Today we went for Sunday breakfast at a new place. Well, it's new to us. I'm not sure how long it's been there, but it seems to be where it's at, a hip and happening joint.
The Breakfast Place is on the East side, just off the Bayfront at 38th and McClelland. It shares a parking lot with Nunzi's. A friend of ours told us about it, but warned us that the line can be out the door at times. They weren't kidding! We waited maybe 5 minutes or so for a table to be cleaned, but just after we got there the line did indeed go out the door. There's no giving your name and sitting outside, either. It's "Please Wait Here to be Seated" and they're not joking.
Who wants breakfast? Well, families do. Older folks do. Drunk people do after the bars close... so The Breakfast Place is open during the week from 5:30am to 1pm, and on the weekend from 11pm until 1pm (2pm on Sundays). I think this is brilliant. A gentleman in line behind us said he plows snow and in the winter he's going to come here when his shift is over to warm up.
Speaking of which, the coffee is really tasty and the wait staff (all women that I saw) are always circling with pots of it. There's a diner counter area and one large seating room. The walls are covered with sports themed pictures, including some local stuff, but not nearly as kitchy as TGI Friday's or Applebee's. It's a bit old fashioned, but very comforting. It's not trying to be trendy or edgy or avant garde or anything. It's just trying to serve good, wholesome food at really good prices.
The menu is pretty straight forward; they have breakfast, obviously. The only non-breakfast items I saw were under the category "Breakfast Munchies" and included greek dogs, greek fries, and six packs of greek dogs or burgers to go. The rest of the menu was omelets, combo platters, side items, and breakfast sandwiches. I was really tempted by the grilled corned beef hash, but went instead for the fritatta. It was a three egg scrambled omelet with sausage, potatoes, onion, peppers, mushrooms, mozzarella and banana pepper rings. With toast. Whew! It was huge! The menu offered a half portion, but I was pretty hungry and decided to go for it. Well, Baby Girl excitedly helped me eat it and we still only made it through half! It was delicious, with very finely crumbled sausage insinuating itself throughout every bite. The eggs were mostly there as a binder, as there was way too much "stuff" to be contained. Banana peppers, an interesting choice, provided a nice, bright, sour note that offset the sweet flavors of the caramelized onions and peppers well.
Darling Husband opted for the Italian French Toast, made with dense Italian bread and served with eggs. He loved how well executed it was, with the chewy crust and moist, custardy center which, nevertheless, was not soggy. I managed to snag a bite before he happily gobbled it all up and I can attest it was darned good french toast.
Baby Girl, I must mention, had french toast sticks. This was the first time we've ordered off the menu for her at a restaurant. She loved them! I snuck a bite and they were pretty good. I think they might even have been homemade, considering the variation in size and shape. It was especially nice that they put a rush on her order so she could happily chow down while we sipped coffee and waited patiently.
And because I am her mother I must take a moment to brag. When our meal was just about finished, an older couple sitting next to us got up to leave. The gentleman made a point of coming by and complimenting us on Baby Girl's behavior, adding that she's one sweet, good little girl we've got there. That's particularly great to hear because we found two molars poking out today and she can't have been feeling too hot. On the plus side, there were lots of people ready to smile at her and wave, so she was pretty occupied.
Everyone was friendly. Most of the waitresses were young and wearing tie dyed shirts with markered on logos of The Breakfast Place, made to look a bit like team shirts for a sport. Was this because football season just kicked off? I don't know. I was impressed by the one girl's star tatoos up the inside of her forearm. Our actual waitress was "of a certain age" and looked just like you'd imagine a career diner waitress to be. She had on a plain t-shirt with the restaurant's name on it. Despite the line literally 6 feet from us, we never once felt rushed or hurried along. The staff was welcoming and accommodating, the food served hot and in a timely fashion.
I whole heartedly recommend trying out this breakfast spot. What's that, you say? You'd rather have a meatball omelet from that other famous after-bar breakfast place? Well, this breakfast spot has a meatball omelet, too.