After a pretty successful two-day stop in Pittsburgh, we had to leave the city of steel for Buffalo, an All America City.
Considering the lack of breakfasts around the hotel, we decided to hit the road and get out of town before getting breakfast. We also knew that the weather would get nasty near the lake, so giving ourselves some extra time wasn’t a bad idea at all.
A bit less then 60 minutes out of Pittsburgh, we decided it was time to stop. Portersville was the next exit on the I-79 North, and we followed the sign for Brown’s Country Kitchen. It was a couple of miles off the highway, but it was certainly worth it.
Portersville is a very little borough of less then 300 souls. There was nothing much there that I could see. But Brown’s Country Kitchen was open for business, and there were a few locals having breakfast when we showed up.
The two sixty-something ladies who were operating the place were in full control, in a very efficient yet friendly fashion. One of them must have been Gretchen Brown, co-owner with Harold Brown, but I didn’t ask. It didn’t matter. What mattered: the prices were cheap, but would the food be?
Not at all. Everything was fresh, very hearty and classic American comfort food. Jerry went for a classic breakfast, eggs & sausage. I decided to be a tad bit more adventurous: Steak and Eggs. For 8$, are you kidding? I couldn’t pass on the opportunity. I was even more adventurous when she offered me the option between a classic strip or a Country Fried Steak, and I went for that.
I never had a country fried steak before, but I figured Brown’s Country Kitchen was the perfect place to try this delicacy. A Southern US dish, country fried steak is usually made with round or flank steak, which you tenderize before dipping in a milk and egg mixture, before breading it in seasoned flour or bread crumbs. You then fry the steak in a skillet, although it can be deep-fried. In fact, it is often called chicken fried steak when this technique is used.
My food arrived, and it smelled fantastic. It was greasy, but I don’t think it was deep-fried. The meat had really been tenderized, so tender in fact it almost looked like ground beef. The breading was slightly peppery, but not too much. My steak was served with scrambled eggs, which were respectable, and delicious home fries, fresh, chunky and crispy. I highly recommend you stop by if you are in the area – much better stuff then the fast-food breakfast you can find along the Interstate.
Well-fed, we were on our way to Buffalo, an All America City. I had one goal in mind – make it. The weather got nasty here and there, at some point we could only see 20 meters ahead. But we made it, although it took us longer then expected.
Next step: lunch!