I've visited Belgian cafes across this country, and I liked this one quite a bit. With waffle brunches, pastries, and beer, they cover the whole food experience. The service has a hipster edge (and was somewhat lackadaisical), so don't go when in a hurry, and the red hot mimosas weren't particularly spicey, but otherwise, Locolat Cafe is a great brunch option in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood.
During the height of the Hostess "will they close or won't they" debates, Green Eggs Cafe stepped in to prove they could make a better Twinkie than Hostess. Then they deep fried it. This cream-filled sponge cake delight has a crunchy outside, a fluffy inside and it's built to share. It's the Twinkie cake you wish you could find at a fairground but you never do. Look out, Hostess...
Let's be clear, these waffles aren't light fluffy American style Belgian waffles. These Liege waffles are chewy, dense and covered with crunchy sugar. Hot off the grill with no toppings at all, they're a perfect snack and strawberries and whipped cream simply enhance their perfection. Go to Taste of Belgium and order a crepe and then a waffle for dessert. Breakfast dessert. It's a thing. Seriously.
There are a couple of sugar shacks in California, one in Huntington Beach and Rose's in San Clemente. Both cater to surfers, offer views of the ocean and spectacular food at California prices. I have a weakness for omelettes of any description and I love this one particularly because it's so pretty. Doesn't it make you feel healthy just looking at it?
Chorizo and eggs is a tasty combination, and Cup Cafe offers a fantastic version of this dish with a spicy chorizo they call 'gunpowder.' Eat it sitting inside the cafe so you can check out the varnished floors, covered with 100,000 pennies, and the chandeliers made of empty wine bottles, or take your tongue tingling breakfast outdoors to their shady patio. After breakfast, tour the rest of historic Hotel Congress and then retire somewhere shady and cool until the summer heat lessens and the downtown nightlife heats up.
Here are the rules for a good diner:
1. Breakfast served all day. Extra points for thick cut bacon and crispy hash browns.
2. Busy waitresses who never get flustered. Extra points for calling customers "honey" and keeping their coffee cups full.
3. Walls covered with old photos of the owners and letters from ex-presidents. Extra points if the diner's history stretches back into the mid 20th century.
4. Homemade bread and pie. Extra points for a glass fronted pie case.
Original Market Diner rocks each of these conditions and they believe that "pie fixes everything." How can you not love that?
You can eat other things at Loveless Cafe but if you don't try the flaky buttery biscuits, you're missing out. Carol Fay Ellison started at Loveless as a dishwasher in 1979. She graduated to the stove a few years later and reigned supreme as The Biscuit Lady until her death in 2010. Fortunately she passed her recipes for biscuits and preserves on to other capable hands so her memories survive along with her portrait in the cafe. Loveless isn't the same without her, but the biscuits are still incredible.
As the name suggests, Los Bagels is a multicultural bagel bakery and cafe with a menu to match. They have Thai style bagels with peanut butter and green onions next to "sushi" bagels with lox and wasabi. If you're brave, you can try the lox and guacamole combination... Veggie and vegans have plenty of options, any bagel can be made into a scrambagel with eggs and for those who won't get to California any time soon, bagels from Los Bagels can be ordered online and delivered straight to your door where you can put whatever you want on them or eat them plain standing up over your kitchen sink. No judgement either way.
This isn't just Bellingham's Best Benedict, it might be the World's Best Benedict: poached eggs on top of a thick fluffy Belgian waffle on top of roasted potatoes and smothered with hollandaise sauce. Why hasn't someone thought of this before? No matter, Mount Bakery did it and they did it so well that no one ever needs to do it again. Of course they offer smaller, less decadent dishes like breakfast sandwiches and pastries; but if you're going out for breakfast, go big or stay home.
Not many places do blueberry pancakes as well as the Blue Willow. They're crispy and tender, with blueberries inside and on top, and just enough big enough that one isn't enough and two is almost too much. Order them with a side of thick cut bacon, and then chow down while sitting on the breezy cool patio surrounded by green plants, and you'll see why Blue Willow remains one of Tucson's best breakfast restaurants.
The Garden District has a lot of things going for it but I'd put Slim Goodies at the top of the list. They're renowned for their sweet potato pancakes (light, fluffy, amazing) and clever names for their breakfast mashups like the above Jewish Coonass with crawfish etouffee over eggs and potato latkes. They're always busy and service is casual, relaxed New Orleans style but the food is worth the wait.
Frontier Restaurant is smack in the middle of the University of New Mexico neighborhood with student friendly hours from 5am-1am. It's casual and busy, the food is cheap and good and their green chili cheeseburger was featured on Man V. Food on June 22.
(Yes, that's melted butter...)
It's an uphill walk to get to Glo's, and, once you get there, you'll have to wait because it's pocket sized. But let's say you sit on the benches outside, watching the busy intersection under grey stormy skies (the only kind you get in Seattle) and 15 (20, 30) minutes later your table's ready. The buttery hash brown, bacon, coffee aroma and warmth hits you as you walk in the door to a room so bright and alive with those yellow tables. Your tattooed bearded waiter asks, "Would you like a coffee?" You say, "Definitely!" And then, as you settle in with a menu and a steaming cup of local joe, you think, "I could stay here all afternoon."
And maybe you should.
If this breakfast sandwich picture doesn't make you want to visit Pinky's, I'm not sure what else I can tell you. But how about this: even if diners aren't your thing, you should visit Pinky's. They have cheap Cuban breakfast sandwiches and mismatched mugs, but they also have espresso drinks, vegetarian options, and their rosemary potatoes are perfectly crispy. They sweeten the deal with outdoor seating and parking in a neighborhood where it's hard to find either of those things—and they've been voted best breakfast in Tampa for five years running. If you love breakfast, go to Pinky's.
This place seats 14 people at max capacity. It's the tiniest place ever. No joke. There are no paper menus or business cards, the chef is also the waiter and there isn't an inside place to stand and wait so you have to go outside if the tables are full up. The good news is that the bacon slices are almost half an inch thick and they're worth the drive and the wait. They're like bacon pork chops. In fact all the food is great; so, pick a time during the week and visit Kitchen. But don't sit too long, other people want to get in too.