All-day breakfast eatery entices shoppers with tempting treats

Sophie Bates, Editor in chief

More than a typical breakfast joint, the Iron Rooster won over my friends and me – despite a 45-minute wait.
Starving, we entered the restaurant Dec. 3, took in the rustic patriotic feel of the dining area (two flags hang tapestry style amid dark wood tables) and mustered the energy for shopping before returning to a satisfying, caloric meal.
The chain opened its third restaurant in Hunt Valley Black Friday, Nov. 30. Two other Iron Rooser restaurants are located in Baltimore and Annapolis and have gained popularity for their indulgent, all-American breakfast food, which they serve all day.
It didn’t take long to settle on what to order. We chose the renowned mixed berry house-made pop tart ($6.95), the fried chicken benny ($15.95) and the challah French toast ($10.95). Seated within five minutes of our return, we were greeted by our waitress for drink orders.
I went with bottomless coffee, priced at $3.50. The coffee was bold and flavorful, but not so bottomless, as I was never given a refill during the meal. All in all, it wasn’t worth the $3.50.
But our food arrived quickly. And oh boy, the portions were huge. We were instantly pleased with the decision for an appetizer and two entrees to split, rather than three individual meals. What’s more, we each wanted the entire savory and sweet experience.
The pop tart was delectable. I’m not talking about the average toaster pastry here, because this appetizer put those caloric frosted cardboard snacks to shame. With a decadent crust, the Iron Rooster pop tart was stuffed with a homemade mixed berry jam and frosted with icing, topped with whipped cream and served with fresh strawberries, blueberries and raspberries. I could see myself eating the whole thing for a meal. It was a huge serving, the perfect split for three hungry girls.
The French toast was no joke either. The entrée was served with four slices of challah bread, soaked and toasted with an apple and vanilla egg batter. My favorite part of this meal was the bourbon maple butter topping, and I snagged some whipped cream from the pop tart to make it an even better experience.
Lastly, I tried the buttermilk-fried chicken eggs benedict, which was amazing. I prefer savory foods to sweets, so this dish ranked as my favorite. Atop an open-faced flaky biscuit were two poached eggs and three moderately sized pieces of chicken, served with a side of home fries. The chicken was cooked to perfection, juicy on the inside with a crispy breading. The eggs were poached well, and the peppered hollandaise gravy paired nicely with the soul food dish. Last but not least, the potatoes’ perfect crispness made this entrée complete.
While the food was incredible, the service was lackluster. The hostesses were polite, yet our waitress was a bit distant and didn’t provide constant service. This may be caused by a new staff, but I expected better service for the pricey meal. Also, there was slight confusion on splitting the bill, a seemingly simple task.
All in all, despite the flawed service, I left with a satisfied stomach, just the right amount of full. My next mission is to try more meats and the pecan bread–highly recommended by a friend.

The Iron Rooster:
50 Shawan Road
Hunt Valley
Monday – Saturday: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Sunday: 7 a.m. – 8 p.m.