Wicked Wednesday–Favorite Breakfasts Out

FlippedcoverFor Wicked Wednesday, we continue our celebration of Flipped for Murder by our own Maddie Day with a discussion of our favorite breakfast joints and the best thing on the menu there. Go to it Wickeds!

Liz: There’s an lovely organic food place not far from me that makes THE BEST pumpkin smoothies this time of year. Heirloom Food Company has a whole lot of awesome to offer – like their Portobello and Kale Tofu Scramble – but those smoothies….as a pumpkin freak, I could live off them.

Jessie: I’m actually not a big fan of breakfast beyond just a cup of coffee, but the Friendly Toast,  in Portsmouth, NH makes me reconsider my opinion. The menu is appealing and the decor is kitschy and unexpected. Truth be told, their lunch and dinner menu is at least as good as the breakfast offerings.

Julie: Jessie, we have a Friendly Toast in Cambridge. I wonder if they are related? (News flash–they are! Found out when I went to get the link!) First off, let me say that breakfast/brunch out is my favorite thing in the world. The S&S serves breakfast all day long, is a deli, and I can walk there. Love it. This summer, I went to Donna Jean’s Diner in Weir’s Beach, and it was one of the best breakfasts ever. So, so good.

Barb: As is well known on the blog, I am not a morning person. So it’s not surprising that for years my favorite breakfast place was The New Yorker Diner in Watertown, MA. The diner was open 6:00 am to 2:00 pm, and then it would reopen again, 11:00 pm to 4:00 am. So in our youth, and a little beyond, it was a great place to head after a night of partying. Favorite order: omelet with ham, onions and cheese, served with the best home fries in the world and scali toast. Now that I live in Somerville, I’ve switched my allegiance to the terrific Kelly’s Diner. Favorite order: blueberry pancakes, of course!

Edith: When I lived in Bloomington, Indiana, my friend Jennifer and I would go out to eat at a diner whose name escapes me. But the memory of their crispy hash browns still makes me swoon – sopping up a couple of runny fried egg yolks – and I’ve never had any as good since. Also love brunch, and had a fabulous California Eggs Benedict in West Hollywood a couple of years ago with two high school friends. So of course that is going in book two as a breakfast special. But the whole wheat banana walnut pancakes at the Story General Store were the best – and inspired this new series!

IMG_3625_2Sherry: I’ve lived in eight different states and hands down the best breakfast places are in California. That said I loved Helen’s in Concord, Massachusetts when we lived in Massachusetts. And I’m a sucker for the french toast at a place called Spartans here in Virginia.

What about you, readers? Favorite breakfast joint? Favorite order?

42 Thoughts

  1. When I lived in Indiana, Pennsylvania, a couple of writer friends and I would meet at Eat-n-Park. I always ordered breakfast potatoes. Such a lovely indulgence. Here in Delaware, I have a regular breakfast date with a friend to Perkins where I always order breakfast potatoes. There are other things on the plate, but the potatoes are all that matter.

    I wish we had a nice local diner, but the only one near me is between the police station and UD campus. I can’t handle cops and students first thing in the morning!

  2. What a fun topic. I love breakfast out and always looking for the perfect place. When we had a child living in the area, we used to go to Joseph’s Two in Waltham, MA, where they had cranberry pancakes. Mmmm!

      1. It was my kid who was there. She went to Brandeis and stayed in the area for awhile. However, I was New Englander for 5 years, having gone to Brandeis myself and living and working in Cambridge after. Loved it a lot, left for grad school and always thought I would go back. BUT, I also forgot a great (!!!) breakfast place- the King Arthur Flour Cafe in Norwich , VT. Went there for the first time this summer.

  3. The favorite breakfast place for us is The Irish Cottage Restaurant in Methuen, MA. and the Greek omelet at Helen’s in Concord, MA is also a winner.

  4. Barb, I never heard of “scali toast.” So I checked with Google and discovered that it is toast made with Italian bread. I had never heard it called that, even though I grew up in an Italian-American home. According to Google, it originated in Massachusetts. Italian bread makes the best toast. It has a good crunch and something to bit into. Unfortunately, I haven’t found any restaurants in my Northern Virginia area that serves toasted Italian bread for breakfast. I’ll have to do some investigating.

    1. I didn’t realize Scali was a local thing! It’s Italian, but more in the shape of a loath and pre-sliced. All the diners have it around here.

  5. Here in my area (Central Ohio) we have a chain of restaurants called Scrambler Marie’s. They’re a breakfast/brunch/lunch place, and they have the best omelets. The regular size ones are 4 eggs, but you can order a mini which is “only” three eggs. My favorite is called “Awesome Avocado” and is avocado, bacon, onions, green peppers and tomatoes, smothered in cheese, salsa and a dab of sour cream with scallions sprinkled on top. It comes with your choice of bread (I usually get a multigrain English muffin) and a side — I usually get fruit, but once in a while I’ll indulge in hash browns. Yummy!! It’s good for breakfast or lunch. VERY filling. Another special treat is a visit to Bob Evans for a blueberry pancake shortstack.

    1. If you are ever in the Dayton area go to Clifton Mills for breakfast — it has a water-powered grist mill and the food is heaven. Plus you can take a walk along Clifton gorge afterwards. I should have added it to my favorite places!

  6. In the Pittsburgh area, Eat’n Park has the best breakfasts–except for my own kitchen, that is. My baked caramel French toast will make you swoon. A lot of people rave about a place called Pamela’s downtown, but when we went there, the food was so greasy (even the pancakes!) it was sickening.

