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Comet comfort

Comet Café
1947 Farwell

I’ll admit it. I love diners and dives. People think that restaurant reviewers spend all their time in fancy places eating exotic food. But food doesn’t have to be exotic or fancy to be good, it just has to be properly prepared and well presented. After all, what is meatloaf but a rough textured pate? Pasta au gratin? Just mac and cheese with a college degree.

Comet’s made-from-scratch comfort food is truly soul food, all-inclusive soul food. Too many chefs and restaurants owners toss a veggie burger or a grilled Portobello on the menu and consider themselves vegetarian-friendly. But Comet, where at least one quarter of the menu features items that can be made vegan or vegetarian, proves that vegan and vegetarian food can just as soul-stirring and satisfying.

That doesn’t mean that carnivores get the short end of the pork chop. Burgers, meatloaf, deli sandwiches and lots and lots of bacon fill up the other 75 percent of the menu. For something unique, try the “Compact Turkey Dinner,” a combination of roast turkey, stuffing and mashed potatoes presented as a trio of large fritters, topped with gravy and a side of the veggie of the day. What no cranberry sauce?

On our most recent visit, we stopped in for breakfast on a chilly Saturday morning. Even at 10 a.m. we faced a 30-minute wait. We had to crowd in with all the other people in line and watch one mouth-watering platter after another pass by. It was either that or stand out in the cold.

Normally I wouldn’t wait that long for a table. I use my Bette Midler rule: I adore Bette and would stand in line for an hour to meet her. Everything else is judged by that standard. Well, I’d wait almost that long for a meal at Comet. Maybe even longer, if Bette was my waitress.

Back to Comet’s breakfast (definitively not brunch), my semi-vegetarian husband devoured his breakfast burrito, a wonderful mélange of scrambled eggs, cheese and salsa wrapped in a giant tortilla. Ranchero sauce on the side and fries substituted for hash browns made this filling dish a steal at $8.

I clogged every artery I could with the Comet Benedict. A fluffy (if slightly charred at the edges – just like Mom used to burn them) biscuit is topped with a fried egg and a slice of cheese is slapped on top to weld the dish together. The entire dish is then doused in sausage gravy, not bad for $7.50! A side of fries mopped up the excess gravy nicely.

After such a sinful meal, I couldn’t even think of dessert. I do want to get back and try one of the yummy looking homemade sweets. The choice then will be pie, Ho-Ho cake or carrot cake.

Maybe Bette will help me decide.

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