Charlie Parker’s

Review by: Michael Stern

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 about $6. To finish even that 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.

The shoes are a Springfield paradigm: big oval plates with a foundation of white bread topped by eggs, breakfast meats, hash browns and cream gravy and/or hot cheese sauce. About as hard to polish off as a Four Giant Stack, the breakfast horseshoe makes a fine meal for two. Of course, the more typical lunch horseshoe is available, made with turkey and/or ham.

Charlie’s is an out-of-the-way Quonset hut diner that goes back decades but was given 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

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Horseshoe

DISH
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Pancake

DISH

Charlie Parker’s Recipes

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What do you think of Charlie Parker’s?

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A Really Big Shoe

By Jane and Michael Stern Originally Published 2009 Gourmet Magazine Horseshoe sandwiches are ubiquitous in Springfield, Illinois, but no one eats them anywhere else. Like many folk foods, they’re...

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