When we go out for a Cheap Eats, we always try pick a few interesting dishes that will be fun to write about. At the Rapids Restaurant, we found several, including one from the specials board we hope makes its way onto the menu.
The Rapids Restaurant, open for less than a year in the spot at the end of a plaza that once housed Jackie’s Family Restaurant, looks like a regular family restaurant. The room is larger than you would expect from the outside, but fairly plain, with a few booths around the perimeter and many tables, along with a counter.
The place wasn’t quite full when Ruth, John and I stopped in for breakfast on a Sunday morning. We found plenty of classics and familiar comfort food on the menu, including the traditional offerings for breakfast, which is served all day.
There also are sandwiches, burgers, wraps, salads and soup made from scratch, as well as six dinners, served starting at 3 p.m., which range in price from $7.99 for liver and onions to $9.59 for roast beef and gravy. Meatloaf, chicken breast, turkey dinner and country-fried cube steak complete the offerings. A pasta dinner is $6.99 (add meatballs for $1.79), and chicken parm is $8.79.
Breakfast starts at $3.25 for two eggs and toast (or just $2.99 if ordered from 7 to 9 a.m. Monday through Friday).
We also checked out the specials board near the kitchen, which is small and relatively easy to miss if you’re not a regular. Don’t miss it.
Service was prompt and relatively friendly, although when we asked what the stuffed French toast was stuffed with, our server said she didn’t know and never found out – or if she did, she didn’t tell us. Now, to be fair, we already had placed our order and were just curious, but it still would have been nice to know. Cream cheese? Jalapeños? Our imaginations ran wild.
We forgot about the mystery French toast stuffing when our food arrived on brimming plates. Everything was blazing hot, a must for breakfast.
The Hash-stravaganza ($6.99), described as homemade corned beef hash with two eggs and toast, was a delicious, crispy disc of obviously kitchen-made hash, topped with two perfectly cooked over-easy eggs. The hash was meaty and delicious. Our sole quibble is that we would have liked to see a bit more hash to fulfill the promise of a hash-stravaganza, but it was certainly filling enough.
The Ultimate Mess ($7.99), ordered solely because of its name, was served in a large, flat pasta bowl. As promised, it contained diced ham, bacon and sausage, larger chunks of potato, onions and peppers, all united by scrambled eggs and topped with a thick layer of melted Swiss. Other choices of cheese included cheddar, provolone, feta or pepperjack. The menu urges diners to “make it a hot mess by trying our homemade inferno sauce,” so we ordered that on the side. The sauce was, as promised, plenty hot, with a slightly thick, possibly buttery consistency, and a solid heat aftertaste.
Our final choice was a short stack of French toast ($3.69 for two slices), made with thick egg-soaked bread and grilled to golden perfection, with a side of an interesting dish from the specials board – smoked turkey and sweet potato hash. The hash was both a good idea and executed well. The sweet potato was cubed and cooked until soft, then mixed with shreds of flavorful, moist smoked turkey. A very small dice of cooked celery evoked stuffing, and the fried patty of hash was studded with small cranberries. Although the person who ordered it is not a huge fan of either sweet potatoes or cranberries, the dish was exceptional.
If they put that on the menu, we’ll be back for it.
Where: 6310 Robinson Road, Lockport (280-3658)
Hours: 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Saturday; 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Friday; and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Closed Mondays.