If there were any justice in the world, people would be lined up for blocks outside of Ivana’s Cafe in downtown Plano for their biscuits and gravy.
Ivana’s opened on East Main Street last spring, but in August the building was heavily damaged in a fire and the owners had to close up shop. They reopened last November at 12 W. Main St.
Ivana’s serves breakfast and lunch, and its quaint, warm interior includes a chalkboard menu with the daily specials. On the day I visited, the specials included a Polish sausage omelette and lunch specials like homemade lasagna and pork stew.
The cafe is also unique because it offers Polish specialties like pierogi, potato pancakes, cheese blintzes and kolaczki.
They offer the traditional breakfast fare, like skillets, eggs Benedict, pancakes, waffles and French toast, and lunchtime staples like burgers, sandwiches and wraps. But their other lunch menu items include hot turkey or meatloaf sandwiches, or entree platters with pierogi, sausages and other flavorful delights.
When I arrived at Ivana’s, it was a little later in the morning, after the early morning rush, but Ivana’s was a happening place. I was immediately greeted by my server and given a menu, and that’s where the biscuits and gravy come in.
I fancy myself a bit of a B ‘n’ G connoisseur, and have my favorite go-to places in the Fox Valley region. Technically, biscuits and gravy isn’t hard to make, but it is easy to screw up.
I scanned the menu and my eyes quickly fell on a breakfast treat called the “Half & Half”: a half order of biscuits and gravy served with fresh American fried potatoes. I ordered some sausage patties and toast on the side as well.
The meal came out quickly and it was hot and fresh. The biscuits were perfect and soft and the gravy had tons of flavor. It didn’t specify this on the menu, but the American fried potatoes, which were crisp and delicious, came smothered in the sausage gravy as well.
The sausage patties were perfectly cooked, and the toast came with jelly or jam that appeared to be homemade or at least tasted like it was.
It was a generous meal for a good price. The most expensive item on the menu is $9.99.
The Mystery Diner came away full and satisfied. I will definitely be back to Ivana’s Cafe again, and soon.
• The Mystery Diner is a newsroom employee at the Record Newspapers. The diner’s identity is not revealed to restaurant staff before or during the meal. The Mystery Diner visits a restaurant and then reports on the experience. The Mystery Diner is not intended to be a restaurant critic but does highlight the parts of a dining experience that he/she can recommend.
If you go
What: Ivana's Cafe
Where: 12 W. Main St., Plano
Hours: 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. all week, except for Fridays – 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Information: 630-429-8127 or Facebook