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Food & Drink > Short Order

Easter eggs

A shortlist of spots for excellent morning egg-fests

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Published 3/31/2010

Angelo's 1100 E. Catherine St., Ann Arbor; 734-761-8996; $: Plenty of stuff for egg-heads to try here, including eggs Benedict, Florentine, lox Benedict and a standard three-egg breakfast plate with bacon, sausage, ham, breakfast potatoes and homemade toast for $7.75. Omelets include their standard (comes stuffed with your choice of four items), the lox omelet, the farmer's (green pepper, onion, ham, potato), Mexican (chili with beef, cheddar, onion, sour cream and salsa), Greek (spinach and feta), broccoli-and-cheddar, Western (green pepper, onion and ham) and plain. There are also plenty of extras to add on, and no standard omelet costs more than $9.25. All breads are from Angelo's own bakery, adding a touch of integrity to your breakfast.

Berkley Bistro 1999 Coolidge Rd., Berkley; 248-691-4333; $$: Formerly the Berkley Breakfast Cafe, it's still very much a spot for a good breakfast. The fragrance of cinnamon fills the air as patrons patiently await Sunday brunch. Long past noon, customers are asking for coffee refills as they mop up the last of their "international scrambles" or "breakfasts of champions." In any event, this is the spot for a no-holds-barred breakfast made the old-fashioned way. That would include four-egg omelets made with Italian sausage, sausage gravy, or chili and cheddar cheese. It would include French toast stuffed with strawberries and mango-infused cream cheese. Befitting the portion sizes, prices are fairly hefty for breakfast, though not out of line with other, more refined establishments. The long menu runs the gamut from such traditional dishes as Eggs Florentine and Benedict, through five kinds of French toast to omelets, frittatas and "scrambles" made with everything from crab, asparagus, portobellos or roasted tomato sauce to chorizo or "gyro meat." 

Beverly Hills Grill 31471 Southfield Rd., Beverly Hills; 248-642-2355; $: For Sunday brunch, be prepared to wait at the bar for as long as a mimosa or two. But once you get your seat, you can choose from a half dozen scrambles, omelets and frittatas, from the humble vegetable scramble (mushrooms, leeks, tomatoes, spinach and garlic-herb chevre; can be made with egg whites) to the lobster Cobb omelet (smoked bacon, avocado, tomato, onion and blue cheese). Or go with comforting dishes in which egg is a bit player, such as huevos rancheros, with vegetarian black-bean chili, salsa, whole-wheat tortilla, cholula sour cream, jack cheese and a fried egg. You can always go simple, with two eggs, a choice of meat, skillet potatoes with bacon and scallions, and an English muffin for $8. No smoking.

Breakfast Club 30600 John R, Madison Heights; 248-307-9090; 38467 W. 10 Mile Rd., Farmington Hills; 248-473-0714; $: This eatery is proud of its specialty breakfasts, with a third of its menu devoted to some pretty swanky egg-centric dishes. They'll serve eggs your way, with steak, atop pancakes, or even on top of layers of hash browns, caramelized onions and melted cheese. They'll serve a pair of quiche with a salad and fruit. There's no Benedict too imaginative for them, as they do eggs Benedict, crab cakes Benedict, smoked salmon Benedict, California Benedict, Tuscan Benedict and Southern Benedict: corn muffin bread topped with sausage patties, poached eggs and sausage gravy. And then there's the "Eggstravaganza!" section of the menu, with such omelets as the smoked salmon, spinach-tomato, Wild West, Farmer Connor, Virginia Ham, California, Easter, Kelly's Favorite, crab-asparagus with Hollandaise — and even a "vegetarian." Open 7 a.m.-2 p.m. (until 2:30 p.m. in Farmington Hills) all week long. No smoking.

Café Marie of Ann Arbor 1759 Plymouth Rd., Ann Arbor; 734-662-2272; $: You won't find "omelets" on the menu, as the kitchen instead serves creative "eggers," "blends," scrambles and Benedicts. Some have creative names, such as the "Eye-Opener," a blend of bacon, mushrooms and scallions, scrambled with Monterey jack and yellow cheddar; for good measure, it's topped with bacon, more scallions and tomatoes. There's even the "Surf's Up," with crabmeat, dill and cream cheese, as well as the equally appealing "Seafood Bene," with poached eggs, crabmeat, English muffin and Hollandaise sauce. Breakfast available 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m. No smoking.

Café Muse 418 S. Washington, Royal Oak; 248-544-4749: $$: Maybe even the word "omelet" has become tired, what with all the local spots dumping the O-word for catchier terms. But it's more than just a name change; the "scrambles" at Café Muse are alive with fresh flavors. And the upscale ingredients — such as ammoglio, crushed garlic, basil and tomatoes — make for a breakfast that impresses. The "exotic mushroom scramble" is a local favorite, rich with truffle oil and a bit of Boursin cheese. It comes with a choice of garlic-roasted fingerling potatoes or mashed sweet potatoes, and a choice of toast (rye, multigrain and sourdough, all bread from Ferndale's Strawberry Moon Bakery) with French jam on the side. Coffee is fair-trade, organic and Brazilian, and espresso is Lavazza Gold from Italy. What's more, the other dishes are likely to have the same amount of careful attention as these five-star day-starters.

