Breakfast


The outside of Cafe USA is typical of strip mall fare, the inside full of memorabilia, a mature wry waitstaff, and more than decent breakfasts. It’s a place my father frequents when he doesn’t want to cook the first meal of the day himself.

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We had omelettes, grits, biscuits.

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Biscuits were good enough to order extras. Omelettes were good. I had a western omelette and my wife had a vegetarian omelette. At least as good were the staff, unpretentious and funny. Without our waitress our meal would have been a lot less memorable.

Cafe USA
3380 Barksdale Blvd
Bossier City, LA 71112
(318) 742-9600

Cafe USA on Urbanspoon

A newcomer to the area, hard to miss as you’re traveling down US 78, is the breakfast and lunch spot, Jimmy D’s New York Cafe.

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The menu is smaller, as befits someone getting their feet wet. You can have bagels and french toast as typical breakfast items. More lunch like fare includes hot dogs, hot subs (meatball parmigiana and chicken parmigiana), spaghetti, chili, a variety of sandwiches, and a burger. You can get the sandwiches and the burger on a bagel roll, if you like.

New Yorker, toasted bread, cole slaw. Good sandwich.

New Yorker, toasted bread, cole slaw. Good sandwich.

Their product is good, but this is one eatery with a lot of competition (e.g. Paneras, Atlanta Bread, Summit’s, Jen’s NY Deli). Virtues it has are: sandwiches are neither tiny nor enormous, they have plenty of space, plenty of parking, and they are convenient to commuters on highway 78. I’m hoping folks find it and it gets off the ground. A good hot sub or reuben is worth some trouble.

Jimmy D’s New York Cafe
4111 Stone Mountain Hwy
Lilburn, GA 30047
(678) 395-6446

Jimmy D's New York Cafe on Urbanspoon

One of the first sights when headed to River Street, especially if you walk from, say, MLK drive to Bay and then onto River Street, is this eatery embedded in the cobblestone walls of Savannah.

Entrance to Cobblestone Cafe.

Entrance to Cobblestone Cafe.

The Cobblestone Cafe, where I ate in my last trip, has decent food and in our experience, entirely respectable, responsive waitstaff. It is, however, expensive, and those prices leave folks with the feeling that the cafe is something of a tourist trap. On Urbanspoon, of 53 Savannah restaurants rated as breakfast sites, it is ranked 53rd.

We liked it. You may not like the prices.

A better deal is a restaurant on Bay Street, B Matthew’s Eatery. It is respected, winning or placing in Best Breakfast awards pretty routinely. Those of us who have seen a bistro or two will be immediately familiar with the layout and find it something of a mainstay for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. It is much further east than Cobblestone, but if you have enough energy to walk along River Street to Savannah’s Candy Kitchen, then the stairs heading upwards, towards Bay Street, just east of the Kitchen put you within an easy walk to B Matthews.

Can get more than breakfast here. Essentially a modern restaurant. If  B Mathews were transplanted into Decatur Ga, no one would blink an eye.

Can get more than breakfast here. Essentially a modern restaurant. If B Matthews were transplanted into Decatur Ga, no one would blink an eye.

When we went, we were told there would be about a 40 minute wait. Clever positioning of tables led us to getting seated in 15 minutes instead. I like the staff here, aware and responsive to customers and their needs. Working with us while handling 3 parties well in excess of 12 people each was appreciated. It’s a smaller restaurant. Those three groups used up the majority of tables in the place. It has bar seating (where we eventually ended up), brick walls, black wooden roofs, and track lighting.

Breakfast options are reasonable and flexible.

Bay Street Scramble.

Bay Street Scramble.

Mayme's Omelette.

Mayme’s Omelette.

The Big Salad. Terrific balance in  this salad. It may have been the best of the breakfast items that day.

The Big Salad. Terrific balance in this salad. It may have been the best of the breakfast items that day.

I had an omelette, my wife had a salad, and my daughter had their well regarded Bay Street Scramble. All the main items were 9 dollars or less, and drinks and other extras entirely reasonable. I’d go back – plan to actually – to B Matthews, and I’d have no problem having three meals at a place this well run.

Cobblestone Cafe
130 West Lower Factors Walk
Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 231-0701

Cobblestone Cafe on Urbanspoon

B Matthews Eatery
325 E Bay St
Savannah, GA 31401
(912) 233-1319

B. Matthew's Eatery on Urbanspoon

Notes: The blog “Outside the Den” has a visually appealing review of B Matthews.

The Oak Street Cafe is an “in” thing for a group of Roswell foodies, to the point they claim for it “Best Burger in Town” honors. On top of that, a coworker of mine loves the place. I can’t visit him without him asking me to try it. So I did.

