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Seattle Times food writer Nancy Leson serves up the best info and tips on Northwest food, cooking, dining and restaurants.

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April 25, 2008 4:10 PM

Let's talk breakfast

Posted by Nancy Leson

Helen Kong asks: "What's with the Seattle brunch scam? My friends and I often complain how very few places (other than Denny's) offer something sweet (waffles) with something savory (bacon or potatoes). You always have to pony up an additional $2-$3 for the savory. Is this just standard restaurant biz?"

I'm thinking it's just standard resto-biz, Helen, since it's cheap enough to make a waffle or a pancake, but costs real money to put meat (bacon, sausage, ham) alongside it. It's been too long since I've had a Grand Slam breakfast at Denny's, and when the need for bacon, eggs and pancakes strikes, my breakfast-place-of-choice is the fantabulous Original Pancake House.

Prices have certainly risen at OPH (and everywhere, given the uptick in the cost of dairy products, wheat and other commodities) since I wrote this glowing review after Ken Naito opened his first local version of the Portland-based chain. (He's since opened a second, in Crown Hill.) But for my money, you're getting some mighty delicious buttermilk pancakes alongside the eggs-and-meat combos there -- though I wish they served better coffee. I'm a sucker for the Cherry Kiafa crepes and Dutch Babies served at OPH, and as Helen suggests, I have to pay extra for a sausage patty (and "real" maple syrup, if I want it).

So, what say you, folks? Where can Helen find happiness, and a good deal on the sweet-and-savory b'fast foods she craves?

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Posted by Lydia

4:25 PM, Apr 25, 2008

All of the Chow Foods empire have a "slam" option, but I have found that I don't have the capacity to finish two of their substantial pancakes plus bacon and eggs.

Posted by Jeanne

4:57 PM, Apr 25, 2008

We enjoy the Bay Cafe at Fisherman's Terminal and the Edmonds Pancake Haus though the coffee at both leaves a lot to be desired.

Posted by Nancy Leson

5:03 PM, Apr 25, 2008

You're right, Lydia. What's more, those are not just any "slams" but Kathryn's Grand Slam ($9), with buttermilk cakes, bacon and two eggs any style, named with a nod toward my friend and fellow restaurant critic, Kathryn Robinson. KR once gave the Chow boys a slam in print and now, every time she (or anyone else) goes into a Chow Foods joint for breakfast, she gets a good laugh-and-a-half. Love that!

Posted by SeattleDee

6:01 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Geraldine's Counter in Columbia City offers the Counter Special (7.50) two eggs any style, with choice of bacon, sausage patty, or chicken sausage and hash browns and toast. Their Slammin (8.50) has a choice of sausage patty, chicken sausage or bacon, eggs and pancakes. These look terrific, but I usually order the Corned Beef Hash and Eggs or the awesome Geraldine's Casserole... or eat lunch for breakfast and go with the jalapeno mac and cheese, or... Good food, but really busy on weekend mornings (less so Tues-Fri).

Posted by Chuck

10:29 PM, Apr 25, 2008

Here's my short [numbered] list:

1. Pete's Eggnest on Greenwood and 78th
2. 5-Spot on Queen Anne - Get a Bloody Mary
3. Coastal Kitchen on 15th in Capitol Hill (Connection to #2 above)
4. Cyndy's on Aurora and 105th (Nostalgia!)
5. Julia's on Broadway
6. Keep your own chickens and eat real eggs at home.

Posted by Annb

3:14 PM, Apr 26, 2008

Brown Bag cafe over in Kirkland gets my vote for the Eastside. It has several choices with both sweet and savory, and tasty food too.

They've thought through the details to make it good - my plain ol' oatmeal came cooked in milk, with steamed milk on the side as a complement.

The coffee is Caffe Vita...quite good this morning.

Of course, Coastal Kitchen always gets my #1 vote...but if I can't get Lemon Rosemary corncakes, then I'll settle for Brownbag on a Saturday morning.

Posted by Mireldis

4:08 PM, Apr 26, 2008

Mae's Phinney Ridge Cafe has a "Pancake Sandwich" (not really served as a sandwich) with 2 ginormous pancakes, 2 eggs, and choice of turkey links, pork sausage, or bacon for $9.

For a somewhat weirder take on sweet-and-savory breakfast, they also do a "Shake & Eggs," which is your standard eggs-potatoes-biscuit combo with an accompanying milkshake. I've not tried this myself, but I have had their milkshakes separately, and they're awesome!

Posted by Clean Simple

4:45 PM, Apr 26, 2008

Man, Original Pancake House on 15th NW! Get the One by Three, and sub special pancakes, like coconut, blueberry or banana. You get an egg, bacon or sausage and 3 tasty pancakes all for one price. Get Ogi as your waiter and you'll be taken care of.

Posted by ffredd

8:33 AM, Apr 28, 2008

My son and I have always made it our thing to go out to breakfast on Saturday mornings. I'm on a fixed income and he's 6'1 and 16.We try to keep the tab around $15 plus the tip.
Being down here in Raymond we have run out of places.. I mean $10 for bacon hash browns and eggs is redicules. So we dont eat in this area, we go to Aberdeen.
Dennys was ok for a while but they cut down on portion size and raised prices.
We found a little place called 'The Blue Beacon.' The Breakfast is good the prices great and the service is great and also entertaining. Its just a fun place to eat.

Posted by J

10:23 AM, Apr 28, 2008

Check out St. Cloud's in Madrona. Most of their savory breakfasts (omelettes, breakfast burritos, tofu scrambles) come with their pastry of the day.

Posted by Ballard Boy

10:57 AM, Apr 28, 2008

We like Hale's for breakfast on the weekends. The Burke-Gilman gets you two pancakes, bacon, eggs and some fruit. The coffee is from Zoka. I like it because they don't give you an "American" size portion like other places do.

Posted by GourmetLight$

4:19 PM, Apr 28, 2008

Mukilteo Speedway Cafe has all-day breakfast options, both sweet and savory. Their biscuits are like cake, and the sausage gravy is really good. Best option is their housemade Corned Beef Hash. Hubby really likes the meat lovers omelette which includes polska kielbasa. Any kind of pancake or waffle you can think of available on the side of the egg dishes.

Posted by Emily

5:07 PM, Apr 29, 2008

Check out Coho Cafe in Redmond (there's one in Issaquah, too, I think). Last Sunday I had the most amazing french toast (HAD to be some Grand Marnier in there) with a spicy sausage link, cheesy potatoes with tons of pepper, the way I love, and two eggs any style, all for about $11. If you happen to know someone who works at Microsoft and take them with you, it's 2 for 1 with their Prime card to boot.

Posted by karel Wallace

10:13 AM, Apr 30, 2008

The best place for breakfast served all day is Claire's Pantry in Edmonds. Never a bad meal!

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