Personal Shopper: Take my quiz and recharge — at Cindy’s

By From page A5 | August 03, 2014

It’s a question life asks us on a regular cycle: When all hell breaks loose, you’re more likely to:

A) Pray, meditate and seek the comfort of loved ones;
B) Exercise, eat right and get more sleep;
C) Engage in a boatload of indulgent behavior.

For me, the correct answer is C. As if there were a question to begin with.

A recent challenge reminded me of this quiz, but the chaos surrounding me was so time-consuming, I was forced to dial back my little party. No drop-out days at the spa. No extravagant purchases. And no drunken benders.

Yep — that bad.

Working around the clock on a special project, I allowed myself only a few forms of leniency: an uptick in profanity, fists full of chocolate and Sunday breakfast at my favorite comfort food source — Cindy’s Restaurant, at 4823 Chiles Road in South Davis.

The ’70s throwback atmosphere, friendly staff, dressed-down ease and soul-feeding home cooking makes this Davis’ most surprising dining experience. It’s also one of the most affordable.

For starters, everything seems to be made from scratch, as if Grandma herself (circa 1950) is barking orders in the kitchen. Even the orange juice is freshly squeezed.

The country-kitchen menu is also textbook, making decisions the second most difficult part of any visit.

Suggested omelets and scrambles (or those you create), assorted skillets served with eggs and tortillas, godly goodness from the griddle, breakfast meats prepared without taste and texture-killing shortcuts, and rib-sticking options like chicken fried steak, biscuits and gravy, and corned beef hash offer plenty of choices for everyone.

As for me, I vacillate between the combo (two eggs and two pieces of bacon or sausage served with a choice of pancakes, French toast or waffles) and a random assortment of sides like a plain biscuit with butter, fruit and hash browns.

(On crankier days, I’ll add hot chocolate with extra whipped cream.)

Over the years, I’ve loved this restaurant for more than its food. As we all know, Davis can be an intense place to live, but at Cindy’s, there’s an unspoken timeout — a quasi safe-zone — from our duked-out politics, race for titles and me-first/screw-yours competition for all things having to do with our kids. I have no idea why this is the case, but I do have a couple of ideas:

Perhaps seeing fellow patrons dressed in what might actually be their pajamas restores us to a friendlier, gloveless demeanor. Or, more likely, it’s the corresponding food coma packing enough strength to slough off even the most hardened edge. Either way, we’re all equal at Cindy’s — treated to honest food by employees who value us as customers. Not our résumé.

As for the single most difficult component of a Cindy’s sojourn? Finding the quickest available home surface for an epic Sunday nap.

— Heidy Kellison lives and shops in Davis; her column is published monthly. Reach her at [email protected]

Heidy Kellison

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