Charlie Parker’s | The Amazing Springfield Horseshoe

Review by: Michael Stern

Gargantuan Pancakes

We came to Charlie Parker’s in search of breakfast — the amazing Springfield horseshoe in particular. But first, we confronted equally awe-inspiring pancakes.

No one ever has been able to eat a Four Giant Stack at Charlie Parker’s, which is a shame, because if you do, it’s on the house. Otherwise, you’ll pay about $25. Actually, that is a bargain, considering that the four pancakes that comprise a Giant Stack are enough food for eight people, easily. Non-competitive customers order a single giant for under $10. To finish even a single is a significant accomplishment. It covers an 18-inch diameter pizza pan and is nearly a half-inch thick, flipped on the griddle using a pizza peel. (Normal-size pancakes also are available.)

Surprise! The Giant Pancake also is very good, made from a batter we want to call brut – not sweet at all, but fresh and farmy with a lot of good crunch to the edge. It arrives topped with a quartet of blister packs of Land O’ Lakes Fresh Buttery Taste™ Spread and a pitcher of corn syrup. All the spread and the whole pitcher of syrup barely stretch to cover the pancake, which expands to even greater size as it absorbs them both. A small portion of one of these mighty flapjacks is a terrific hors d’oeuvre before plowing into one of Charlie Parker’s fine breakfast horseshoes.

Springfield’s Edible Horseshoe

The horseshoe is a dish you’ll not likely find outside of Springfield; but it does have cognates in such other regional kitchen-sink meals as a Rochester garbage plate and Midwest hoppel poppel. Cooks place white bread, the foundation of a horseshoe, on a big oval plate. To that they add eggs, breakfast meats, hash browns, and cream gravy and/or hot cheese sauce. Nearly as hard to polish off as a Four Giant Stack, this amazing Springfield horseshoe makes a fine meal for two. At lunch, customers come for horseshoes made with turkey or chicken, burgers, tenderloin, or walleye.

Retro-Diner Style

Charlie’s is an out-of-the-way Quonset hut diner that goes back decades. In recent memory, it got a spiffy-kitschy 1950s interior makeover that includes plenty of glass bricks, neon, and chrome-banded stools at the counter.

Directions & Hours

7am - 2pm
  • Monday: 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Tuesday: 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Wednesday: 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Thursday: 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Friday: 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Saturday: 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM
  • Sunday: 7:00 AM – 2:00 PM

What To Eat




Charlie Parker’s | The Amazing Springfield Horseshoe Recipes


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