You’ve probably driven by The Rooster a couple of dozen times, without knowing it was there.
Hidden in a shopping center on the southern end of Goodlette-Frank, it is the definition of “hole in the wall”. This shouldn’t drive your opinion, because they do a better breakfast with less than some of the larger places.
It’s a smaller breakfast and brunch location with a pretty standard, if not perfected menu. In a world of unlimited mimosas, they try to wow you more with the food. Presentation is a little homey in restaurant, but it’s a little smaller than most, so it doesn’t lend its size to being flashy or showy. It feels like a quiet diner, if we’re calling it evenly.
They have daily specials, often something interesting, more akin to “chef specials” and the pricing of the place, for breakfast, is a little on the moderate side, but no one is going to blow out their wallet here, I’m sure you could if you ordered half the menu, but would you really? I would, but you shouldn’t try to be me, it’s an awful decision and you’ll hate being me.
The staff was great, talkative and willing to offer suggestions. They were super accommodating too. It has, as stated, a very quiet diner experience, the kitchen to the window behind the bar and everything. You get little hints of spices and smells, and the Americana playlist really brings you to a classic brunch kind of mindset. My only curiosity, because I didn’t actually use it, is that I don’t know where the bathroom is? I’m sure the folks at the Rooster have an easy explanation for that one, but it’s not up front and it didn’t strike me until two days later and has haunted me ever since.
Starting off, we had an order of biscuits and gravy to split, and let me tell you, it’s pretty much grandma’s gravy. More than enough sausage, a little bite of pepper, and something smoky in the after bite. The biscuits were flaky and easy to pull apart, super fork tender. A great way to start.
The main course was a breakfast sandwich to be envious of. French styled scrambled eggs which were creamy as you would hope for. Broadbent sausage patty on the bottom with just the right hits of spice and savory. Fresh shredded gruyere coating the top and drizzles of a sriracha aioli over the eggs. It was living my best life in sandwich form. The second visit was the pulled pork covered grits topped with salsa verde and queso fresco. I’m not a really big grits fan, I know, I heard the gasps from you southerners.
This was probably the only way I’d ever eat grits again. The salsa verde was smooth and with a good bite, they cheese had that pop it needed, the grits were smooth and well-cooked and the pork was astounding. The sides are generally fresh fruit and toast, but there are plenty of options to vary it up.
Dessert is inevitable in this place. They offer such things as an Oreo styled cheesecake. The first one up with a double chocolate cake, which is obviously a very basic piece. It was melty and moist and I hated myself four hours later for actually killing the entire overly generous slice in a sitting. The second run was a Bread Pudding made using a biscuit base with a bourbon reduction. This was at the recommendation of a friend, I’m not normally a bread pudding fan, but this was pretty impressive. Sweet and savory, and insanely filling.
5/5 Saucey’s. And if I wake up in a cold sweat wondering where that bathroom is one more time I’m coming down there.
I’m kidding, I’m coming back anyway.
600 Goodlette-Frank Rd, Naples
Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 8 a.m – 3 p.m.; Closed Monday
Phone: (239) 228-5973
Keyser Saucey is a psuedonym for Naples Herald and Lee Herald’s food critic. Keyser’s trips to area restaurants are unannounced and anonymous, and are paid for by the company. Yes, the staff is very jealous. No, he never shares leftovers.
© 2018 Naples Herald. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.