TheQuick: Key’s Cafe and Bakery

Favorite to many a Woodbury resident, this particular part of the family owned chain sits plopped in what I like to call the Mall of the Forgotten. Five minutes in this mouse maze of a mall, and you’ll be quick to find that the only cheese holding the place together is Key’s cafe. Well unless you have need of a dance class, would like to learn to give a haircut, or have been searching for a  religious artifact for your altar that is.  The restaurant has a nice indoor open air area facing the mall runway. On a nice day you can have yourself a bountiful meal inside, and gaze upon the barren hallways. Take in the flavor of imagining yourself in the movie the Dawn of the Dead much like I do. If dining with friends you can also play the ever popular Woodbury game, “guess how many different businesses used to be here”. Sadly the restaurant’s indoor viewing area isn’t large enough to also allow one to catch an eye full at the giant fish tank like exposure of the dance studio. It sure would be good to feast upon a nice chicken dinner whilst watching people learn the chicken dance. Now I could be wrong and often am, but something tells me this mall was at one time the prototype for the town’s grand plan to become a metropolis of upscale goodness. A remnant long cast aside, whilst they simply hop to other regions to take stab after sporky fork stab at realizing their dream. The wonderful dream of an oasis of upscale shopping and more Subway restaurants in a town, then actual subway trains in New York. Fortunately though this mall still stands, and it’s a haven to a couple business refugees who came from another failed mall attempt just one town over. So it has it’s uses, and I’m sure in the winter it’s a hotbed of action. There is something to be said by this establishment and their tagline, “Woodbury’s only indoor mall”, and that something is they need a better tagline.

Regardless of it’s location this cafe is a hustling and bustling pot pie of hearty goodness. If you’re looking for comfort food they have it, and it’s a heaping steaming delicious healthy size. A portion that hearkens to the days when it was alright to eat half a pig worth of bacon at one sitting, and not get a lecture on healthy eating. The pancakes are huge, almost majestic really, and the turkey sandwich looks like a whole turkey was shoved up in it. It takes so much effort to slather so much loving in their dishes that they don’t even have the energy to make their own syrup, or at least pour the store bought stuff into a generic bottle. As a point of fact, the amount of effort and work to put together such a pristine array of plentiful dishes is sometimes so daunting, that the staff will take breaks to huddle up and talk about the latest town gossip. It’s got everything that comes to mind when I think of a small town cafe. The wait staff even calls you at least ten different kinds of honey while filling your coffee cup regardless of if you actually ordered any. Be warned though, all that goodness gravy comes at a price. A few things folks out in these here parts love to do is eat. Especially eating at a restaurant that puts wild rice in something, or has any kind of fish that sounds old timey. So don’t plan on getting right in the door for breakfast in the morning. If you’re a true blue breakfast junkie, and can have it anytime, wait till the afternoon and scarf down your cakes and sausage on their outside patio. The outside patio boasts a picturesque view of the parking lot, and is conveniently down wind from the smoking area. Hell if you’re true blue you’d be at Al’s Breakfast early in the morning anyway. So when you wake up hung over on a Sunday around 2ish, hit up Key’s, but don’t take my word for it, here’s the quick.

Toast and Swine side of log cabin

The Good

  • It’s probably the most food you’re gonna get at a restaurant in this town for 10bucks.
  • The staff is courteous and the refills on coffee plentiful.
  • The omelets are as big if not bigger than Chipotle burritos and you can get almost anything in them.
  • On a crowded day, if you’re rolling solo you can skip the line and just belly up to the counter.

The Bad

  • The staff is so friendly it’s sometimes creepy. Are they flirting? Why they wanna be all up in my business like that?
  • The coffee is plentiful, but you need alot of it to have any effect.
  • Lunch and church crowds can have you waiting there at least 30 minutes. So that’s 30 minutes of staring at their branded merchandise.
  • Why no bacon pancakes?

The WTF

  • On a slow day look out for the people bussing tables, they may just clean your table off when you hit the bathroom even though you’re not done.
  • They have branded merchandise for sale.
  • They boast about having pancakes the size of manhole covers, but on an off day why do they taste like them too.

 

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