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With dreams of steak and eggs I set out for Hotel Circle and Adam’s, home of the eponymous specialty and sister restaurant to the legendary Albie’s Beef Inn at the Travelodge. I don’t think they’ve changed much at Adam’s since the 1960s, so calling it “retro” would be a misnomer. Smooth jazz worked it’s way through the airways in the darkened restaurant and it was old timey enough that I half-expected a cloud of cigarette smoke to hang over half the dining room. The menu was printed on the placemat and the coffee came in those cups that flare out at the tops and bottoms for easy holding. Classic.

Naturally, I ordered steak and eggs ($13) with a side of buttered grits and toast. I had expected a monstrous portion, suitable for the ravenous appetites of Midwestern tourists, but the modest cut of beef and pair of gently griddled eggs was a reasonably sized breakfast. I’m about 95% certain that my steak had been microwaved. The drawn-together texture of the meat, uneven coloring, and outpouring of clear juices all indicate cooking via radiation. I was not impressed.

There is some redemption in Adam’s menu of “eye openers,” i.e. booze for breakfast. I love the idea of a $5 Ramos Fizz or Milk Punch (brandy, cream, egg white, vanilla and nutmeg? Yes, please!) after a big night out. The dark serenity of the restaurant suits a little post-party hair of the dog and I could envision chilling out in Adam’s with a group of friends, nursing sugary cocktails and going over the previous night’s vices. But, unless I specifically wanted the morning drinks, I’d be more likely to end up down the road in the Waffle Kingdom.

Adam’s Steak ‘n Eggs
1201 Hotel Circle South
619-291-1103
M-F 6:30-11:30AM
Weekends 7-1

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Comments

Visduh Feb. 8, 2013 @ 9:28 a.m.

So, is Albie's still there? That one I remember, having gone there a few times about thirty years ago. (It was the first restaurant that I remember offering carnitas, and introduced that dish to me. And it wasn't a Mexican restaurant at all.) I know that it was already old fashioned in the early 80's, and attracted an affluent crowd on the north side of age 50.

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Wabbit Feb. 8, 2013 @ 10:05 a.m.

Albie's is still there! Probably the same crowd there, too!

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Ian Pike Feb. 8, 2013 @ 11:13 a.m.

Yeah, Albie's is still right there and the decor is still crystal lamps and, like, nude impressionist portaiture. It has a reputation as a 50+ social scene....and a place for people in that age bracket to meet up for mixing and mingling.

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Visduh Feb. 8, 2013 @ 12:12 p.m.

Now that I'm well past that cutoff myself, I should pay a visit.

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Ed Bedford Feb. 8, 2013 @ 4:41 p.m.

"The drawn-together texture of the meat..." Wow. I never knew the signs of microwaving. Except the clear liquids thing. And microwaving makes meat look plumper? I've learned a lot today.

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Ian Pike Feb. 8, 2013 @ 4:53 p.m.

Quick and dirty explanation: microwaving boils the liquid inside the meat which cooks the muscle fibers super quickly and they kind of contract and make the meat look all scrunchy so the steak compresses horizontally but grows a little bit vertically. Plus, you get really uneven cooking and funny, greyed out colors because you have essentially flash-boiled the meat.

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