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To get there, head north on Roswell Road, and start watching street signs after you pass Spiced Right. At the corner with the Krispy Kreme, turn right. Oak Street Cafe will be a block or so down on your right, at the first strip mall you see on your right.

Oak Steet Cafe is pretty inside, lots of wood, plenty of space between tables. The service is counter style. You go to a counter, make the order and sit. No number cards, they remember where you sit. Staff are in black Ts and jeans, a good look. Clientele were, for this lunch, largely female and largely well dressed.

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The burger was fine, made well, and I can see where the claims of best burger come from. The product quality puts it there. But it was grey meat with a hint of pink when I ordered a medium rare, and that loses a point on a five point scale for me. If I could get more consistent doneness, then yes, I’d be happy to reconsider.

I’m told by my friend that there are large crowds for Oak Street’s brunch, that lines can extend outside of the eatery. It’s a small eatery, less than 20 tables, perhaps, and I can easily see a line forming here.

Recommended, especially suitable for a mixed sex casual lunch.

Oak Street Cafe
45 Oak Street
Roswell, GA 30075
(770) 594-1300

Oak Street Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sun in My Belly is a Decatur spot, carved out of an old hardware store. We went during lunch recently, weaving our way down Scott and Ponce De Leon in one of the more exotic Google Map paths, passing everything and then coming back to the eatery. Parking was cramped this day and I wasn’t certain whether we could park in the back of this place at all (there isn’t much space in their lot). But we managed.

Dagwood

Napolean Complex

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The sandwich selection here is good. My daughter had the Napolean Complex (brie, proscuitto, fig jam, focaccia bread) and I had a Dagwood (club sandwich on steroids). Sandwiches can be small, so consider getting a salad as well if you’re not filled up.

The look of the place is a little eccentric. There is a fair emphasis on catering here, something not unusual for smaller creative eateries developed on modest resources. There are consistent reports of inconsistent waitstaffing, but I didn’t see any of that today. Our waiter was excellent.

Sun in My Belly
2161 College Ave NE
Atlanta, GA 30317
(404) 370-1088

Sun in My Belly on Urbanspoon

These are two restaurants with a common name, largely compatible menu, and yet in many ways, these restaurants are markedly different. The Addison Original Pancake House is in a large modern building on the edge of a divided highway and when we went, it was packed. We had a thirty minute wait, in overstuffed chairs and sofas. This eatery were used to their crowds. Once seated, we were offered a choice of rolls and they were good ones. The kitchen area was well separated from the dining areas. There was plenty of staff, and the feeling of substance, abundance, luxury was ever present.

Addison Original Pancake House

Rolls are served in Addison.

The Stone Mountain Original Pancake House is in a modest round building that reminds me of the “mushroom cap” buildings that many older Mellow Mushrooms are found in. There is limited seating, due to the size of the building, and no waiting area. There was a modest staff. The menus were much lighter weight than the Texas menus. No rolls were offered when we sat. If we wanted, we could see some of the goings on in the kitchen. The feel, if I had to compare it, was closer to that of a Waffle House than the Addison restaurant.

Stone Mountain location.

The menus are different not only in look and feel, but also the Texas restaurant has additions that suit the Texas breakfast eater. For example, there are migas in Texas, a selection not found in Georgia. That said, the food delivered to the table in both eateries was of high quality.

Bacon pancakes, from Dallas.

Pumpkin pancakes (Dallas).

Migas. Usually you wrap these in tortillas.

Corned beef hash.

Dutch baby, no dusting of sugar. My wife was curious about this.

Western omelette. Good and enormous. Like the hash, came with a side of pancakes.

We had pancakes and migas in Texas, pancakes, corned beef hash, a dutch baby, and an omelette in Georgia. Serving sizes were ample. There was more food than we could eat at both locations. Service to the table was excellent in Texas, and quite good in Georgia.

Original Pancake House
5220 Belt Line Rd
Dallas, TX 75254
(972) 385-6468

Original Pancake House on Urbanspoon

Original Pancake House
5099 Memorial Dr
Stone Mountain, GA 30083
(404) 292-6914

Original Pancake House on Urbanspoon

Fig is a pretty restaurant on McFarland, just a few minutes north of the Interstate. I had been aware of this restaurant for months, but every time I had traveled, this place had been closed, until my recent trip to Texas. This time, Fig was open, and I made sure I stopped on the way to relatives.

Fig is a small shop with an original menu. The sandwiches were enticing, and I chose one, a bacon, lettuce, and fried green tomato sandwich. If there ever was a southern riff on the BLT, this is it.

