Many Sundays I opt for a visit to Bedside Baptist, but on this morning I mustered up the strength to get gussied up and head out to church service. In my rush out of the door, I grabbed a yogurt from the refrigerator, knowing that if I didn’t my stomach would rage war with my psyche. As the reverend was minutes away from ending his sermon, my stomach began to yell to my psyche, “Remember the Alamo!” So began the war.
After asking a few Facebook followers for some brunch suggestions, Page’s Okra Grill was a unanimous vote, so my sights were aimed toward Mt Pleasant. To my dismay, I discovered that Page’s closed at 2:00 PM, and the time was 1:45PM…definitely not enough time to make it to Mt. Pleasant from North Charleston before closing. Enter the stomach…attacking the psyche…
In my desperation, I pleaded with Siri in hopes to find a brunch spot near my church. She guided me to Iron Dog Diner.
Located just a mile away from Park Circle, and walking distance from The Beard’s job, I must have passed this place dozens of times and not even noticed its presence. This diamond in the rough opened over two years ago as Ragamuffin Sugarshop bakery. Now along with its tasty sweets, the diner has a menu sure to please even the most discerning critic.
Your salivation may damage your electronic device, so take a moment to get yourself situated.
In true brunch form, I opted for the chicken and waffles. The salty beast within was never a huge fan of the this combination. The salty beast prefers the saltiest of meats to accompany my waffles, pancakes, and french toast. My eyes skipped over all of the other ingredients and went straight to hot sauce: salty, tangy, spicy greatness.
While I waited for my food, I decided to take a look at the decor. Whenever I go to diners, I can’t help but think about the lunch counter sit-ins of the 1960’s. I sometimes take a brief moment to imagine myself in that era, and humble myself in that moment to be thankful for progression. As I exited my DeLorean and entered the restaurant, I heard the sounds of The Beatles followed by Fats Domino. The decor of the restaurant helped me with my time travel. The best I could call it is 1960’s-country-minimalist-shabby-chic.
My server explained that his mother selected the decor and his sister is the baker. Delighted to discover that this is a family business, I embraced the feeling that I belonged there, like sitting in the home of an old friend drinking bottomless cups of coffee and the occasional slice of pie. Even the drink ware matched the decor.
It was only appropriate that John Lennon sang “Strawberry Fields” as my food floated to the table. The sweet aroma of the waffles and maple syrup, the savory scent of the golden fried chicken, and the vibrant color of the small pool of hot sauce put me into a psychedelic trance.
The chicken danced between crispy and juicy. The waffles were soft, buttery and sweet. This was my first time intermingling syrup and Texas Pete, and normally I would be apprehensive. But like a Kermit meme, my psyche listened to my stomach who was cloaked in black, staring deeply into my psyche’s eyes, and simply said, “Eat it.”
This combination was pure satisfaction. I demolished this dish; RIP to chicken and waffles.
I was ready to wrap this brunch up, but someone mentioned banana nut bread…with pineapple cream cheese. Nom to the nom, nom!
I have never met bread that I did not like. This was a classic recipe for banana nut bread, and my first experience having it with pineapple cream cheese. The tangy cream cheese balanced the gentle sweetness of the bread. Personally, I would have enjoyed it more if the bread was warm, but concerning the flavor, this combo is a winner.
Overall, I give the Iron Dog a 4 on the Curlz Chart. The small town diner vibe was perfect for a Sunday brunch. The decor wold please the most discerning hipster or the most nostalgic flower child. So if you are willing to venture away from downtown or Mt Pleasant, head to the corner of Rivers and Barnwell, park in the gravel parking lot, and indulge in the simple satisfaction that is Iron Dog Diner/Ragamuffin Sugarshop.