Time of Entry: Sunday, 11:30 a.m. Though I had not consumed enough Saturday night beers to make my 4-foot-9-inch frame hung over, I regretted the early hour. Luckily, the diner is not annoyingly cheerful -- just endearingly kitsch -- and the waiter was not too chipper. Good Sunday morning etiquette.
Prescription: The atmosphere at Mae's Cafe is as much a part of the place as the food. The black-and-white tiled floor that winds through at least three separate dining areas could prove nausea-inducing, but, for those photophobic individuals, there is a cave you can eat in, carved wooden stalactites and all. The room we sat in was "all cows go to heaven" themed. According to the Web site, Mae designed it to feel as though you were in Wisconsin, her home state. The other dining area at the front of the restaurant has walls painted silver, making you feel as if you're sitting in the Tin Man's chest.
Photo by Erinn Unger
My dining partner ordered the short stack of pancakes and I, the huevos
rancheros. The tortillas were slightly crisped and the eggs were piled
high with what appeared to be salsa. It was made of tomatoes, but there
was no spice, which would be just as well for a hangover stomach (for
everyone else, a little Tabasco will do the trick). The black beans
were slightly salty and delicious, with the sour cream just taking the
edge off. My only complaint was that I asked for my eggs poached hard,
and when I stuck my fork into one, the yolk ran all over the place.
All in all it was simple, delicious fare. The best part? My U-Pass got
me a free cinnamon roll. But not just any cinnamon roll -- a gooey,
bready spiral of wonder.
Hair of the Dog: I grabbed a toasty cup of coffee, which
was refilled many times. Mae's roasts its own beans, too. If you truly
need extra calories to soak up last night's booze, the cafe also serves
shakes. Yes, at breakfast.
Success of the Soak: Good. A stack
of flapjacks, a mug of coffee, and an hour of staring at a cow-print
countertop will get you feeling sunny-side up after a boisterous night.