Bacon, lettuce, and fried green tomato sandwich.

The sandwich was enjoyable, the tart of the green tomatoes an interesting contrast to the normal slice of beefsteak tomato. The plating is good here, service is good and the staff a delight. If you are traveling, it is well worth the time to pause, take a few minutes to head north, and try their sandwiches.

Fig
1351 McFarland Blvd NE
Tuscaloosa, AL 35406
(205) 345-8888

Fig on Urbanspoon

This wasn’t a place I would have chosen, but one my father had visited, and one for which he was wanting another opinion. Some friends of his just loved this chain. Others could take it or leave it. He felt, in advance, that it was pretty good, but hardly divine.

Another Broken Egg is a small chain, and the morning we went, was full of people.

Eggs benedict.

Smoked salmon omelet.

I enjoyed my breakfast, a smoked salmon omelet. My father’s order, eggs benedict, was made using ham instead of the Canadian bacon he prefers. He liked it but it wasn’t, in his opinion, heavenly. That takes a good hollandaise sauce and the right ingredients. The service was good, so I’d tend to the view that this is a good, not great deal for breakfast.

Another Broken Egg Cafe
855 Pierremont Ste. 132
Shreveport, LA 71106
(318) 865-1124

Another Broken Egg Cafe on Urbanspoon

It’s a pretty place inside, with gold records on the walls and a sultry sound. The clientele are largely black, but that shouldn’t be surprising in this part of Georgia, because it’s the same in the nearby Olive Garden. The menu is relatively simple, the serving sizes are enormous.

They have a braised oxtail on the Lithonia menu, but I was told it wasn’t available that day. Two of my party ordered the “Midnight Train”, which was a mix of waffles and chicken wings. The wings were larger than some drumsticks I’ve bought, simply enormous. I bought a plate whose name escapes me, but in essence was three pieces of chicken and two sides. Many of the sides were starchy, so it was a little tricky to find sides I could eat. This restaurant has good collard greens, but I couldn’t try their green beans because they were out of green beans as well.  When you have so few entrees,  I’m not sure what the issue is with keeping adequate stocks of things like oxtail and green beans.

I had two thighs, and they managed to tread the thin line between “juicy” and oily. The chicken wings, by contrast, ran a little dry. My wife’s chicken breast, which seemed to cover half the plate, was touched but not entirely consumed. This is a place where a single chicken piece could be an entire meal.

For those who are curious, the menu suggests that chicken and waffles was a combination that began in Harlem. So it’s not a ‘Georgia’ thing. Given that my wife told me when we were dating that she could eat chicken seven days a week, this was a useful place to explore. It’s a couple dollars more than Popeyes or KFC, but the seating is pleasant, the music is good, the food is decent, and the serving size has to be seen to be believed.

Gladys Knight and Ron Winian’s Chicken and Waffles
7301 Stonecrest Concourse
Lithonia, GA 30038
(678) 619-4570
 
Gladys Knight & Ron Winans' Chicken & Waffles on Urbanspoon

Dickey Doo’s is a small restaurant, part of the same building as a gas station, at the corner of Lawrenceville Highway and Gloster Road. It was not the easiest place to find, as the maps I had available to me placed this restaurant directly on Ronald Reagan Boulavard. I wrote Dicky’s and after some time, they replied. I then passed on the improved location to Urban Spoon.

I then tried to check it out after work. No luck, as it’s a breakfast and lunch place. But one day when I had time to pick up my daughter from school, we stopped here on the way home.

Pulled pork plate

Rib plate (1/4 rack)

It’s cozy, with a drive in window and a few tables. Ordering is done at a counter, and most of the menu is on a whiteboard in the back. There is an extensive array of breakfast items, as well as barbecue, pretty good barbecue in fact.

A recent takeout menu

Both the ribs and pulled pork were smoky and flavorful. The pulled pork was a little dry, but the restaurant features some good barbecue sauces, a decent mild and a good hot variety. Sides were good, though my daughter was a little indifferent to her mac and cheese. The biscuits were a big hit with my daughter, who took mine to have for breakfast at a later date.

Getting here couldn’t be easier from Snellville. Oak Road turns into Gloster, so just head down Oak Road until it turns and crosses the railroad tracks, and just keep going. Another route would be to exit Ronald Reagan at Bethesda Church Road and head towards Lawrenceville. At Lawrenceville Highway, head north down 29. The corner of Gloster and Lawrenceville will be at the next set of lights.

Dicky Doo’s Diner
2700 Lawrenceville Highway
Lawrenceville, GA 30044
(770) 638-4778

Dicky Doo's Diner on Urbanspoon

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