Shipwrecked at Riley’s

Our last day in Cedar Rapids before we move permanently. It was time to get something besides the hotel breakfast buffet (which was quite good by the way, but the same thing every day). I had scoped out two places nearby. After I failed to find the the first I headed toward Riley’s Cafe. I had passed this place numerous times while driving around the hospital. I thought it was a bar.

Parking was scarce on the street but they did have limited parking in the back. We snagged the last spot and entered through the back door. My kind of place! This is the stereotypical midwestern breakfast place. Reminded me of Dad’s in Three Rivers. Everyone here is local, everyone is a regular. Cheap decor, cheap food, big helpings. Love it. We have one similar place back home that I don’t like but that’s because of the seating.

And seating was almost a problem for us. The center of the restaurant has a near communal seating which I don’t like, not back in Georgia, not here. I guess I’m just not that friendly. But we found a booth in the corner window up front. Ordinarily I never sit at booths because I don’t fit. I hate booths and I hate that I can’t fit in one. I took a gamble on this one. It was tight but I managed.

I don’t know if there was more than one server working the whole front or not. As forgetful as she was, it too several requests for my wife’s coffee, I think she may have been covering alone. But she was friendly and helpful.

The Nine Year Old ordered chicken and waffles, no syrup, no gravy. It came as two chicken tenders on top of a Belgian waffle. Exactly what she had hoped for! She said the waffle was awesome. She didn’t finish the tenders but I thought hey were pretty good as far as chicken tenders go.

The wife got some kind of combo. Came with biscuits and gravy. This was a big test for Riley’s since she is a full blooded Georgia girl. And they failed. Miserably. She said the biscuit was OK, not made from scratch. She ate it with jelly. The gravy she deemed inedible. I have to agree it looked repulsive. Gloppy and glue like.

I ordered the Tex Mex Shipwreck. Shipwrecks seem to be a Cedar Rapids thing. I’ve noticed at least four other restaurants advertise a shipwreck for breakfast. Down south it would be called a skillet, except that it is served in a bowl rather than a cast iron or clay skillet. Mine had slices of rib eye steak, onion slices, sliced jalapeƱos, black olives, and tomatoes, and then it is topped with cheese sauce, black beans, salsa, sour cream, guacamole, green onions. Can you say awesome!!!! It would have been better with melted cheese rather than the Monterrey Jack cheese sauce that they use. I couldn’t finish it though it was so much food. I’ll be looking forward to more shipwrecks in my life.

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Tex Mex Shipwreck