Charlie Parker's is often cited as the best breakfast in Springfield. I've eaten breakfast in our state capitol only twice but much preferred D&J Café
The restaurant is housed in a large Quonset hut just off I-55 (the old Route 66), not far from Cozy Dog and Darcy's Pint. Inside, it has pseudo-50s décor which I don't love. Charlie Parker's is known for their huge pancakes. Eat a stack of four and they're free.
Fresh Buttery Taste® Spread and maple-y syrup come along. The pancake itself is quite good, and a little different than the usual griddlecakes. It's very thick—about ¾ inch—with a browned crunchy crust reminiscent of hoecakes. I wonder if there's some finely ground corn meal in the batter. Pretty good but pretty overwhelming. It would be appropriate for a table of four to share one as a breakfast appetizer.
Eggs with smoked pork chops and potatoes is a decent plate of food. Smoked chops ought to be a more common breakfast meat. I wasn't thrilled with the "seasoned American fries"—deep fried potato cubes sprinkled with some sort of Cajun spice.
"Homemade hash" was truly awful—simply a few slices of lousy corned beef sitting atop a pile of standard-issue hashbrowns. I've had better biscuits and gravy and I've certainly had worse. The gravy had an odd fluffy texture and was pretty light on the sausage and pepper.
Charlie Parker's Diner
700 W North St