A shortlist of spots for excellent morning egg-fests
Published: March 30, 2011
Café Zola 112 W. Washington St., Ann Arbor; 734-769-2020; cafezola.com; $$: A coffeehouse in the European tradition, Café Zola is a place for gathering, eating and enjoying coffee, espresso, hand-selected teas, and sweet and savory crepes made fresh, one at a time, and served hot and delicious. Or you can enjoy organic egg omelets, luscious house-made biscotti, Belgian waffles, market-fresh salads and sandwiches, and Turkish-inspired specialties. In true European style, there's even outdoor seating on the sidewalk. And then there's this encouraging fact: According to Café Zola, the perfect omelet is the mark of a great kitchen and a fine chef. And the results on the brunch menu are worth talking about, including the "Proven ale" (caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms, scallions and fresh garlic), the smoked salmon omelet (Durham's Tracklements smoked salmon, fresh tarragon, scallions and a creamy mustard sauce) and the "Frittata Zola" (an Italian-style omelet served open-faced, with cubed sweet potatoes and caramelized onions, topped with challah croutons and tangy goat cheese). Eggs served till 3 p.m.
Club Bart 22728 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-548-8746; $: If you've only been to Club Bart at night, when it's more a honky-tonk than a culinary destination, you're missing a whole different side of the Bart experience. The breakfast has reasonable prices and terrific food (and then there's that liquor license). And its omelets draw crowds: Most are $6-$7, and eggs Benedict is $7.95. Order a mimosa or a Bloody Mary, or what the hell, a boilermaker, with your over-easies, and life is sweet. Breakfast is from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Monday-Friday and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Delmar Family Restaurant 1307 E. 11 Mile Rd., Royal Oak; 248-543- 2773; $: All the omelets are less than $7.25, and they're all classics. You have your spinach omelet, your mushroom omelet, even your ham-and-cheese omelet. But the choices only get grander. There's the "meat lover's," with bacon, ham, sausage and cheese. There's the Southern, with green pepper, onion, sausage and sausage gravy. But, for $6.95, you can have the Delmar omelet, which has it all. Open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-10 p.m. Fridays, and 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturdays.
The Emory 22700 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-546-8202; theemory.com; $$: The dishes at the Emory have a reputation for "overdelivering." This concept is most obvious on weekend mornings when you're digging into a plate of huevos rancheros: two crispy corn tortillas layered with black bean spread, a generous dose of sautéed peppers and onions, eggs sunny-side-up and topped with melted cheddar. On the side are potatoes, baked and then flash-fried crispy on the outside and sprinkled with large chunks of onion and pepper. The other side of the plate is reserved for avocado slices and mandarin orange wedges. Other Mexican-inspired breakfast options are burritos and a heaping plate of nachos. Eggs Benedict and biscuits and gravy fill out the more exotic portion of the menu. Vanilla cinnamon French toast is thick and abundant. Buttermilk pancakes are airy and light and take on maple syrup without getting soggy. Omelets are offered by region, starting in California then moving through the West, down South and finishing with asparagus and roasted red pepper.
The Fly Trap 22950 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-399-5150; theflytrapferndale.com; $: When clever, talented people make your meal, the tastes will be great but the names will be creative. For "blunch," the Fly Trap serves up fun egg dishes like "green eggs and ham" or "the boot," a Mussolini-themed "rumble" of eggs, mozzarella, fresh basil, tomatoes and black olives. Omelets have such amusing names as the "BLAT+C," the "slacker especial" and the "forager." Open 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Tuesday-Friday, and 8 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends. Closed Mondays.
Frittata 236 S. Main St., Clawson; 248-280-2552; $: Named after the omelet's Italian cousin, Frittata has creative dishes without the noisy kids or fried food odors. Their knowledgeable, enthusiastic staff serves frittatas that stimulate both the tongue and mind. Take the $7 house frittata for instance: a blend of three eggs, caramelized shallots and white wine topped with Asiago cheese and roasted potatoes — simply delicious. For a bit more zest, try the delectable honeybee frittata filled with chunks of chorizo sausage, strips of roasted poblano peppers and cactus, then topped with a salad of cilantro and fresh greens in a small tortilla bowl, with a side of creme fraiche. Foodies and vegetarians will adore a combination of chevre, sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts topped with fresh greens and plated with a thick, tangy balsamic vinegar sauce. There are several more "house-built" frittatas to choose from, or you can create your own from a long list of optional ingredients. And then there's always the daily frittata special. Frittatas are $7-$12. Open 7:30 a.m.- 2:30 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday.
Gest Omelettes 39560 W. 14 Mile Rd., Newberry Square Shopping Plaza, Commerce Twp.; 248-926- 0717; 25906 Plymouth Rd., Redford; 313-937-3540; gest-omelettes.com; $: Over a decade in the omelet game means you're doing something right. Choose from omelets like the Coney Island (dogs and chili), Popeye's Favorite (with spinach) or the Greek-influenced "Opa!" Or select from the create-your-own options of 14 meats, 14 vegetables, eight cheeses, seven sauces and such extras as black olives, chili and shrimp. Open 6:30 a.m.-4 p.m. every day.
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