Stepping into Stauffer’s Cafe & Pie Shoppe (www.staufferscafe.com) is like stepping into your grandma’s kitchen. As soon as you walk in, you know you’re going to be fed well in body and soul.
It’s almost serendipitous that the day our Strictly Business group showed up it was a wet, rainy day because the atmosphere seems designed to warm you up from the inside: the wholesome, homey decor reminds you of your dining room back home. After being seated at our table, we were greeted by the general manager, Sydney Stauffer, daughter and granddaughter to the founders, Thad and Claridy Stauffer. Sydney helped us order a banquet of the best the cafe has to offer—all of which are her grandma Claridy’s original recipes.
The food is everything you’d want from a classic diner, and possibly a little more. Stauffer’s offers the classic all-day breakfast options, burgers, sandwiches, as well as some local classics like fried chicken livers and Frito pie.
Everything is made from scratch—and it’s obvious from the flavor. For a taste of their breakfast we ordered the Steak Platter. It came with crispy chicken fried steak served over a bed of hash browns and sausage gravy with two bright, yellow eggs on top. It came with a “small” buckwheat pancake, perfectly round and the size of a plate, with whipped butter and warm maple syrup.
The other entrees we tried were all flavored with the same sense of nostalgia and care. The Big Red was a behemoth of an entree that took several of us to tackle: an open-faced burger smothered with chili, cheese, and tomatoes that easily made you full yet left you wanting more. Then there was the Sausage & Sauerkraut: two big, juicy sausages split down the middle and served with a bowl of tangy sauerkraut. We definitely recommend the Steak Philly, which had layers of flavorful, crispy steak covered with melted Swiss and grilled green peppers and onions (we voted the philly as our favorite).
Stauffer’s wasn’t always a pie shop, but a last minute addition to the name, adding “Pie Shoppe” has helped get the word out and let people know what they are all about. Claridy, who opened the cafe in 1996 along with her son Thad, is still a part of the pie-making process. There are over 60 delicious flavors, including some sugar-free options.
While we sadly couldn’t try all the pie flavors, the ones we did try were out of this world. The Sour Cream Raisin pie, while unique, possessed a familiar holiday flavor that resembled cinnamon and nutmeg. Eating it produced a carnival of textures: airy, fluffy meringue atop a creamy custard filled with chewy raisins. We loved the Peanut Butter Banana pie: a miraculous pie-version of a classic midnight snack. The Cherry Cheesecake was topped with beautiful, juicy, fresh cherries that tasted perfect for a summer evening. And we were blown away by the warm Blackberry Pie, which was served with a giant orb of vanilla ice cream. We couldn’t get around how fresh the blackberries were, how flakey the crust was, or how perfectly it all came together.
We’re truly thankful to have been served by the hospitable staff at Stauffer’s Cafe & Pie Shoppe. Thad Stauffer, his family, and his staff greet their guests like friends and serve them as if they were guests in their own home. It’s a special place to enjoy some hearty Nebraska food, delicious pies, and great company.