Over Horsebarn Hill and through Storrs Wood to Gramma’s Comfort Foods we went! Previously, we have been looking at cafes, to middling results. This week, we went to an actual breakfast spot.
Located in Mansfield Center, Gramma’s is set in an actual house that would compare to your grandma’s. The picket fence, green mats that resembled grass and the welcome sign on the door made the space inviting.
We got to the restaurant around 9:30 a.m., a little earlier than usual. Other than the sound of “Tom and Jerry” playing on the television and the sounds from cooking in the kitchen, the restaurant was pretty quiet, but business picked up later in the morning as we were leaving. This gave us an opportunity to take in the space. We were struck by the intimacy of the restaurant. The restaurant consists of two rooms and about 10 tables, with the kitchen setup in the main room adjacent to some customer seating. The small setup with the kitchen in the same room made you feel as though you were eating at someone’s house. There is little flair to the place, mainly a few wall hangings and picnic-patterned tablecloths. Altogether, it felt like a grandparent’s house: Familiar and comfortable.
The service we got at Gramma’s hammered home this feeling. We were greeted when we first got there and offered coffee before even choosing our seats by the electric fireplace. The server was friendly, chatting with us throughout the meal and checking in, giving suggestions for the food. Similar to Dog Lane, the coffee was plain, with a bit of a watery texture. It was okay overall, but it only came with one refill. This wasn’t a problem for us, but it is something to keep in mind if you need more.
We looked at the menu over coffee. Among the standard brunch items, foods labeled with “Gramma” stood out in bold. We ended up ordering homemade corned beef hash, alongside an egg and cheese bagel sandwich, a side of potatoes and a rolled pancake.
Our order came out fairly quickly, but the corned beef hash took an extra few minutes. The main items were on pale yellow plates. The corned beef hash came out on a mini skillet, which gave the presentation a quirky touch and made the food look more special. The meal’s presentation was simple — similar to that of your grandma’s house — but the food looked delicious.
The food is what really stood out, though. The bagel for the sandwich was grilled such that the crust was just a bit crisp. The egg was lightly seasoned, giving it a new flavor all its own. The whole meal was delicious and filling. We were very impressed.
The rolled pancake was so massive and delicious, we barely finished it. The thick pancake itself was yummy. The whipped butter and powdered sugar was a welcome addition. The flavor from the cinnamon apple filling cooked into the pancake, and altogether it felt novel. This was the highlight of the meal.
The corned beef hash was simply delicious. The corned beef and well-seasoned crispy potatoes were worth the extra time and money. With it, the server offered us a sample of homemade hot sauce, an example of the hospitality Gramma’s offered. When it came out, we were eager to try it. The sample of the homemade hot sauce gave the hash a welcomed, tropical tang.
Our meal cost $24, reasonable for the amount, variety and quality of our meals. All in all, our trip to Gramma’s was pleasant. Between the welcoming staff, quaint setting and delicious food, we found it to be a great spot for brunch. The nostalgia and food this spot offers makes this restaurant the perfect getaway from the bustle of campus, even if only for an hour.
Peter Fenteany is the associate opinion editor for The Daily Campus. He can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.