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Entries in Country Kettle (1)

Friday
May112012

Country Kettle

Country Kettle

27 Sterling Street
West Boylston, MA 01583-1281
Phone: 508-835-4027

The text message came in late on a Saturday.  

“Want to go to breakfast tomorrow?”  Breakfast?  Me?  I love breakfast…any time of day.

“Sure, where should we go?”

“Someplace none of us have ever been.”

What an innocuous statement.  Think of all the places everyone coming tomorrow hasn’t been.  (Let’s compile a list of where you HAVE been first!)  Command decision one - go outside MetroWest.

I really like the idea of trying some place new, and quickly looked in my “to do” folder of places to try.  Sadly, no breakfast places.  Hmmm, time to Google.

Amazingly quickly, reviews for Country Kettle started popping.  Amazingly since the restaurant doesn’t have a website.  Yet there were great reviews….and we were off.

Country Kettle is a pleasant drive away, including a trip by the Wachusett Reservoir.  For the past three years the restaurant has been owned by a newcomer to the restaurant world, Wayne Mogel.  Wayne Mogel (Godson of Milton Berle) was omnipresent during our visit, replacing light bulbs outside, getting coffee for those in line, cleaning tables, and generally checking in.  While checking on the place, I came across the attached YouTube video, capturing the man nicely.

Arriving around 9:30, we found the tiny restaurant packed.  That’s an encouraging sign…people are willing to stay in line.  One guy even showed how he was using a cell phone as a baby monitor, yet I digress.

Uncle Miltie’s Godson made sure everyone waiting had some coffee, and couldn’t be more accommodating of the waiting group.

Once seated, we were quickly greeted by our server (daughter of the General Manager.)  She provided the large menu, with a specials menu.

We peppered her with questions and her responses were honest (“Is the hash fresh?”,  “No, it’s scooped directly from a can.)  The curve balls thrown at her, “I’d like an Iced Venti Skim Mocha,” where handled with a smile, and “I’d like one, too.”

Our large group worked through a good sized order, making sure we didn’t overlap, and sampled a lot.

We had Eggs Florentine (two poached eggs, spinach, (really nice) tomoato slices on an English muffin topped with Hollandaise sauce.  The home fries we tasty, with a nice subtle seasoning.

Egg White omelet….just dull, and cooked on too high a heat.

The Polish Scramble was made with kielbasa, uncooked onions, and cheddar cheese.   We were surprised the cheese was on top of the Scramble, and not cooked in.

The (apple) stuffed French Toast was made with large bread slices and nice apple stuffing.

The hash was really tasteless.  A military man suggested he would prefer MREs to the hash.  The frozen rectilinear hash browns were deep fried, and heavy in grease (I suggested I could lube my car with the grease coming off these.)

We had a pancake.  Maybe it is me…I like to be able to cut my pancake with a fork…and not a knife.  Hard and processed is what came to mind.

It was time for the moment of truth…what “grade” to give this on the RAG scale.  It was a split decision. 

As we debated, some themes emerged.

  • The grilled meat products were all overcooked on one side (see picture.) 
  • The use of processed foods led to a quality issues.  Sometimes processed foods can be augmented and enhanced…in this case items like the frozen hash browns, or the canned hash, just disappointed.  We commented on the hash to the waitress when she came by and asked how things were, and as we were leaving the owner told us he removed from the bill.  A nice gesture.
  • Items like the Eggs Florentine or the stuffed French Toast were good.

We then all came to the same conclusion.  The broad menu was leading the kitchen to use processed foods to help with meal times.  If we were consultants to Mr. Mogel, we would suggest he dramatically narrow the menu focusing on those items they can produce perfectly with the freshest ingredients.  Get rid of anything coming out of the freezer.  On the items clearly made fresh, Country Kettle was a hit.

Alas, in the end, Country Kettle missed a bit.  If you are out in the area, give it a try making sure you stay to the home made items.  Sadly, the food wasn’t of a quality to make this a must-go destination.  If it were, this place would be a find!

Hours

Daily except Christmas,
Monday – Friday            6AM – 2PM
Weekends                     6AM – 1PM

Country Kettle gets an

       Amber Light – Use caution

About the RAG scale:

       Green Light – Go and enjoy

       Amber Light – Use caution

       Red Light – Save your time and money