Happy Chef

Thursday, May 29, 2014

The first week of May, my sister and I went with Grandpa to hang some of my Grandma Colleen Carson's artwork at a hospital.  On our way home we stopped at Happy Chef in Story City, IA.  
The place was spacious (the photo above only shows half the dining facilities), and since we did not come at a common eating time we had the restaurant pretty much to ourselves.  

A young waitress seated us and handed out menus.  I was shocked at the prices: $8.00 for an hamburger, $9.00 for a grilled chicken fillet, $11.00 for a chicken cobb salad, not to mention the prices of the chef's signature dinners ($15.99 for a New York Strip: that would pay for two all-you-can-eat lunches at the International Buffet in Waterloo and 3 McDoubles, and you'd still have change to spare). 
Most of the items on the breakfast menu (served all day) were between $6.00 and $12.00.  Grandpa and Charity both ordered 2 pancakes, an egg, and bacon (about $9.00)
There was plenty of syrup: maple, blueberry, and one other flavor, and it was used very generously as, according to Grandpa, the pancakes didn't have much of a taste.  My sister said the egg was ok, but couldn't be compared with the farm-fresh free-range eggs we are used to.  The bacon was good.

I ordered chili soup (about $4.00).  The bowl was heaping with soup, and I could only finish about half before I was stuffed.  The crackers were good, but the chili could not compare with my Grandma's (which is a lot more juicy).  The chili tasted ok, but it needed a *lot* of sour cream!  When I first went to the desk to ask for sour cream I was given 2 small portions of sour cream.  When I came back the second time, the lady gave me a whole dish of it!  It certainly made the chili a lot better!
If you need to find a place with good syrup, crackers, and sour cream, Happy Chef is the place to go.  The pricier dishes might be better (the $15.99 New York Strip has to be be really good to be worth that much...), but if you don't want to spend that much on a meal, stick with McDonalds...or the International Buffet.  


  1. My family and I haven't been there in such a long time. Good memories as a kid, probably not so much if you're paying for all of it as the adult. That's probably why we don't make an effort to go there very often. ;)

  2. Ahh...childhood memories make any place sweeter. It would be neat if someday we could stop at some of my old favorite eating places as a child... There were a couple wonderful Mexican restaurants and an all-you-can-eat place in Portland that I really liked, but that's half a continent away now. :)