    Sherry, when we visit our son in Virginia, sometimes we’ll go to the Silver Diner in Springfield. Have you been there? They have really good breakfasts. Plus there’s a “Biscuit Boy” who belts out a song when they take the biscuits out of the oven.

    1. A biscuit boy? I love it! (Might have to add that to the next book…) All the Wickeds have had Barb’s baked French Toast – to die for. Sometimes consumed with ice cream on top!

  7. Way back when we lived in the Bay Area in California, our favorite breakfast place was Bette’s Oceanview Diner, down by the water. We were starving students, so it was a real treat. It was on 4th Street, which became a mini-gourmet-ghetto back in the day. This was in the 1980s, and Bette and her colleagues there jumped on the local foods bandwagon early (along with Alice Waters). (As it turned out, Bette and I were in the same childbirth class.) We left California in 1987, but Bette’s diner is still in business. Great food!

  8. Here on the Gulf coast of Florida favorite breakfast spot is The Frog Pond on Redington Beach for a variety of awesome omelettes. But when we’re in Massachusetts, it’s Sailor Stan’s on Rocky Neck in Gloucester. Also, anyplace in Gloucester that sells fried dough! And I’m happy that McDonalds is finally serving breakfast all day!

  9. Here in Marquette, I have a weakness for the blueberry cake doughnuts from Huron Mountain Bakery. But there’s a little non-descript diner on Touhy in Chicago that has the best pancakes ever. Pancakes are normally just a vehicle for maple syrup to me, but these could hold their own even without syrup!

  10. Joyce, the various Pamela’s are not the same (well, same chain, but I find the food in each different). The one in Shadyside has great pancakes, as well as sandwiches. Used to go there often when I worked in Bloomfield.

    On a daily basis, I’m not much of a breakfast person. A bagel/cream cheese or cereal and tea. But every once in a while, I like to go out. We did the breakfast buffet at Eat n Park just last week: pancakes, thick-cut bacon, sausage, eggs, potatoes, fresh fruit… Yum.

    Bob Evans used to have raspberry crepes, but I think they discontinued them. Bummer.

    I also made Nutella-stuffed French toast from the MWA cookbook. I’m not a giant French toast fan (too much work and I prefer pancakes), but these were pretty good.

      1. We’ve all been in western PA. According to their website, they are only in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia, and probably only in that tri-state area.

  11. Breakfast is my favorite meal to eat out! I have two favorite breakfast places. One is the Cascades Restaurant in Canton, New York, where I attended college at St. Lawrence University. The dining room overlooks a stunningly gorgeous run of the Grasse River, and they serve a cinnamon bun that still makes my mouth water, lo these many years later. A giant homemade cinnamon bun (seriously, the thing is the size of a salad plate) is cut in half, then grilled with a LOT of butter until there’s a crisp golden crust on the cut interior surface. Then it’s served with MORE butter. Add an endless cup of coffee and there is no room for eggs or meat. My second favorite, which I can get to more frequently, is Sylvester’s in Northampton, MA. http://www.sylvestersrestaurant.com The restaurant is the former home of Sylvester Graham, the inventor of the graham cracker. My favorite there is the Huevos Rancheros: two eggs served over black beans and topped with cheddar, accompanied by a side of homemade salsa and homemade grilled cornbread. Yum!

  12. I love breakfast foods. Sadly, I do get out to eat breakfast very often. 6 days a week, I’m usually rushing to get to work or church, and if I am home in the morning on Saturdays, I enjoy waffles and real maple syrup.

    Having said that, I do head down to Downtown Disney a couple times a year to eat brunch with some friends at the Storyteller Cafe. They have a Caramel French Toast that is to die for. My mouth is watering just thinking of it. They don’t always have it on the menu, sometimes it’s just regular French Toast, but when they have it, I indulge!

    1. My mom made “maple syrup” by making a sugar syrup and adding Mapeline – artificial flavoring. Yes, it was affordable for a family of six. As an adult? I only buy the real thing from the next state north (or Vermont or Quebec).

  13. Edith,

    Would your breakfast joint in Bloomington, IN have been the Uptown Cafe? Runcible Spoon? I remember the little joint downtown, next to a movie theater where the waitresses reminded me of Fellini’s personaggi with their long nails painted red and up dos.

    1. No, not the Spoon or the Uptown (was it even there when we were there?). Hmm, must ask Jennifer. Seems like it was down Second or something. Or College?

  14. Eating breakfast out is one of my favorite things. Here, near Pasadena, CA, we have lots and lots of choices but one of the best is Amy’s Patio Cafe in Altadena. When I was in New Hampshire this summer I went to Polly’s Pancakes in Sugar Hill. It was wonderful. Have any of you New England types eater there?

  15. Like Julie, I LOVE breakfast out! Many good places in Massachusetts when I lived there, but here in the greater Finger Lakes we have Jines on Park Ave in Rochester. They’ll make Eggs California on gluten-free whole-grain bread. I’m in heaven 🙂

  16. My mom made that syrup also . . . and bought Karo syrup in big cans that my dad used to make noisy pull toys for toddlers. You all have made me nostalgic for potatoes and avocados (and bananas), all off-limits because of latex allergy (which I don’t understand, but there’s a connection). It does seem, though, that there are plenty of other foods, including my favorite cruise ship breakfast, eggs Benedict. Miss Aimee B’s in St. Charles makes a version almost as wonderful, served with terrific French toast . . . mmm, might have to pay them a visit.

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