BANDON — Imagine a food cart with no wheels ... and four tables to sit at.
Welcome to the Shoestring Cafe.
OK, it's a little more room than a food cart. But not much. There is a cubby hole in the back with enough room for a giant mixer that owner/cook/waiter/busboy Rick Jackson uses to prepare the dough for things like his focaccia bread.
A friend who works in Bandon turned us on to the newer restaurant (Jackson has been open for five months), telling Autumn and I that we had to try out this new place, but couldn't remember the name. She emailed us a few weeks ago with the name, Shoestring Cafe.
So sports editor John Gunther and I put it on our list.
Since he was on vacation two weeks ago, and I was gone last week, this was our first chance to get there.
Located at 175 Second St. SE in Old Town Bandon, Shoestring is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. It is on the left side of the Continuum Center, next door to the Minute Cafe.
Jackson let us know early that he doesn't take plastic, so it's a good thing I had a little bit of cash on me.
With breakfast or lunch to choose from, I'm always a sucker for breakfast.
With options like bread pudding French toast, a daily frittata and breakfast burritos, it was a difficult choice, but I decided on the Classic. For $9, you get two eggs, bacon or maple pork loin, potatoes and focaccia toast. Since I haven't seen maple pork loin on a breakfast menu, I decided that was the way I was going to go, with the eggs scrambled.
The classic breakfast at Shoestring Cafe comes with two eggs, choice of bacon or maple pork loin (seen here) with potatoes and focaccia toast.
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John selected the spicy pork, which comes in the choice of sandwich, plates or wraps. John selected the regular tortilla for his wrap.
The spicy pork comes with marinated roast pork loin, sambal mayo, crisp cabbage slaw (which is house made) and spicy red onion. There was also a little dish of the spicy mayo on the side.
As the meal came, John tested the spicy mayo.
John said he enjoyed the wrap and that once again, he didn't have to worry about leaving hungry.
I thought my meal was portioned just right. Too often, we think more is better, but better is better. And when portioned correctly, you leave satisfied, but not overstuffed.
Jackson said this is his sixth restaurant, having worked in everything from country clubs to bed and breakfasts. He did joke around that this was the smallest though.
And don't think that small space means small taste. Jackson has the flavor combinations going and some of the techniques are quite unique. The breakfast potatoes were wonderful. I even asked him how it was done, and it made my head spin. The easiest way to describe it is as very thinly sliced scalloped potatoes, which are then cooled, sliced and a wedge put on the flat top to give it a little crust.
That, and the maple pork loin, great combo. I'd have this again in a heartbeat.
Then again, that French toast does sound awfully tempting.