CREAM OF THE CROP
11 top breakfast spots’ most in-demand dishes
STORY: Jennifer Bradley Franklin
We’re not ashamed to play favorites, so we asked some of Atlanta’s best morning restaurant haunts what gets ordered most during the breakfast hours. Their answers may surprise and inspire you.
Star Provisions Market & Café: French Omelet Baguette
“It’s special because it’s unusual to have a well-prepared French omelet,” says chef, owner and James Beard Award winner Anne Quatrano of the dish finessed with fine herbs, brie and aioli.
Java Jive: Gingerbread Waffle
“Our gingerbread waffle with homemade lemon curd has been a longtime favorite. The spicy waffle pairs well with the taste of tart, sweet lemon,” says Steven Horwitz, owner of this breakfast-only spot on Ponce. “It’s like a warm hug from your grandma’s kitchen.”
West Egg Café: Georgia Benedict
“I’ve always loved biscuits and gravy. The Georgia Benedict was born when we wanted to incorporate them into a full entrée,” explains West Egg co-owner Ben Johnson, who decided to stack it in classic Benedict form with a few twists (a biscuit instead of an English muffin, sausage instead of Canadian bacon, runny eggs and gravy instead of hollandaise). “It may not be pretty, but people love it.”
Flying Biscuit Café: The High Flyer
If you find yourself unable to choose what to order at Flying Biscuit’s original Candler Park location (or any of its area dining rooms), this popular mashup comes with lots of favorites: two eggs anyway you like, chicken sausage, “creamy dreamy” grits, a biscuit with apple butter and your choice of either a buttermilk pancake or an organic oatmeal pancake topped with peach compote. “It’s been on our menu since our doors opened in 1993,” says brand leader Brent Fuller.
“I firmly believe the breakfast taco stands on the shortlist of milestone achievements in the history of human civilization,” says founder Michael Lennox, who recommends newbies start with the simple Reggae taco, a housemade flour tortilla stuffed with scrambled egg, potato and pico de gallo. Pros should order the Muchacho Style, with egg, chorizo, roasted poblano, pico and melted Chihuahua cheese.
Bread & Butterfly: Avocado & Toast
“This dish is special because we use our sister bakery Proof Bakeshop’s sourdough bread and season the avocado with lime and crème fraîche,” explains Kristin Allin, who owns the Inman Park eatery with her chef/husband, Billy.
Full Commission: The Southern
The Southern sandwich kick starts your day with griddled ham, tomato relish, a sunny-side-up egg and pimento cheese, all tucked between a housemade English muffin. “It’s got all the things you want in a breakfast, whether you want to lighten it up with a side salad and hot tea or go full hangover cure and get it with home fries and black coffee,” says the Grant Park eatery’s owner David Traxler.
Kelly Wallace, vice president of the Young + Hungry restaurant group responsible for Upbeet, describes this photogenic smoothie bowl as “a tasty way to fuel your body with fiber, protein and healthy fats to satisfy you until lunchtime without the guilt of added sugars.” It’s made up of an all-organic base of acai, banana, blueberries, peanut butter and cashew milk topped with fresh banana, strawberries, cacao nibs, hemp granola and more peanut butter.
Momo Cafe: Miso Grits
At this diminutive Midtown spot, breakfast is served all day (adjoining sister restaurant Momonoki has lunch and dinner fare). “The grits are cooked in a dashi/ miso broth with a touch of heavy cream,” says general manager McKenzie Brooks of this Japanese take on a Southern staple. “We add wakame seaweed and then top off [the grits] with stir-fried ground pork, poached egg, scallions, seaweed flakes and Japanese 7 spice.”
Petit Chou: Cabbagetown Breakfast Bowl
“Who doesn’t like breakfast in a bowl? The fresh greens and tomato concasse contrast with the grits and potatoes, making them more savory,” explains Ron Fisher, who runs the restaurant with his wife and daughter. Your choice of grits or potatoes comes topped with Tillamook sharp cheddar; either bacon, ham, or chicken or veggie sausage; a poached egg; arugula; and tomatoes.
Home Grown: Comfy Chicken Biscuit
Locals and visiting celebrities alike line up for a seat at one of the Formica-topped tables here to feast on down-home fare, especially this homemade buttermilk biscuit topped with fried chicken tenders and smothered with rich sausage gravy. “It’s been on the menu pretty much since our inception [in 2010],” says manager Evan Stepp. “It fits with the vibe of the restaurant: not pretentious, just a really good plate of food.”