Saturday, May 19, 2012

Charleston Edition: Thelma Fay's Cafe

I was out of options for a Sunday lunch, so I turned to Twitter for suggestions. I received a few responses, many of which I hope to try on my return trip, but one place in particular was named by three separate individuals: Thelma Fay's.

I hadn't heard of Thelma Fay's. But if three people whose opinions value, I thought I'd go ahead with it. Besides, these home-cooked, hole-in-a-wall places sometimes have the best food.


This pink building doesn't have a devoted parking lot, so we circled the block for awhile trying to figure out where to park. We finally got a space and walked inside. I noticed some mismatched framed art on the walls, as well as some records. A few long tables decorated the wall on the left, and a couple single-person booths lined the right wall. We walked back toward the counter. I noticed the wall to the left had "Thelma Fay" herself, along with tons of signatures. At the counter were a few menus. We took them to a booth and looked over them.

The man behind the counter asked us what we'd like to drink, and he filled us up some styrofoam cups and handed them to us. I said thank you, but he just walked away. Their Sunday brunch menu looked fabulous - eggs benedict, eggs Thelma Fay (with smoked salmon), bagel & lox, and Captain Crunch french toast.

I had a hard time narrowing down between the Captain Crunch french toast and eggs benedict. I decided to try to be an adult and order the eggs benedict. After a little wait, our food was served. Two English muffins, topped with poached eggs and hollandaise sauce. I bit down to only taste some bland, mediocre soft food. I tried again, sopping up more hollandaise to get some more flavor. Nothing. Where's the rich, buttery flavor? That mild tang? Absent.

I finished one muffin/poached egg combo and sent the rest away. This fabulous brunch item was reduced to a mediocre dish that I didn't want to associate with. It was simply … there. The service was questionable, at best. And the food was nothing to be desired.

You know, I love when I can find a great little diner that has an outstanding dish that you could find in a 5-star restaurant. But this wasn't my experience here. 

Maybe I ordered the wrong dish? It's hard to say. But I hold those who suggested the place in high regard, so I must just need to try a different dish. Captain Crunch french toast it is!

I did, however, try one fried cheesecake bite from a friend who ordered them. They were quite tasty. Fried desserts hit this odd comfort food in all of us - they're so good, but so bad to love them.

Grade: C
Thelma Fay's Cafe on Urbanspoon