The Southern “Big Breakfast”

It seems that every region has its variation of the Full English Breakfast. The folks down south like a nice, big, full breakfast too. Down south the meal is known as the “Big Breakfast” or “Sunday Breakfast”. The breakfast includes eggs, ham, bacon or sausage but often includes rice, grits and biscuits. A very popular southern breakfast is sausage gravy which is made by slicing sausage and frying in a pan. Put the cooked sausage aside and using the grease in the pan create a roux by adding flour, milk and seasonings until you have created a thick gravy, to which the sausage is added. Sausage gravy is traditionally served over buttermilk biscuits and the meal can include sliced tomatoes and hominy grits. Variations of the big southern breakfast include rice, seafood, spicy sausage, cheyenne and other cajun spices.

Fairgrounds Diner – Carlisle

On Tuesday October 18, 2011 we (Craig, Bill and celebrity guest reviewer Kathy) decided to visit the Fairgrounds Diner at 1111 Spring Rd in Carlisle. Our last visit and review was in July 2010, so we were due to revisit. As we approached the restaurant we noticed that the side street was parked full. Soon we realized it was because the restaurant parking lot was full. We finally got parked in a spot someone had just vacated and it was literally the last spot in the lot. It was no surprise that the restaurant was packed. We asked for a booth but there were none left so we took one of the few remaining tables. Despite the crowd we quickly had drinks and our waitress took our order. Kathy had the pumpkin pancakes. Craig and Bill ordered breakfast wraps, which came with home fries. The prices seemed very reasonable, the daily two eggs and home fries special was under $2 and the 2 eggs, home fries and meat was priced at $4.25. Our wraps were priced at $5.95 and the pumpkin pancakes were 3 for $5.95. Our food came out quickly and it was very good. Overall we had a very good meal and service at the busiest diner we’ve ever been in on a weekday. The staff acted like it was business as usual and we think that the Fairgrounds Diner has discovered some secret formula for success, like consistently good food at reasonable prices with service to match. We liked it, we would stop back again, and we wish them continued success. If you’re in the Carlisle area maybe you should stop by the Fairgrounds Diner and see for yourself why so many people go there.

Category             Bill                    Craig                       Kathy

Eggs                      3                       3                              3 

Potatoes                2                       2                              2 

Sides                     2                       2                              2

Drinks                    2                      2                               2  

Service                   3                      3                              3

Atmosphere            3                      3                              3

Cleanliness             3                      3                              3

Totals                    18 / 21            18/21                        18/21