Gailey's Breakfast Cafe
Springfield, Missouri in 2016
Today, I'm thinking back to a cozy rainy day, about 6 years ago. Don and I stopped at a corner fountain drugstore, for a little breakfast.
It was a chilly fall day and that made the place look all the more inviting.
I have fond memories of eating at drug stores, when I was a kid. It probably seems odd to kids today, to think that people would grab a sandwich or have a malt at drug store. Do kids even know the term drug store?
Gailey's doesn't have the drugs anymore, but they did when John and Beulah Gailey opened in in downtown Springfield, in 1942. John was a pharmacist and Beulah cooked up burgers and served malts.
Dining at the Counter
When we stepped inside, I saw the stools at the counter and was reminded of Cunningham Drugs in Grinnell, Iowa. I remember being a kid and heading over to Cunningham's after visiting Dr. Grimmer, for my annual check up. I would carry the prescription that Dr. Grimmer had written out on his pad.
I'd step inside the drugstore along with Mom and a sibling or two. Then instead of going to the pharmacy, we'd go straight to the lunch counter. I loved climbing up on the stool and holding out my prescription... my prescription for "One Ice Cream Cone". Much better than drugs!
Table or Counter?
Don and I were glad we actually had options for seating when we entered Gailey's.
The kid side of me wanted to sit at the counter. But Don was in the mood for a chair. We found a good table with a view of the whole place.
It was 9 am and it was a chilly, damp morning.
As much as I wanted to revisit my childhood memories with an ice cream cone, I needed coffee and breakfast.
Savory or Sweet?
Don's scrambled eggs with tomato, mushrooms and feta was perfectly savory. The waiter handled a little hash brown error, by scraping the sweet potatoes from Don's plate. Eventually his regular hash browns arrived, but they were a bit cold.
French Toast and sausage was my choice! The sweet syrup was just what the doctor ordered on a drizzly morning!
Coffee and Eavesdropping
Actually the coffee was just what the doctor ordered. I wish my doctor today gave me free prescriptions for coffee!
As I sipped away, I listened to all the upbeat jabber at the counter. As I woke up with my coffee, I realized the counter was where all the action was.
A Visit to the Counter
After stuffing myself with sweet break and syrup, I decided to head over to the counter for a little entertainment. I could watch the foods sizzling on the grill and see what others were ordering.
Sadly I realized that I'd missed out on a very curious breakfast option. Pancakes & Peanut Butter Sauce! It was fun watching this very pleasant server, scoop up big spoonfuls of peanut butter and swirl the mix over the tops of 2 huge steaming pancakes! How did I miss this specialty on the menu? Next time!
Before departing, I took a quick look around. I tried to imagine the original Gailey's a half century ago. Was this rounded wall always there?
A quick trip to the restroom, gave me a peek at the original brick. It was nice that they preserved some of the brick, when they remodeled with the earthy-modern sink.
I stopped to peek at some framed news clippings before we headed out the door. I love it when an iconic restaurant or cafe, spotlights their history. I paused and read a little about the Gaileys and their business.
Today I look at the photo and my eyes were drawn to the title, "Gaileys still like to treat the little guy like king." I wish I could read the smaller, blurry words. I've forgotten the story. But I'm happily reminded of when I felt like QUEEN, eating my ice cream at Cunningham's!
I love adventures at old drugstore cafes! I'm glad this one is still around!
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The Dining Blog
This is a blog about Dining Adventures. Sometimes, I talk about food. Below, you can read how this started.
On July 4th 2011, I set a goal to try 50 culturally diverse restaurants in one year! (I knew that was possible, living in the Houston area) I spent the year pulling in friends and family to join me, on some unusual dining adventures. I met some curious people, tried some scary foods and explored places and cultures I never would have otherwise. Even though I met my goal, I learned too much to end my adventures in dining. I have continued blogging about memorable dining adventures of all kinds, near and far... and all the discoveries and funny things I've learned along the way!
Locations and types of dining adventures, are listed further down.