Beats and Eats: Lucy in the sky with bacon

Columnist George Schramm finds the perfect hangover helper.

So who had an exam this past week? Who went to celebrate at the bars or a party? Who drank too much? "Woooo! College!"

But now what happens? You wake up in the next morning (yes, 1 p.m. is still the morning) with a throbbing headache, a queasy stomach and a hunger for something more than just Tylenol and yellow Gatorade. You want a big plate of pancakes as large as your head. You want sausage in the form of patties and links. You don't want to wait in line for Waffle House and you have no idea where IHOP is.

With chain restaurants ruled out, there are few restaurants with satisfactory breakfast choices. Here is one of the best.

Lucy's Corner Cafe, across the street from Trops downtown, is the perfect down-home-feeling diner option. Located at 522 E. Broadway, it is easy enough to find when you finally peel yourself off the floor. The hours are strictly based in the morning: on Saturdays, the Cafe is open from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Lucy's has two small dining rooms and a bar where you can watch your food be prepared right before your very squinty, baggy eyes. But this breakfast destination is not only for the hungover college student. The shop is always packed with regulars who have a clever rapport with the staff. The portions are extremely generous: the pancakes are roughly 11 inches in diameter and have been known to defeat even the hungriest of my friends.

The Cafe would be out-of-place as a stop before prom –– it is extremely plain. There are no crystal chandeliers, no tuxedoed wait staff and no champagne. But for the laid-back Columbian, this is a great place. I am 100 percent not a morning person, so having a calm place to wolf down some carbohydrates is perfect for me.

I sat at the bar to cut down the wait time (I was late for the basketball game). My friends both got two huge pancakes, eggs, hash browns and bacon. I had biscuits and gravy with sausage links and the biggest possible Dr. Pepper they could give me. The hash brown recipe is extremely special because these were some of the best hash browns I have ever eaten (and yes, I do eat a lot of hash browns). The pancakes were huge and tasty and required copious amounts of syrup to cover them efficiently. The gravy for the biscuits was thick enough to make a fork stand straight up, and being from the South, that is the only way gravy should be served. Unfortunately, the biscuits were a bit dry and felt microwaved.

The food was not expensive at all, and I don't believe any of us had a bill larger than $7. The most exciting and memorable experience was when one of the two gentlemen working the grill looked outside, yelled "Meter maid!" and ran outside to feed more change into his parking meter. The entire bar section had a good laugh as they watched him stare down the meter maid.

The service was quick, and we were served by Lucy herself. All in all, the place was great. Maybe a bit greasy and sometimes a bit too bright for hungover eyes, but for a cold winter morning, it was just what we needed. It would be okay for a date, if you are into breakfast dates. I think it would be better served as a place you could go with some friends on the weekend. I don't ever give the restaurants I review a rating, but I would give this place a thumbs up for food, a gold star for price and a happy face sticker for wait staff.

I know that I am just a food columnist, but as an aside for this week, I would like to acknowledge the journalistic world right now. With the tragic and sudden death of David Carr, the suspension of Brian Williams and the retirement of Jon Stewart, there will be many changes coming soon. Most people outside the journalistic world won't know the story of Carr or know why he is so important, but he was on the forefront of bringing journalism into the technological era. That history, paired with his harrowing past overcoming drug addiction, made Carr one of the most interesting people in journalism. Stewart became one of the biggest political and media watchdogs in modern memory. His retirement from “The Daily Show” will open him up to many new projects that will be nothing short of the 20 Emmys he won during his tenure. For Williams, the future is uncertain, but I agree with his network in saying he deserves another chance. Newsworthiness requires strong narratives, something Williams was great at.

All right, I'll go back to food now.

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