There are only three words to describe Norm’s Hangar Coffee Shop: hidden yet delicious.
The restaurant is located off of McKinley Avenue at Brackett Field Airport.
To many it is easy to pass up; the only indication of its presence is the placard on Fairplex Drive displaying an animated version of the creator of the restaurant, Norm, on an airplane.
Norm’s celebrated its 28th year on April 1. The restaurant was opened by current owner Kathy Touche’s father Norm until she bought it 2004.
“Everything is homemade, and we offer great comfort food, a beautiful view and we have fast service,” Touche said. “A lot of people don’t know about it because we’re tucked away. If you don’t know its here, you don’t know it’s here.”
What was most interesting was the fact that Norm’s sits directly next to a landing strip, so from the main dining area you can watch planes take off and land.
The patio area enhances the experience by placing customers closer to the planes and the outdoors.
The menu consists of two pages of breakfast items ranging from breakfast sandwiches which contained bacon, sausage or ham on toasted bagels, to biscuits and gravy, Polish sausage and omelets.
A breakfast menu is not complete without pancakes and Norm’s offers a variety of choices, such as chocolate chip pancakes with strawberry. Besides pancakes Norm’s offers French toast and Belgium waffles as well.
The lunch menu contains French dips and an array of burgers featuring regular cheese burgers, patty melts and garden burgers.
Most of the lunch entrees came with the option of two sides. The sides offered were green salad, potato salad, French fries, onion rings, fruit and various other items.
The menu was very simple and aimed to fit the needs of the customer, offering wheat pancakes, non-meat items and a various selection of sides and types of bread for sandwich items.
None of the items on the menu exceeded $10 which was surprising for the amount of food the restaurant provides.
After scanning the menu I finally decided to have the California grilled chicken sandwich on sourdough bread.
I watched a few planes take off and land as I waited for my food and was dazzled by the atmosphere of the restaurant.
The service was fast and as the waitress brought out my food I noticed her deliver an order of strawberry pancakes.
They were extremely large and fluffy, stacked on top of each other glazed with strawberry syrup, strawberries and topped with a hefty mountain of whipped cream. I immediately regretted my decision to choose lunch.
“The pancakes were really soft, fluffy and were huge and filling. The strawberries weren’t syrupy they tasted like actual strawberries,” said senior movement and sports science major Corbin Henault.
However I forgot all about breakfast items when I took the first bite of my chicken sandwich. The sourdough bread was grilled, creating a toasty yet fluffy exterior, and the white meat chicken breast was tender and flavorful.
The sandwich was a perfect blend from the tomatoes, swiss cheese, sourdough bread and chicken breast.
I ended my meal with a slice of apple pie topped with vanilla ice cream. The pie was warm and the apple custard was sweet and delicious in addition to the flaky crust, which was amazing. Each bite was better than the last, making it the perfect ending to my meal.
Norm’s will be hosting a barbecue event on Saturdays called “Smoking at Norm’s” that will offer various barbecue meals and sides on the picnic grass area.
The only downside to Norm’s is its hours, which start at 7 a.m. and end at 3 p.m. On Tuesdays the hours are extended to 8 p.m. for taco Tuesday nights.
Norm’s Hangar is the perfect escape from school, life and hunger; it is hidden like location makes it a great place to eat.
Michael Phillips can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.