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BASE HIT:  Cinnamon roll French toast and grits
  • Kat Robinson
  • BASE HIT: Cinnamon roll French toast and grits
Day five of our Breakfast in Arkansas week, and we travel to Bryant, home of the Home Plate Diner, a teal-and-chrome wonderland inside a strip mall.

I went around 9am on a weekday to check things out. There weren’t all that many people in there when I arrived, and the lone waitress waved her hand and said I could sit anywhere. She came breezing by to ask what I wanted to drink, and when I told her coffee she told me I could help myself, it’s complimentary. She dropped off a menu and went to assist other customers.

  • Kat Robinson
I made my way over to the coffee station. Some of the coffees had run out for the day, but there was still French roast, very dark and deep like French roast tends to get. The diner had placed out all manner of artificial sweetners and flavored creamers as well.

I quickly determined my order (it wasn’t hard at all) and gave my waitress back the menu. At the table next to me, there was a gentleman also sipping coffee. He smiled at me momentarily before being drawn back into his menu.

A group of ambulance service folks came in and ordered up. One of the guys saw the gentleman at the other table and went to have a talk. Seems they hadn’t seen each other in a while. They exchanged stories about their children, compared their ages and commented to each other how they needed to stay in touch more.

  • Kat Robinson
  • Kat Robinson
My waitress appeared bearing a couple of plates and a syrup dispenser. I had ordered the Cinnamon Toast French Toast ($5.69) and the Cheese Grits ($1.69). The grits were pretty plain and relatively unseasoned on their own, but their crown of Cheddar cheese made up with its own saltiness. I savored them, they were well cooked and not gritty like some grits can be. Couldn’t finish them all, though.

It’s the French Toast, though. Seriously, this is a doubly divine dish that didn’t need the proffered syrup. Home Plate Diner makes its own cinnamon rolls — they’re ovoids about five inches in length, soft and packed with cinnamon. The cook slices them horizontally into three, batters them and pan fries them before dusting them with powdered sugar. The egg in the batter makes a mice firm custard that has a denser consistency than traditional French toast; the inherent sweetness of the pastry provides all the sweetness necessary. It is quite substantial in itself. I tried it with the syrup, and while the syrup didn’t take anything from the dish, it didn’t add anything to it, either.

  • Kat Robinson
The table of ambulance service people were just looking up to greet the waitress returning with their food when a call went out. The lady in the group looked at her omelet and sighed; the waitress offered to box it up for her or hold it in the kitchen. One of the guys offered to sit with the breakfast — and the other two took off to handle the emergency. I took off, too, the remnants of my Cinnamon Roll French Toast safely secured in a box.

Home Plate Diner serves up breakfast Monday through Saturday. You’ll find Home Plate Diner on Prickett Road behind Larry’s Pizza on Highway Five in Bryant. They’re also open for lunch. (501) 847-3331.

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