Our family loves a good breakfast. Not every day, but sometimes on weekends we will whip up a batch of chocolate chip pancakes, or Joe will make his special eggs (a yummy concoction of whatever meat is in the fridge—salami, bacon, sausage—and onions, peppers, spinach, etc.). Often, though, it’s a breakfast bar on the run. Going out for breakfast doesn’t happen too frequently with our busy schedules, so when it does we make it count. And we don’t go for yuppy food…we prefer trucker-style, hearty fare where the calories outweigh your car.
While Denny’s makes a decent breakfast (I’m serious!), we like little Mom & Pop joints that aren’t duplicated anywhere else. It turns breakfast into something a little more memorable. Here are our picks:
#3 – George’s in Kirkland is a classic diner with a Greek twist. Situated on Kirkland Avenue just a couple of blocks from the water, this 39 year-old establishment is Kirkland’s longest family-owned restaurant. The all-day menu includes classics like burgers (really good!), salads and sandwiches, and also throws in Greek classics like Gyro Pitas, Spanakopita and Mousaka. For breakfast, you can get your traditional Bacon & Eggs, Eggs Benedict or Biscuits & Gravy, or try something a little more interesting like the Olympic Omelet (pictured). This delicious omelet is made with gyro, pepperocini’s, tomato, Kalamata olives and feta, and comes with a side of Tzatziki sauce. So good! Portions all day are hearty and reasonably priced. And wandering downtown Kirkland afterward is a fun way to burn off the extra calories!
#2 – Brown Bag Café in the Totem Lake area of Kirkland is a long-time favorite of ours. We frequented their downtown Redmond restaurant often before it closed several years ago and Kirkland is now their only location. This restaurant is only open for breakfast and lunch—pick one, you won’t need both with these monster-sized portions. The Brown Bag is famous for their gigantic, fluffy cinnamon rolls and these are a must-have item. Everything we have tried is amazing but a couple of favorites stand out. The Italian Omelet (sausage, peppers, mushrooms, onions olives, tomatoes, basil, garlic, mozzarella and feta) is huge and tastes like a pizza. I am usually not a fan of sweet breakfast, but by far the most delectable thing I’ve put in my mouth here is the Cinnamon Roll French Toast (pictured). They take those famous rolls of theirs, frosting and all, slice them up, dip them in egg batter and grill ‘em up. Oh. My. Word. Incredible!
#1 – Sunbreak Café in Auburn is our absolute favorite breakfast place of all time. This little diner is on A Street across from the train station and is only open for breakfast and lunch, and you will have to stand in line to get a table (totally worth it!). Lunchtime sandwiches are incredible, but breakfast is where it’s really special. They have all the traditional favorites like pancakes, omelets and my favorite Chicken Fried Steak (pictured), but a couple of unique touches make this place unlike any other. First, their portions are HUGE. Only order a half order, unless you want to feed your whole family, and you might not even be able to finish that. Second, the potatoes that come with savory dishes are so good—crispy and tender with the right amount of seasoning. Third, they offer green Tabasco sauce at the tables—silly, I know, but it’s my favorite and I haven’t found any other restaurant that does. And last, but most important, a “toast” option is their famous Banana Bread. You can’t leave without trying this. It comes with your breakfast, served warm and dripping with melted butter. Made with molasses, it’s dark and rich and absolutely mouth-watering. Everything here is delicious and you won’t need another meal for quite a while afterward.
So as summer nears an end, make some family time for breakfast and start your day out right—with a hearty meal big enough to push you right into fall. Don’t worry—I’m sure the calories don’t count before noon.