SO, YOU'VE WORKED HERE A LONG TIME?
Yep, five years. My older sister worked here first, and she found out about the job from my cousin's girlfriend, who waitressed here a long time ago. Now my younger sister works here too, so it runs in the family.
When I started I was a sophomore at Waunakee High and needed money. I cashiered on weekends till I turned 16 - that's when I started waitressing. After high school I went to college in Eau Claire, but I liked working at C's so much I'd come home on weekends and work if they needed me. Now I go to UW-Madison. During the school year, I'm just here on weekends, but summers I work full-time. I'm going to be a junior, and I'll probably work here till I graduate.
It's never boring. The people here are awesome. We have a lot of regulars. There's a bunch of retired guys who always sit at the counter - they're usually in here for both breakfast and lunch. They give the waitresses a hard time, but they're joking - they're really all very nice. And the staff is like family. All the waitresses are friends - we have fun, we laugh a lot.
The owners, Rudy and Donna Christen - that's where the C's comes from - are easygoing and funny. They make us work hard, but they respect us. Donna makes the soups, she cashiers, she does everything but the baking. Rudy's the baker, and he's such a jokester - he's always in the back, making us laugh.
WHAT DO YOUR REGULAR CUSTOMERS USUALLY ORDER?
The Number One breakfast is what we serve up most - two eggs any way you want with bacon, sausage or ham and hash browns and toast. And we do our own bakery - the cinnamon rolls are popular, and all the regulars get fry cakes - they're little doughnuts, really, plain or with icing.
I eat here a lot myself. My favorite breakfast is either eggs Benedict or the country skillet - hash browns topped with two eggs, and sausage gravy over all of it. I add cheese to my hash browns.
For lunch, I really like the hot turkey supreme. It's filled with turkey, cheese, mushrooms and onions, and it's grilled on our own whole-wheat bread. The sandwich comes cut in half with mashed potatoes in the middle, and the whole thing's smothered in gravy. I can polish off one of those and still have room for a piece of pie. The lemon meringue is one of Rudy's best, and I love the banana cream; any of the fruit pies will do, too.
DO YOU GET GOOD TIPS?
Mmm-hmm! We always do pretty well, but Sundays are the best. The place is always packed, and we never stop running. Most of my income is in tips. You can live off this job - one of our waitresses does, and she has a kid. I'm not full-time year-round, but I make enough to help with tuition and have spending money - I love to go shopping for clothes and shoes! I don't know if I'd make more somewhere else, but this is the only place I've ever waitressed - I just feel comfortable here.