Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Kappy's - Maitland

"I've been coming here for 25 years." The lady said.

She was sitting at the picnic table opposite us with her son. We were waiting for our orders to be called out when she struck up a friendly conversation to pass the time. Asking us if we had come through before, we told her we were rookies. Having heard nothing but positive things about this place from our friends we figured it was about time we gave it a go.

25 years.

Do I even need to continue this little review? That's gotta be what, like 200 in mom and pop restaurant years? The amount of time Kappy's has managed to stay open whilst Quiznoses, Firehouse Subses and Subwayses popped up and down this popular street speaks volumes.

Located just north of Horatio on 17-92, Kappy's has been slinging Philly Cheese Steaks and other assorted burgers and subs to Maitland's residents for (apparently) over a quarter century. After we dove into our order, it was easy to see why.

From the street Kappy's looks almost like a broken down mechanic's garage. It's not bright, it's kinda a dingy white. It's not flashy, it's a bit run down. The sign looks like something those dude's from American Pickers would squabble over and the inside looks like the joint where Marty ordered a Pepsi Free in part 1. However, as we all know, one should never judge a book by its cover.

We parked the car and walked in the door, there you find yourself alongside a row of classic vinyl bar stools lined up at the counter. On the other side, a grill, the menu and a couple of friendly employees.

Like I said earlier, we hadn't been before, but we were tipped off on the Philly Steak. Ordered one of those and the gal asked us how we liked it. They offer an assortment of veggies you can throw in that sub, you can get it as a Chicken Philly or even pizza style (with provolone and pizza sauce). Didn't get too fancy, stuck with the red peppers and onions.

Here's the thing, as you probably are aware, most Philly's are served with steak that is chopped or sliced thin, like steak-ums. At Kappy's they serve it that way or their way which is more of a ground steak texture. Reminded me of that place Roseanne worked with the loose meat sandwiches.

So, we got the highly recommended Philly, Kappy's style. Check. I also wanted to get something a little more unique to Kappy's. That's when I noticed "Earl's Special." As soon as I saw it on the marquee, it had to be mine. A juicy cheeseburger topped with hot pastrami. BINGO! Talk about a tale of two awesomes. Ordered a side of fried mushrooms with ranch for dipping, and we also got a side of their waffle fries.

After we ordered we sat down and took a look at the other items available on their menu: Chicken Parm, Philly Pizza Steak, BBQ Beef Sub...quite the variety. The waitress asked if we planned on eating at the counter or outside and we decided to go take a seat on the bench outdoors.
The mother and son also waiting for their order told us they always get the Philly when they go there. She told us, "I never get the red things though (peppers). The best way to do a Kappy's Philly, is just good ol fashioned onion and mushroom, try that next time.

Well nice lady with very limited vocabulary, I think we just might.

7-10 minutes passed, maybe less...when the sliding window popped open with our order. Opening it up, everything came wrapped in white butcher's paper. There were very little grease spots though. That's a good thing, (technically speaking) but I'll be the first to admit, sometimes the site of a nice translucent wrapper is just what the doctor ordered. Plopped open my side of fried mushrooms first, not bad. Crispy on the outside, warm and juicy on the inside. Hey, it's hard NOT to mess up a fried side item though. I reckon you can't get too excited when they are good at timing how long something should be sitting in boiling oil. Speaking of deep fried treats, the waffle fries were equally delicious. Not stale, not lukewarm/cold. Hot and tasty--like they should be.

Grabbed the Philly and the burger out next. Both were very dense. A good sign of things to come. My juicy cheeseburger was in fact quite juicy and stacked thick with delicious pastrami and the hoagie was packed with chopped up steak goodness. The peppers tasted fresh as did the lettuce and tomato on top of my sandwich. You know what wasn't packed and stacked though? The Bill. Appetizer, fries, drink and two mondo sandwiches all came to less than 20 bucks after a few bills were thrown in the tip jar for good service. That's karma you know? Maybe next time they'll throw a few of those fried mushroom in my Philly, now THAT'S an idea!

As we enjoyed our dinner beneath the glow of neon lights, I wondered how busy Kappy's actually got. We arrived just before closing on Saturday night so only a few patrons came and went as we ate. I can't imagine that place during a lunch rush. The lack of space inside would make it not unlike a can of sardines. Add a line around the building waiting at the walk up window and that could spell a long long wait for those who are tyring to get it and go. Of course, this is just speculation, maybe my next trip back will be at noon time during the work week to check-in on such notions.

I think Kappy's is an EXCELLENT excuse to play hookie, so I just might go ahead and do that.

501 N Orlando Ave
Maitland, FL 32751
(407) 647-9099
Open until 9:00 Monday through Saturday and until 4:00 Sunday