Tuesday, December 8, 2015

A Return Visit To Flury's Cafe

As any long-time reader of Exploring Food knows, I've reviewed Flury's Cafe several times before on this blog. And I've been enjoying owner Kimberly White's food from my very first visit many, many years ago. I find it ironic when I reread my previous reviews that I occasionally ding'ed particular items she made for having too little (or no) salt, such as her hashed browns or eggs. Interestingly, it is exactly that feature that now draws me in on a regular basis for breakfast or lunch.

I was quite surprised when I first approached Kim with my new diet that she was able to point to quite a few items on her current menu that would be appropriate for me. I also learned that she shares my philosophy that there is way more salt in our food than is necessary. When possible, she would rather make dishes lower in sodium and allow the guest to add salt where he or she thinks it appropriate.

While there are certainly items on the menu where salt is inherently built in (anything with cheese, sausage gravy, fried sides such as French fries or onion rings), I thought I would point out a few of the items on the menu that I've been able to order off of the menu without too many substantial changes (other than my usual request for "no salt, butter, or cheese").

Let's start with the potato pancakes, scrambled eggs, and a small cup of sour cream, all lightly dusted with paprika:

The difference between the potato pancakes and the regular hashed browns is the addition of onions and eggs to the potato pancakes. Cooked in a combination of canola and olive oil, the potato pancakes are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. The majority of salt on this plate comes from the scrambled eggs, about 120mg of sodium for two eggs. The sour cream, interestingly, does have sodium, but at only 10mg of sodium per tablespoon, it is an acceptable amount and adds a nice acidity and richness to the pancakes.

Next up is my standard breakfast order, the vegetarian omelet with hashed browns. Occasionally Kim makes awesome homemade jam, and if it is available, I may also get a slice of dry wheat or rye toast as a vehicle for jam delivery*:

* The omelet comes with hashed browns and toast, I sometimes just omit the toast.

Kim uses regular sandwich bread for her toast (which can have anywhere from 150 to 200mg of sodium per slice). Considering that the only other sodium in the dish is the 120mg in the eggs for the omelet, having a single slice of toast is an acceptable amount. The omelet is filled and topped with sauteed spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, and red bell peppers. Both the original Tabasco sauce (the red one) as well as the jalapeno-based sauce (the green one) are available if you like things a little spicy. The green one is completely out (150mg of sodium per teaspoon), but every now and again I'll shake on a bit of the red one (35mg of sodium per teaspoon).

While regular sandwich bread is used for toast, Kim bakes her own buns for sandwiches and revealed to me that each bun only has about 150mg of sodium. Paired with a single or double burger or the grilled chicken breast, it makes for a delicious sandwich that can be kept under 300mg of sodium:

Of course, you have to forgo any condiments or the delicious housemade pesto (which I adore, but can't have due to the presence of cheese in the pesto), but you still get a juicy burger or chicken sandwich with lettuce and tomato that's also filling. Unusually, Kim uses chicken that isn't brined before grilling, so the chicken is 100% okay to order at Flury's.

As I mentioned before, none of the usual sandwich sides like French fries or onion rings are on the low sodium list, so whenever I get a sandwich, I usually order the spinach salad minus the bacon and substitute the housemade balsamic vinaigrette for the warm bacon dressing:

The vinaigrette isn't necessarily low sodium, but if I just use a very small amount to lightly dress my salad, I'm not too concerned about it.

Kim always has some kind of baked good to tempt you with at the end of your meal. In the past I've normally said no to these (even when I was eating salt). However, in the past couple of months, she has also had fresh fruit available to be eaten at the restaurant or to go. I almost always say yes to an orange, apple, or banana, even if I don't intend to eat it at that very moment.

Normally I hit up Flury's Cafe for breakfast on days that I don't walk in the early mornings, so maybe once a week. But Kim and Flury's Cafe has been on my no-salt radar since I first realized I had to change my diet. Whenever I'm craving breakfast food, this is the first place that pops into my head. Most breakfast/diner places can offer you eggs without salt, but Flury's appeal is that you have additional options, too.

One thing to note about Flury's Cafe is that they recently moved from their old location on Sackett Avenue in Cuyahoga Falls to their new location on the corner of Front Street and Portage Trail, also in Cuyahoga Falls. Free parking is available in one of the two parking garages just north or south of the restaurant. They are open Monday through Saturday for breakfast and lunch and can be reached at 330-929-1315.

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