Upon entering, the calming ambiance struck me first. Once you begin to soak it in, there are all kinds of exciting things to catch your eye. This place is all about teapots, the owner’s passion. Hundreds of them are everywhere, but most are not in your direct line of sight. Even the light fixtures are teapots. And speaking of light, the building is a repurposed Ford Garage that was previously closed for some thirty years. Large windows offer lots of natural light.
The furniture is not what you typically see in a restaurant either. No standard institutional fixtures here. I mean it as a compliment when I say that everything seems nicer than it needs to be. Staff members bring you heavy silverware and thick napkins immediately. You sit on comfortably cushioned benches or chairs with armrests. Owner Gurpreet Thumma explains that she chose the seating for the "higher than average age achievement around here." The armrests are very helpful.
I had previewed the menu online and knew precisely what I wanted. My choices for the Make-Your-Own Omelet were: tomatoes, green peppers, ham, cilantro, and provolone cheese. My previous lifetime favorite omelet was a raisin sauce and walnut selection I used to enjoy at a small café in The Cherry Creek area of Denver when I lived there. Now I have a new lifetime favorite. I also chose the breakfast potatoes, which seemed to be made from skinned baked potatoes which were then fried. Sourdough toast (another item you don’t often find), was my final selection from the impressive menu. Keeping with the “nicer than it needs to be” theme, the toast came alongside Dickinson’s pure Patterson apricot preserves and a serving of Dickinson’s strawberry preserves. This touch was much better than the ubiquitous single serving jelly packets served in most restaurants.
As a new venture at The Teapot, they're still getting the kinks worked out. So while I waited a little longer than expected for my food, this gave me an opportunity to soak in the things we often ignore. The charming light fixtures that look like teapots, hand-done stenciling on the ceiling, hundreds of collector teapots on shelves, and the most delightful feature of all – a small vase of fresh flowers on each table.
The Teapot's menu reflects the traditional small-town Iowa Saturday night prime rib feature, which Gurpreet said sold out the night before. People accustomed to “Iowa food” won’t be disappointed. Gurpreet also plans on serving Indian food or some other atypical ethnic food offering one evening a week. I eagerly anticipate going back for her new and different offerings.
The Teapot Cafe is located at 138 S 3rd Street in Laurens, Iowa. It's open daily from 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m. except on Sunday when it is open from 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.