I was sharing stories about junior high with friends one day, when I confessed an unpopular truth: I loved the SOS they served in the junior high cafeteria. I apparently was the only one in my group of friends, because when I mentioned this, the comments ranged from the very juvenile "Oh, gross!" to the "How could you, you are a gourmet?" I can't answer that, except to say I love comfort food of almost every kind. It is something I never make at home, but much like macaroni and cheese, when I see it on a menu, I want to eat it.
The Crystal VFW has a special the first Saturday of every month of SOS, eggs and hasbrowns for $5.45. You have your choice of the traditional "chipped beef" SOS (or creamed chipped beef on toast, if you want to be more politically correct), or hamburger. I always go with the traditional, and this massive breakfast does not disappoint. In fact, I would say the Crystal VFW is one of the best breakfast bargains in the Twin Cities. The eggs, no matter how you like them, are always perfectly cooked, and the hash browns are crispy with just the right amount of butter. My only complaint would be the lack of salt and pepper, but knowing that most of their crowd is 65 and over, they are trying to make sure to cater to the "low sodium" customers. I can salt my own eggs, under those circumstances.
But the SOS, oh my! The sauce is perfectly creamy and white. And they do not skimp on the meat. If you order a dish like this or, say, biscuits and gravy most places, you often need a microscope to find the meat. Not at the Crystal VFW! It is always more than I can eat, which is quite alright. I like to take some home and eat it for lunch, and savor the experience a little longer. I usually choose the marbled rye to go with my chipped beef SOS, it is, in my opinion, the perfect addition to this creamy masterpiece.
The service is a little slow some days, they usually only have 2 servers on for the entire place, so if it is busy, be prepared to wait. And, if you or your companion want to venture onto some of the other menu items, the omelets are also very generous portions, and perfectly cooked. Other weekends you may also find cinnamon roll french toast on the specials menu, or corned beef hash, all are excellent. The regulars will probably be upset that I have exposed their hidden secret, but this place is too good to be ignored any longer.