Secrets out

Oct 132004
Authors: Joanna Larez

Fort Collins and CSU have experienced significant growth throughout the past few decades, but they have not outgrown the love for the small-town country-kitchen atmosphere found at the Farmer’s Table Restaurant.

Farmer’s Table, 1035 S. Taft Hill Road, underwent new ownership in February when Adrienne Echelberger and her cousin Lenka Johnson bought the restaurant.

When CSU alumni returned to the restaurant, which has been around for almost 20 years, they told Echelberger that Farmer’s Table was a must-stop place during their Fort Collins visit. Alumni did not notice the ownership change, because Farmer’s Table is run the same as the place they remember.

“A lot of people grow up eating here. We even get hungover college students,” Echelberger said. “That’s what I love about it; we get every type of person.”

The weekends bring the larger crowds. Sundays start out with the pre-church crowd, progress to the post-church crowd, and eventually, the college crowd joins to complete the diversity.

The restaurant is open from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Many people show up in pajamas and slippers to eat a homemade-style breakfast before they return to their weekend slumber.

“I serve hungover college students, and they’re my favorite,” said Lori Hunsaker, waitress of 11 years. “You’re like their guardian angel that takes care of them. I bring them lots of water.”

Many patrons are regulars who love the atmosphere and food.

“Everyone seems happy when they leave,” said Austin Booth, patron of 12 years. “I hear people tell the waitress that they were happy with the food and service, and I ditto them.”

Farmer’s Table offers the types of breakfasts some students might miss from home, Echelberger said. Chicken-fried steak and eggs, pancakes, steak and eggs, breakfast burritos, cinnamon rolls and biscuits and gravy were some of the patrons’ favorite dishes on Sunday morning.

“We have repeat customers, and I love that,” Echelberger said. “There’s a nice small-town feel.”

The small-town atmosphere can be seen when people pick up football players’ checks. Echelberger said football players are among the regular patrons.

Although a line might be forming, Echelberger said the wait is not too long, because the cooks send the food out at a fast pace.

The waitresses, waiters and bussers quickly and rhythmically move around the restaurant that seats a capacity of 74 people.

Luke Babbitt, a civil engineering graduate student, has been eating at the Farmer’s Table for three years, and he keeps coming back because of the food and bustling atmosphere.

“It’s really good, and it’s always busy,” Babbitt said. “It’s the best place to eat breakfast in Fort Collins.”

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