In today’s world, it is very rare for any business, especially a restaurant, to not have a website. At the very least, one would expect a popular restaurant to at least have a Facebook page.
Sometimes I have been frustrated when I try to look up a restaurant only to find nothing but an automatically generated Google+ page.
One restaurant where I ran into this is Chatty’s, a breakfast and lunch spot that continually shows up at or near the top of review sites, but which has no web presence of its own.
Not wanting to miss out on a place that had received so many four- and five-star ratings, I decided to make a trip and accept whatever surprises awaited.
Chatty’s is the centerpiece of the Shoppes at Woodside strip mall along Pricetown Road. It’s a place I had passed by many times on my way to and from the old Muddy’s BBQ location.
On the outside, there is not much to distinguish Chatty’s from the custom kitchen store next door. Inside, the restaurant exudes a more vibrant atmosphere than the exterior lets on. The two long side walls are covered in bright murals, with unique art work, including a three-dimensional painting of a horse and a Rajah Shriner clown. The seating areas, including the counter, have a faux diner look, with the painted black and silver as if it were stainless steel.
The sign inside the door invited us to seat ourselves so we sat down at a table for two in the back corner and perused the single-page menus that sat on the table.
Saturday and Sunday, Chatty’s serves breakfast only, serving from 7 to 11:45 a.m. That means it’s all breakfast: French toast, pancakes and omelets make up the bulk of the menu.
The day’s specials were listed out on a dry erase board at the entrance, and that was as far as I had to look for my choice: cranberry walnut pancakes.
I normally gravitate toward French toast when I dine out for breakfast, but cranberry and walnut are two words that will always get my attention. My waitress warned me that because they were the daily special, the pancakes were only a stack of two. One would have been sufficient. Though not the largest I have ever seen, these were big enough: thick and fluffy, and as big as the plate. The walnuts added a crunchy texture that you normally don’t get in pancakes, while the cranberry provided a different kind of sweetness than syrup alone could provide. After spreading a pad of melted butter on top, my plate achieved pancake perfection.
Not knowing how much food I was going to get with “just” an order of pancakes, I also committed to a side of corned beef hash. Though it was a little salty (then again, I think that’s a requirement), it was tasty enough that I cleaned the plate.
Once she took her first look at the menu, Julie had her heart set on an omelet, opting for a smoked sausage omelet with toast. It is safe to say that Chatty’s did not skimp on the sausage.
Inside was a full sausage link (think Johnsonville-sized) sliced thick and spread throughout. It wasn’t quite as smokey as she was expecting, but it still made for quite a dish. She obviously still enjoyed it as there were no traces left when she was finished.
The diner vibe continued all the way through from fast service—we were in-and-out in less than 45 minutes—to the prices. For all of our food, plus a glass of orange juice for me, our total came in at under $15.
We went in to Chatty’s knowing almost nothing about it, ready for whatever experience was waiting for us. Sometimes a little surprise is a good thing.