A few of the things you may enjoy on The Breakfast Club's patio: exclamations over weird, giant beetles with arcing antennae; warrior kids playing with sticks in the parking lot; and semi-serious sentiments from tale-swapping locals like, "I got on the riding lawnmower and said, 'OK, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John, make this thing go on and on."
The inside is a love letter to that decade when Generation X planted its flag. The small, square dining room is papered with posters from Ghostbusters, Caddyshack and that most sacred creation of all things celluloid, Ferris Bueller's Day Off. A shelf above the register holds Cabbage Patch Kids and heroes in a half-shell, while another wall shows off Billy Idol's glower and Jane Fonda's legs.
This is the dream come true of 46-year-old Stacy Troy, who says she first thought of owning her own restaurant around the same time that The Breakfast Club came out in 1985. With a mantra to never settle, the East Coast transplant has gone from Johnson & Wales University to The Club at Flying Horse to her own space at the former R&R Coffee Café (which has moved into a larger space across Black Forest Road).
Though the off-and-on service could best be described as "casual," it's very friendly. Actually, the whole place sort of glows with the feeling that people are glad you're there, making you glad you're there.
Some highlights from the menu: the bottomless coffee ($1.89), a custom blend from Barista Espresso; a gigantic, homemade blueberry muffin ($3.89), toasted crisp on top and covered in butter; the biscuits, hiding stretchy warmth under yeasty shells; and baked beans adorably served in little crocks and chock-full of brown sugar.
Lots of sandwiches and wraps, too, though heartier breakfast options like the Hungry Like the Wolf ($12.89) — a feast of sausage, ham, bacon, beans, creamy grits and home fries — abound.
The Breakfast Club Panini ($8.89) combines a fried egg with grilled chicken, Jack cheese, tomatoes, avocado, bacon and "Sriracha caramelized onions" which never seemed to really bite, but did do a little dance. The Wild Side ($8.89) comes off more dynamic, though still similar, with its chicken breasts covered in Sriracha-honey sauce, combined with Pepper Jack and tomatoes. A Summer of '69 sandwich ($8.89) shows off some spicy, grilled green-pepper with fried egg and gooey Provolone, but the chipped beef's hard to taste even when eaten off the plate.
The gluten-free crowd is left to fend for themselves, but vegetarians may dig the fresh-tasting Welcome to the Jungle wrap ($8.89), even if the slippery melange of avocado, grilled mushrooms, spinach, peppers and onions never coalesces into something truly memorable. Meat-seekers should grab the thick sausage, which gets into your sinuses and rings your bell. The Enter Sandman sandwich ($8.89) shows it off well, and throws in ham and American cheese over scrambled eggs.
Lastly, there's the Devil Went Down to Georgia ($6.89), a sugar sledgehammer featuring a croissant stuffed with marshmallow cream, peanut butter and bananas, then battered, cooked and covered in Hershey's syrup and whipped cream. It's, um, overwhelming.
Whether or not you dig that, you have to love how Troy has created a place people want to be, a place to sit for a spell and watch the kids play. After all, life moves pretty fast: If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.