the breakfast dictator [215]

The Runcible Spoon | Bloomington, IN

Posted in Diner Review, Travel by thebreakfastdictator on October 11, 2009
Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict | The Runcible Spoon

Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict | The Runcible Spoon

I can’t count the number of times I visited Bloomington between 2004 and 2006, when my sister was an All American Field Hockey player at IU. When in town, most of my free time was spent at the Bloomington Bagel Company, which is a fantastic little joint in and of itself. Somehow, though it was right around the corner, we missed the Runcible Spoon, a small house turned restaurant in 1976 (and at the time was the only gourmet coffee roasterie in the entire Midwest) which was named one of America’s 59 Best Breakfasts by Esquire Magazine earlier this year.

We got there “early” for a Saturday morning (11am) and the wait was surprisingly short — about five minutes. Owner and head chef, Matt O’Neill, seated us himself while busy servers gracefully zipped around the maze-like dining room floor carrying massive trays of food over their heads and smiling as they did so.

All of the Spoon’s coffee is imported fair trade and roasted in house. Burlap bags full of raw, green, beans are visible next to the massive bookshelves full of literary classics and contemporary reads. Our server was more than likely an IU student who recommended the Eggs Benedict, and, though I rarely take the server’s recommendation, I jumped all over the Smoked Salmon Eggs Benedict (on a Croissant) and added sliced tomatoes. I’m not sure I could have made a better selection (though, perhaps, she made it for me), but that is yet to be decided because the chances of making a return visit early tomorrow are rather likely.

There was some slight confusion over where the term “Runcible” came from, so we asked our server and she gladly handed us a full-menu, complete with a full-description:

A runcible spoon is a utensil that appears in nonsense poetry, which also uses the adjective “runcible” to describe objects other than spoons. It is fundamentally a nonsense word.

Quoted, on said menu, is Edward Lear’s poem The Owl and the Pussycat (the very imagery to adorn the Spoon’s outdoor signage) which reads:

They dined on mince and slices of quince, which they ate with a runcible spoon.

Unfortunate as it is that I missed out on this fantastic breakfast joint for the most of three years, it was most certainly worth the nearly 700 mile trip from Pennsylvania to Bloomington, not only for the fantastic food, but also for the eclectic atmosphere, which most certainly represents Bloomington well. The total tab including tip was $16, but I’d’ve paid twice that to again experience a breakfast this grand.

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