A shortlist of spots for excellent morning egg-fests
Published: March 30, 2011
Granma's House of Pancakes 17275 E. Nine Mile Rd., Eastpointe; 586-445-6100; granmashouseofpancakes.com; $: Granma's offers 14 kinds of crepes, ranging from classic strawberry to hearty spinach-and-Monterey with hollandaise sauce. Also features five choices of blintz and multiple egg specials that come with a choice of sides. For omelet lovers there are 13 choices from the plain to the Greek or the Spartan omelet (spinach, feta, mushrooms and tomatoes). If your breakfast partners eschew the egg, they can choose from 11 varieties of pancake. Open Mon. through Sat. 7 a.m.-8:30 p.m.; open Sun. 7 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
The Ham Shop 330 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-965-0088; Once a favorite St. Antoine greasy spoon, the Ham Shop — formerly known as the "Ham Shoppe" — has spent the last couple years maintaining its reputation at its present Monroe St. location. It's ham everything at the Ham Shop: ham sandwiches, ham omelets, and on the list goes. Part of the place's reputation comes from the talk about their ham and cheese omelets, which were described before in these very pages as being "the size of a hubcap."
Harvard Grille 16624 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Park; 313-882-9090; $: You can create your own omelet here, piling items on until you've created a 2,000-calorie breakfast bomb. Or, you can choose from the usual omelets. One interesting choice is the Irish omelet, with corned beef (natch), green pepper, onion and Swiss cheese. All omelets come with hash browns and toast. Open 7 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Saturday, and 7 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays.
Honest John's 488 Selden St., Detroit; 313-832-JOHN (5646); $: This low-key Cass Corridor bar is actually a tried-and-true veteran of the breakfast game, offering a variety of omelets with names such as "the Oink" (ham, bacon, sausage and American cheese), "the Poor Richard" (spinach, mushrooms, bacon and Swiss) and "the Goyim" (corned beef, thousand island, coleslaw and Swiss). Early in the day, you'll often get free credits on Honest John's encyclopedic jukebox, and when weather warms up, the restaurant's small patio is at your disposal. Breakfast is served until noon Monday-Friday and until 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.
Louie's Ham and Corned Beef 3570 Riopelle St., Detroit; 313-831-1800; louieseasternmarket.com; $: A friend is fond of saying Louie's serves omelets as big as your head—a statement more likely true for the big-headed. Their showcase omelet is the $6.75 "piggy," which has ham, bacon, sausage links, green peppers, onions and both kinds of cheese, Swiss and American. For deli-heads, there's the pastrami omelet, which will set you back $6.25. There are 24 omelets to choose from, served with toast and jam. Open 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Monday- Saturday, and 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Sunday.
Mae's 24060 Woodward Ave., Pleasant Ridge; 248-548-5355; maesdetroit.com; $$: Previously known as the durable Anna's Coffee Shoppe, it's a classic space, with knee-to-ceiling windows on the north and west walls, a wealth of natural light washes across the white counter and the vibrant aqua vinyl stools and chairs. Vintage wooden soda crates and a milkshake mixer lay amid the shelves of kitchen tools and foodstuffs. Mae's is quite clean and decent and suggestive of a fairy-tale era where young love was measured in baseball euphemisms and cigarettes weren't bad for your health. Go inexpensive with a simple fried egg and cheese sandwich for $2.50 on your choice of a half-dozen styles of bread baked at Detroit's Avalon Bakery. Go gourmet with a worthwhile eggs Benedict complete with spinach, bacon and tomatoes on baguette. Or go for the all-veggie Hippie omelet. See: Everyone is covered for breakfast.
Omelette & Waffle Café 580 Forest Ave., Plymouth; 734-454-6510; $: Don't entrust your breakfast to people who only do it part time. O&W's slogan? "Breakfast is our specialty!" Expect fluffy omelets with thick chunks of the good stuff you desire, as well as a full breakfast menu that ensures you'll receive maximum satisfaction from the "most important meal of the day."
The Original Pancake House 33703 S. Woodward Ave., Birmingham; 248-642-5775; 20273 Mack Ave., Grosse Pointe Woods; 313-884-4144; 19355 W. 10 Mile Rd., Southfield; 248-357-3399; originalpancakehouse.com; $: The OHOP bakes their omelets, which makes them extra fluffy. Expect large portions that fill up the entire plate. The "Spanish Omelet" is a specialty direct from Barcelona, filled with fresh mushrooms and smothered in a tangy sauce. A favorite is the spinach-and-cheese omelet, which comes with mushroom sherry sauce. If you are more interested in going the crepe route, try the Continental, a sour cream-filled treat that is especially delectable when smothered in generous drippings of maple syrup.
Russell Street Deli 2465 Russell St., Eastern Market, Detroit; 313-567-2900; $: On Saturdays, don't let the usual line out the door deter you — it's well worth the wait for the Deli's Saturday breakfast. Eggs get combined with fresh ingredients including avocado, smoked gouda and caramelized onions. There's a different (huge) omelet or scrambled special every Saturday, often involving double-smoked bacon; the special is posted on the Deli's website, russellstreetdeli.com, every Friday night. The menu changes consistently; such is the nature of the Deli's commitment to fresh foods. Breakfast served 7 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Monday- Friday and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.
The Steak Hut 1551 W. Lafayette St., Detroit; 313-961-0659; $: Vintage diner with live music every Sunday. Gus, the owner, makes "the" best homemade home fries and hippie hash. His "sizzle special," huge omelets and organic blueberry pancakes are great and cheap. The bands are different every Sunday morning: jug bands, keyboard & violin, steel guitars, banjos. In fact, expect an upcoming show from mandolinist Nolan Faulkner and guitarist Long Tall Lou on the morning of May 1. And, of course, you can always have an omelet with the show.
Toast 23144 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-398-0444; $: Not only does their food taste marvelous—it is also beautiful to look at. Weekday egg-fests include some pretty fancy fixins along with more regular fare; it gets more lavish on the weekend. Consider the Parisian omelet, made with spinach, caramelized onion, tomatoes and goat cheese. The non-egg fare is also worth trying. For instance, the Grand Marnier French Toast is topped with almonds and brown sugar. And Toast does lunch. Try the turkey avocado sandwich, which is packed with guacamole, Swiss cheese, mayo, mustard, and sprouts, and is served on multigrain wheat bread. Open weekdays 7 a.m.-3 p.m; open weekends 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
Whistle Stop 501 S. Eton St., Birmingham; 248-647-5588; $: On weekends, you'll often see patient lines waiting outside this small, family-run breakfast and brunch place, hidden in a mostly residential, outlying section of Birmingham. The Whistle Stop's menu is full of classics: Cheese and meat omelets, giant meat-and-egg plates, and pancakes with fruit. Cinnamon French toast — sounds like a winner. The lunch items are equally traditional. Weekend breakfast specials, served all day, are a tad more adventurous.
Special thanks to editorial interns Alia Raheem and Patrick Higgins for their assistance compiling and fact-checking this column.
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