Chappell Hill Cafe – (***)

Posted on January 2nd, 2007 in Brenham,Restaurant Reviews by EngineerBoy

8966 Highway 290 E

Chappell Hill, TX 77426

Phone: (979) 836-0850

We recently moved to Brenham, and today (Sunday) we decided to follow one of our old Houston traditions of going out for a big Sunday breakfast. The only problem is we couldn’t find a single restaurant in Brenham that was open for breakfast on Sunday morning! We drove around to several likely candidates, but Mynagirl had already suggested the contigency of heading to the Chappell Hill Diner if we couldn’t find anything open. See, we have learned in our few months here in Brenham that almost nothing local is open on Sundays. Sure, the normal chain restaurants and retail outlets are open, but just about anything owned and run by locals is closed (which is strange for a town that is such a weekend tourist destination, but oh well).

Also, note that we have heard rumors of an IHOP being built in Brenham next door to the new Walgreen’s that’s being built across the street from HEB. We CANNOT wait for both of them!!
Anyway, back to the Chappell Hill Cafe. True to its roots as a highway crossroads establishment, the diner was in fact open, and was busy but not crowded and there were no delays with seating or food. We were extremely surprised and happy to find that there was no smoking allowed, as the place has the rustic feel of a die-hard, countrified, don’t-tell-me-what-to-do, smoker’s last-gasp stronghold. But it wasn’t…yay!

The place was clean but not fancy, the wait staff was pleasant and efficient, and the patrons were a mix of farmers, local townies, transplants (like us), and highway voyagers. We both ordered indulgent breakfasts including eggs, grits, hash browns, bacon, sausage, hotcakes, and french toast (we didn’t each get all of these things, but we purposely ordered more than we could eat in order to sample a broad swath of the bill of fare). The food was served quickly and was hot and fresh (the skillet sausage could have been a titch warmer for my tastes, but I ate it anyway). The only thing I didn’t at least take a sample of was the coffee, and Mynagirl said it was good diner coffee.

Everything was delicious. We both ate more than we intended, but less than we could have given how tasty everything was. Overall this was a great place and we’re defintely going to keep it in our rotation.

Okay, now for our one minor quibble. When we were about 3/4 of the way done with our meals the waitress comes over and cleaned the tables on either side of us by spritzing Fantastic on the table tops!!!!!!! The acrid, chemical stench was overwhelming and we each had to stop eating/drinking and cover our mouths to keep from gagging. She spritzed and spritzed enormous clouds of the stuff out into the air like Tinkerbell spreading magical pixie dust!! It was dis-gus-ting! If we hadn’t already almost finished our meals this might have ended up ruining the entire experience, but after a minute or two the stench died down and we were able to finish our meals.

But, WTF??!???!!? Don’t restaurants know by now not to spritz atomized chemicals into the airspace of the tables where patrons are eating?? And if you must use something, how about water with vinegar or lemon juice or something a little less toxic than Fantastic!!????? Sheeeeesh!!!!!

Anyway, end of rant. Overall, barring that one issue, we really liked this place and will be coming back. However, if they continue to assault their patrons with chemical weapons we just may end up skipping this place and just waiting for the IHOP.

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