Go ahead and yell a profanity if you need to. I’ll wait.
The Basics: Find R.J. Riches just off I-35 and County Road 10 in Mounds View and on the Internet here. If you’re going for breakfast and you’re not going alone, wear comfortable shoes because you’ll probably be waiting a while for your seat. R.J. Riches is kind of a secret to everyone.
My main man Eliot and I described the atmosphere when we tackled the pancakes a couple of years back. By rolling solo, I got to skip the line and sit at the front counter, where seven or eight circular diner chairs point your face right into the kitchen — and, more importantly, a pair of signs that read “STOP COMPLAINING” and “NO WHINING.”
Those signs tell you everything you need to know about the atmosphere. Eliot was on fire in that first piece, though. You should totally read it.
If you discriminate based on appearance, you’re going to have a tough time here because Riches welcomes all: big family, small family, young couple, the grizzled old man stroking his bushy beard to my right or the sappy dweeb talking into a headset (not a bluetooth earpiece, a fucking headset with a mic) on my left. You, you, and you: come on in. No whining.
From the counter, you get to see all of the food as it comes out: the pancakes, wide as tires; waffles, big enough to need four plops of whipped cream; the coffee and soda machines, crammed in a corner, probably going strong since the ’70s; and sandwiches, which they also offer I guess.
Then, the omelet.
R.J. Riches doesn’t give you hashed browns on the side. Oh no, they give you hashed browns inside. The result is a five-egg-asaurus too big for the plate it’s brought to you on. It wasn’t until I was a third of the way through it that it properly fit onto the plate. Cheese had leaked everywhere: the counter, my napkins, my forearm, everywhere. It tastes great, though, so stop complaining.
I ordered mine with turkey, bacon, onions, and tomatoes. Think of the last time you had bits of tomatoes in your food. Did the bits look like this?
I’m guessing no.
I doused bites in sriracha. I doused bites in cheese. I ran my English muffin through cheese, then I ran it through cheese and stuck hashed browns and turkey onto it all. I did everything short of opening one end and just dumping it into my mouth, and I barely got halfway through before tapping. No whining.
At one point or another, every waitress working stopped to check in. What was I going to do, though, complain? Of course not! This food was the answer to any question I had that Saturday morning.
Am I due for an oil change? Omelet.
Shorts or pants when I go out later? Omelet.
I turned off the oven before I left, right? Omelet.
I asked for the bill and a box, and was barely able to get out of my seat. I ate the other half over for lunch and dinner. With a bottomless coffee, my total was $12.
Definitely no whining there.