Once again, PI Publisher Despotissa Heirusalem Crystoma is on the road to Pennsic and dining at various spots near Cooper’s Lake on the way.
This year, Heirusalem’s daughter, Flora, is traveling with her. We miss Cally and her astute observations of the local cuisine. Therefore, we’d like to dedicate these new reviews to her.
Today, Heirusalem and Flora ate at one of Heirusalem’s favorite spots, Johnson Sisters' Café.
Johnson Sisters' is just west of Cooper’s Lake on 422 West. It is on the south side of the road. In previous years, the sign was hard to see because of trees and other signs. It is much more visible this year. The café is a homey little place, reminiscent of the Kopper Kettle that we all miss so much. The décor is homey, too. You will never get the same plate or cup twice! There is AC, but it works best in the dining room. The counter is the smoking area, and the separate dining room is non-smoking.
Food: Home-style, home-cooked meals. This isn’t your average truck-stop food. Everything you eat at Johnson Sisters' is cooked at Johnson Sisters'. The most fabulous items are the baked items, made at the restaurant. Heirusalem’s favorite of these baked goods is the apple dumpling. If you order one, be prepared to share. It is as big as a Duke’s head! They also have the very unique and delicious cantaloupe pie. This is something everyone should try! The coleslaw is amazing, too. Made from purple cabbage, it is sweet and creamy.
Heirusalem’s favorite breakfast: The pancakes. Be prepared to take some of it home with you unless you have a huge appetite! Served with maple syrup. Best with the link sausage.
Flora’s favorite breakfast: The French toast. It’s yummy!
We’ll be back with comments about the lunch and dinner. Flora hasn’t had a chance to try those yet.
Heirusalem and Flora had dinner at Johnson Sisters' tonight. It was a real treat! We met up with Jim from Jim's Self Storage (it is his favorite place, too) and got to chat with him and with Allison (one of the Sisters) for a bit.
First, the food. Heirusalem had the meatloaf dinner. Lots of homemade gravy over the meatloaf and mashed potatoes (good news for those trying to get Aitch to gain weight!), and a side of the wonderful cole slaw. The meatloaf was tender and not overly spiced. It wasn't served with ketchup, either. It was filling, excellent comfort food.
Flora had the all-you-can-eat spaghetti. One plate was more than enough to fill her up. She enjoyed it, but enjoyed Heirusalem's meatloaf more. :) For dessert, Aitch and Flora took home a piece of apple pie and an apple dumpling. They enjoyed those as a late-night snack back at the hotel.
Stuff they learned: One plate of spaghetti is enough to fill a fighter, probably. Allison told a bit more about the restaurant, too. Original sister Adrienne is still at the store. Now her daughters, including Allison and sisters Erin and Lauren, are helping run the place. Allison's daughter, Ashliegh, is also helping with the restaurant. Erin does most of the baking. She's become famous locally for the apple dumplings. Erin also came up with the recipe for the cole slaw. Sister Lauren created the cantaloupe pie. Allison described the cantaloupe pie as being cool, smooth, and creamy for a hot day, but not too heavy. It has a light, unique flavor that everyone should try.
The sisters plan to have daily specials just for SCA folk during War Week. It is a wonderful place to go no matter what day you make your town run or plan to arrive or leave!