Sometimes good food moments are planned, while others come by chance. Memorial Day weekend, David and I, along with my brother and his family, were in Atlantic City, and wandered into Perry’s Cafe to grab a quick breakfast before going to the casinos. (OMG, I had chips on the roulette table by 10:30am! I’m hardcore… that or really pathetic.) I didn’t expect much besides a generic diner breakfast, until I saw the menu. Perry’s Cafe had scrapple!
I’d been meaning to try scrapple at Egg in Williamsburg, but on the weekends, it’s a bit hard to commute anywhere for brunch. It’s an ordeal enough waking up at a respectable hour and dragging myself to a restaurant in the Lower East Side. I’m not a morning person. So finding scrapple, when I wasn’t meaning to, was a welcome surprise.
I ordered two eggs sunny side up with scrapple, home fries, and a side of toast for six dollars and some change. The scrapple was fried extra crunchy, and the insides were a hot mash of salty pig offal richness. The taste of organ meats was very subtle, not overbearing, and my brother said the taste was reminiscent of fried chicken skin more than anything. Everyone enjoyed it, even my sister-in-law who told me liver makes her throw-up. It was a pleasant vomit-free morning.
Later that day on the boardwalk, after I lost some serious coin at the Taj, my brother kept suggesting we get some funnel cake. I’m not really a fan of funnel cake, or doughnuts for that matter. Strangely enough, the smell of doughnuts makes me want to puke. (Although, oddly, I have an affection for the jelly doughnuts at the Doughnut Plant.) We tried to dissuade him, but when he brought it up again for the billionth time, my sister-in-law, Hannah, finally relented and got him a plate of funnel cake with mint chocolate chip ice cream ($5) at St. James Cafe.
The funnel cake was made fresh-to-order and was good as funnel cake can get. I liked the crunchy edges, but it needed some more powdered sugar. We all had a few bites, but no one really loved it. I think at the end my brother finished it, but only because he didn’t want it to go to waste. We were both raised to finish everything off our plate.
Now after trying the scrapple in AC, I think I may have to drag myself over to Egg one of these weekends. As for funnel cake, I think that can remain a distant AC memory, like the money that disappeared from my wallet.
339 Pacific Avenue (betw S. South Carolina Ave & S. Tennessee Ave)
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
St. James Cafe
Corner of St. James Place and the Boardwalk