Trendy places are a mixed bag. On one hand, you get the thrill of peerage with an in crowd. On the other hand, you endure overrated, overpriced, and jam-packed conditions.
I suggested Succotash for breakfast with a friend, knowing that it might be one of those muddled experiences. I had heard that the weekend waits are atrocious (by Kansas City standards, anyway). On our weekday morning visit, the bohemian diner bordered on deserted. I arrived first and peered through the plentiful windows to make sure that the restaurant was indeed open.
The hostess asked us if we needed a high-chair. As we each had a baby in tow, we asked for two. Evidently, she meant “a” in the literal sense; the establishment had a sum total of one high chair! If that isn’t a deterrent to patrons with children, I don’t know what is. Since Christie’s daughter is already mobile, we deposited her in the lone high chair, and baby Emma squished into a spongy pleather banquette with me.
We were there too early for lunch, and our pickings were limited to the lackluster breakfast menu. The afternoon offerings appealed to both of us more. I would love to try the grilled cheese with artichoke hearts and smoked gouda, their “lemony lima bean hummus,” or the greek salad with beets, olives & garbanzo beans.
I settled on the Swedish pancakes with lingonberries. Christie ordered an omelet. It arrived fairly bursting with spinach, artichokes and goat cheese.
My pancakes were unremarkable. Limp and slimy, they weren’t light enough to be crepes. The tart lingonberry filling was definitely a highlight; it would be great on traditional pancakes as well. Our home fries were essentially terrific hash browns with an aggrandized name.
When the check came, I was astonished to see that we would each be shelling out $16 for our entree and coffee. Overpriced indeed. When I lived in Los Angeles, visits to hipster hangouts often involved celebrity sightings (albeit real and imagined). Succotash’s boho-grunge interior is reminiscent of the calculated grime inside L.A.’s funky Westside diner, Swingers. However, unlike Swingers, Succotash is no hotbed of hobnobbing. The $9 pancakes do not come with a starlet sighting.
I will say that the location is ideal. It’s easily accessible from both Midtown and Downtown, and parking is a breeze. The lunch menu might merit a second visit. However, I’m not sure that my bank account would agree. The next time I get a hankering for breakfast in the Union Hill area, I’ll hit the nearby You Say Tomato instead. At YST, a mere $3.50 will buy you eggs and toast, and for $2.25 more a steaming latte.
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