Darcy’s Cafe: The farmer’s Perkins

Darcy’s Cafe located at 1015 N Washington St. Photo by Jennifer Friese/The Dakota Student.

I’m poor. There, I said it. And because of this rampant poorness, I usually only eat at fine restaurants that offer a dollar menu and an indoor jungle gym for kids to play on. But since their employees are far too judgmental of a 19 year old playing in the ball pit, I figured I would go out of my comfort zone and give Darcy’s Café in Grand Forks a try.

According to one reviewer on the popular restaurant evaluation site Yelp, a person should visit Darcy’s, “At 7:00 (a.m.), after the farmers leave and before the college students pile in.”

But that was unlikely to happen, since the only thing I’m getting up before 7:00 a.m. for is an 8:00 a.m. class, and even that only works about half the time.

In the end I decided to go for it and arrived at 7:30 a.m. on a Tuesday morning and was surprised to see that the tiny restaurant was already half full.

The morning I visited Darcy’s was a balmy -15 degrees outside, which certainly made me appreciate the fact that it was only a few minutes away from UND.

This trip can be made a little longer if your car doesn’t want to start, like mine did, so plan accordingly.

The only part of my experience at Darcy’s Café that I didn’t enjoy was when my hand froze to the door’s metal handle. On your next trip to the restaurant, I would recommend bringing mittens or somebody tougher than me to open the door for you.

Darcy’s Café has been affectionately referred to as the farmer’s Perkins. By me. Just now. The farmer’s portion of the name is earned by the restaurant’s rambunctious clientele, which I got the pleasure of people-watching for half an hour.

I got to listen in on quite a bit of farmer gossip, which is a lot like regular gossip except there is more talk about the fastest way to skin a coyote.

My cherry red Pontiac Vibe looked a little out of place in a parking lot filled with burly pickup trucks, but that car looks out of place everywhere so I wasn’t too worried.

The second half of the name comes from the fact that Darcy’s Café is pretty much Perkins. I mean this in the most loving way possible, because Perkins has raised me to be the man(child) that I am today.

I ordered a #1, which consisted of breakfast potatoes, 2 eggs, a thick slice of ham and 3 pancakes. The breakfast potatoes were well seasoned, the eggs were perfectly over easy and the ample slice of ham was definitely ample.

But as you already know, pancakes are the only things that really matter.

Perkins has always been my benchmark for awesome pancakes. They’re light, fluffy and lots of other adjectives. So how did Darcy’s pancakes stack up? (Editor’s note: We’re docking your pay for making that sickening pun.)

Well, I will go on record to say that Darcy’s Café makes even better pancakes than Perkins. Don’t take it personally, Perkins, we can still be friends.

The entire meal cost less than $7 before tax, which is an exceptional price for the amount of food you get. I couldn’t even finish my plate, something I didn’t think was possible for a ravenous college student before 8 a.m.

They even have Wi-Fi, if you’re the kind of person that picks your restaurants based on accessibility to Facebook.

Because of it’s excellent food and great value, I’m giving Darcy’s Café a 5 out of 5 stars. It doesn’t matter if you’re as rich as a newspaper editor or as poor as a newspaper columnist, go to Darcy’s. You won’t regret it.

Brendan McCabe is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. He can be reached at [email protected].