Café Zola 112 W. Washington St., Ann Arbor; 734-769-2020; $$: 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 crêpes 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 Provençale" (caramelized onions, sautéed mushrooms and fresh garlic), the smoked salmon omelet (Durham's Tracklements salmon, 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. No smoking.

Club Bart 22726 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-548-8746; $: If you've only been to Club Bart at night, when it's more a smoky 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 $8.95 (only available on weekends). 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 1207 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 $6.25, you can have the Delmar omelet, which has it all. Open 6 a.m.-11 p.m. Sunday-Thursday and 24 hours Friday and Saturday. No smoking.

Detroit Breakfast House & Grill 1241 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-961-1115; $$: Detroit Breakfast House's omelets are named for local features, such as the "Campus Martius" (steak, potato, mushroom and cheese) or the "Greektown Frittata" (spinach, feta, peppers, olives, potato, tomato and oregano). You'll also find eggs united with seafood (one pulls together shrimp, crab and Monterey jack) and chicken (with cheddar and Monterey jack). There are also many Benedicts available, including the "Healthy Benedict" and the "Southern Benedict" (with a toasted English muffin, diced grilled chicken, crumbled bacon, grilled tomato, cheddar cheese and Hollandaise sauce when requested.) No smoking.

The Emory 22700 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-546-8202; $$: 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; $: 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. No smoking (other than the smokin'-hot ska on the sound system, that is).

Frittata 236 S. Main St., Clawson; 248-280-2552, $: Named after the omelet's Italian cousin, Frittata has creative dishes without the smokers, noisy kids or fried food odors. Their knowledgeable, enthusiastic staff serves frittatas that are off the hook. 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 crème fraîche. Foodies and vegetarians will adore a combination of chèvre, 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; $: Eleven years 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, 12 vegetables, seven cheeses and such extras as black olives, chili and shrimp. No smoking.

Granma's House of Pancakes 17275 Nine Mile Rd., Eastpointe; 586-445- 6100; $: Granma's offers 12 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.

The Ham Shoppe 330 Monroe St., Detroit; 313-965-0088; $: A few months ago, patrons of the delightfully crowded downtown Detroit greasy spoon known as the Ham Shoppe got an awful surprise. As part of a deal to allegedly redevelop the old New Hellas, owner Sal's adjoining little diner was asked to vacate the premises. What happened next is sort of a mystery, as the whole development seemed quickly scuttled and the building was gutted and razed to the ground. And so, in a month or so, the Ham Shoppe went from hole-in-the-wall to hole in the ground. (And Greektown got that much smaller.) The good news? Sal and company have reopened as the "Ham Shop" in what used to be Bahn Thai, a few blocks away. It's roomier than the old location, seating almost 60 diners, with plenty of elbow room. And they still serve what we described as "an omelet as big as 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. Sunday.

Honest John's 488 Selden St., Detroit; 313-832-5646; $: This low-key Cass Corridor bar is in the breakfast game too, 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 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

Louie's Ham and Corned Beef 3570 Riopelle St., Detroit, 313-831-1800, $: A friend is fond of saying Louie's serves omelets as big as your head. 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.-3 p.m. Sunday.

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 enjoy 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; $: The OHOP bakes their omelets, which makes them extra fluffy. Expect large portions that fill up the entire plate. The "Spanish Omelette" 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. No smoking.

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 commitment to fresh food is so strong, the menu changes consistently. Breakfast served 7 a.m.-10:30 a.m. Monday- Friday and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday. No smoking.

The Steakhut 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. And, of course, you can always have an omelet with the show.

Toast 23144 Woodward Ave., Ferndale; 248-398-0444; $: Their food is marvelous, plus beautiful to look at. Weekday egg-fests include some pretty fancy fixin's along with more regular fare, and it gets more lavish on the weekend. Consider the wild mushroom omelet, made with portabellas, criminis and shiitakes, fresh thyme, Parmesan and ricotta, available anytime. The French omelet includes artichoke hearts, smoked ham and a lot more. The Greek uses spinach, feta and pine nuts, and pine nuts make anything good.

Whistle Stop 501 S. Eton St., Birmingham; 248-647-5588; $: On weekends, you'll often see patient lines outside this small, family-run breakfast and brunch place, hidden in a mostly residential, non-tony section of Birmingham. The Whistle Stop's menu is quite classic: Cheese and meat omelets, giant meat-and-egg plates with interesting and pancakes with fruit. Cinnamon roll, French toast — sounds like a winner. The lunch items are equally traditional. Weekend breakfast specials, served all day, are a tad more adventurous.

See any inaccuracies in these listings? Let us know. Call 313-202-8043 or e-mail to mjackman@metrotimes.com.

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