Hen House Eatery-Sebastian-3-Stars
"If someone feels afraid to tell you honest criticism, then you're never going to improve." -- C. Sprouse
I recently received a lot of backlash for a post on the closing of yet another Big Boy rated 1 Star restaurant (in this case the Alamo in Rockledge). People seem to think that I was joyful in the fact that a family business closed and that, as I was informed after my post, the owner had recently passed. Neither could be further from the truth and to think otherwise is insulting. My goal is to give an unfettered review so that the restaurant in question can make improvements where needed and, more importantly, so that the hard earned cash of the dining public is not wasted on food unfit for human consumption. In order to do so, I do not accept any free meals or partnerships with any kind of eating establishment and I also take lots of pictures to give my followers an unfettered view of the place to go along with the written critique. With that in mind, we begin our sojourn in Sebastian, FL.
Almost directly across from the Inlet, on the mainland is where you will find the Hen House Eatery. As I began taking pictures outside, a waitress came out and started snapping my pic. While it was flattering (Look, Ma! I'm (in)famous!), I didn't quite understand why she was doing that, but we will get back to that person anon.
Having been shown to a table and handed a menu I quickly got to work and set to scrutinizin' the offerins. Not finding anything out of the ordinary or overly ambitious, I had my mind made up when Laurie, a different waitress than the snap-happy one I encountered outside, approached my table to take my order. Laurie is truly a great server. She is polite, warm, charming, confident and knows the menu as if she "lives it, breaths it, owns it." She took my order for a BLT&E sandwich with a side of home fries and a single pancake succinctly and with a promise to return soon, departed.
It wasn't all that long before I saw Laurie gleefully returning to my table laden with my chow. Everything looked warm and fresh with the steam still curling off the home fries and smelled very appetizing. As the smell of the bacon began to work its voodoo, I found the BLT&E mysteriously in my mouth. After one look and one bite, I realized the extent of the cook's talent. The egg was a perfect over-hard and with the addition of fresh Bibb lettuce and thick slices of just picked tasting tomatoes, this would have been an exemplary sandwich had it been on any kind of homemade bread, as it was on industrialized white bread, albeit toasted, it fell flat on the palate. Another thing that would have set this BLT&E apart from its contemporaries would be Applewood smoked bacon as opposed to hickory smoked bacon. Hickory smoked bacon is so 20th Century! The side of home fries fronting this average namkeen were outstanding in every possible way. They were made fresh on site from what appeared to be unblemished tubers, seasoned to perfection and as one can see by the photos fried to sublime doneness and heaped generously on the plate.
Moving on to my single pancake. This was a step down from the "doctoring up" the sandwich experienced as I found the pancake to be grainy, flavorless and the syrup to be fake, industrialized flavored corn syrup (oh, nummers...). It's not all that difficult to make a pancake from scratch so why the use of crappy Sysco dry mix along with artificially flavored and colored corn syrup is a mystery to me, unless, of course, the owner looks upon their customer base as nothing more than an uneducated conclave of gilpins. I can't speak for motives, but I can speak to the public at large, hence this unbiased, unfiltered, honest review of the foodstuffs found on their menu.
As I stated above, Laurie was exceedingly professional and competent in her job duties and the cook really worked wonders with the ingredients given, as such the 3 Star review despite crappy Sysco food and the 100% tip I left. I don't mention that to put on airs or to give the impression I do that often. I don't. However, in this case, I thought it justified by the aforementioned reasons which is why I was shocked that I was followed outside by the very same obnoxious New Yorker that snapped my picture before entering. Once again, she began taking multiple pictures of me and then screamed at me in a heavy NY accent, "How do you like it?" as she turned and ran back inside. I paused for a second before entering the BBDO mobile, scrunched my eyebrows and wondered what that was all about while I found myself disturbed by her spot-on impression of a paparazzi.
The Big Boy says, "for suped-up Sysco fare and excellent service along with quaint surroundings, make the Hen House Eatery your destination. Just make sure you are well groomed in case their resident pouncing paparazzi is working." #iamthebigboy #bigboydiningout