.

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