In honor of World Egg Day, we are sending you off on six road trips to places where you can have a great time having an egg-cellent breakfast.
Narrowing it down to just five is quite a challenge, because there are many great breakfast joints around the country, and you probably have a half dozen favorites yourself if you are a breakfast person. Even if you are not a breakfast person, it is time to get out there and taste what you are missing. Keep in mind part of this quest is the meal and part of this quest is the road trip itself. Here we go…
The Best Breakfast Chains
First Watch began in 1983 in Pacific Grove, California, and then moved to Bradenton, Florida, in 1986. The originators’ ideas have become a tradition: First Watch aims to think of everything that you might want in the way of taste, health, service and accoutrements, from the fresh fruits and vegetables, the newly baked muffins and omelets and French toast from scratch. As you might hope, everything is made to order, and freshness is key. First Watch never uses heat lamps or deep fryers — and when you are seated, you are greeted with a pot of their Sunrise Select Premium Blend® coffee, complimentary newspapers and Wi-Fi Internet access. Our personal favorites are the Caps Etc, the Greek Fetish® Omelet and the Via Veneto Omelet. Go to the source and dine at First Watch, Bradenton, in a city that is a great destination not just for breakfast but for the Ringling Museum, the South Florida Museum, Bishop Planetarium and Parker Manatee Aquarium. We suggest you drive to or from by way of Anna Maria Island and Longboat Key, and be sure to shop at St. Armand’s Circle. Remember to take home some of their coffee to enjoy until your next visit.
The Egg And I
The Egg & I was created in 1987 in fabulous Fort Collins, Colorado. The Egg & I offers gourmet coffee, 100% pure-squeezed orange juice and a variety of menu choices you will enjoy time and time again. Favorites include benedicts, and omelets. We favor the Artichoke Florentine Benedict, the Colorado Jack Scramble and the Egg-ceptional Omelet. While in Fort Collins, don’t miss Horsetooth Mountain Open Space, Colorado State University’s Annual Flower Trial Garden, and the amazing metal animal sculptures at the Swetsville Zoo. The perfect driving excursion might begin with sunrise at Fossil Creek, breakfast at The Egg and I, and then a drive up and through the Roosevelt National Forest, to Estes Park. Also well worth a visit is the Cathy Fromme Prairie National Area, known as the jewel of the high plains.
International House of Pancakes is known across the nation for pancakes, but on World Egg Day and every other day, they also serve up a stellar selection of egg-based breakfasts. The chain began at 4301 Riverside Drive in Toluca Lake, Los Angles, which, coincidentally, is right across the street from the oldest remaining Bob’s Big Boy restaurant (we love their Western PA incarnation as Eat N Park, the place for smiles and for grilled bear claws). But back to IHOP. The first location is now Mo’s, so we suggest you drive toward the nearest IHOP to that, in Hollywood, at 7006 Sunset Blvd, just catty-corner from Hollywood High. At IHOP, we like the Bacon Temptation Omelets, the Chorizo Fiesta Omelets and the Smokehouse Combo. In Hollywood, you know what to do, see Grauman’s Chinese theater and put your hands and feet where the stars have been, follow the walk of fame, see the homes of the stars and take the drive up to the gorgeous Mount Griffith observatory. If you are lucky you may be having eggs over easy with someone who looks very familiar. We have it on good authority that this IHOP is a fav of some of your favorite stars. Before or after breakfast stroll over to 6840 Hollywood Blvd. to see Donald Duck’s star on the Walk of Fame.
Favorite One-of-a-Kind Breakfast Joints
Old Ebbitt Grill
Old Ebbitt Grill at 675 15th Street NW Washington, DC, is the nation’s capital’s oldest restaurant dating back to 1856. Breakfasts at the grill are amazingly good; go for the Country Fried Steak with scrambled eggs, Eggs Benedict and the OEG Quiche. Enjoy the great food and atmosphere with lots of dark wood, Did we mention the restaurant is located near the White House? While in DC, tour the famous places from the Capitol Dome to Arlington National Cemetery with the Lincoln, Jefferson, Washington, and FDR monuments and memorials as well as the Smithsonian in-between. You may see famous politicians and policy makers as you have your breakfast—they’ve gotta eat, you know!
Walker Brothers at 153 Green Bay Road, Wilmette, Illinois, has been serving the north Chicago suburbs for fifty years. Look for the Art Deco building with the red and white striped awning. Have their bacon and basted eggs, Venetian Benedict or the Continental. Don’t miss their famous apple pancake – like a fritter but better. While north of Chicago you must go to Oak Park and River Forest to see the collection of Frank Lloyd Wright houses there, tour his home and studio and his early poured-concrete building, Unity Temple. The drive to and from Chicago along the Lake is iconic, no matter which direction you drive. The Baha’i Temple is also a beautiful fantasy building for you to see and tour, alongside the Lake.
The Wyndham Virginia Crossings, at Glen Allen, Virginia
Just north of Richmond, this golf and conference center should be on your radar as a perfect place for breakfast as well as to stay. The buildings are designed to look like the best of tidewater colonial architecture – think the George With house in Colonial Williamsburg. The setting is gracious and grand, and the service is attentive but understated. You will be surprised by all of the amenities, but best of all is the buffet breakfast and the made to order omelet station in the dining room. The setting is superb, with big windows looking out over the rolling Virginia countryside, and the omelets are the best we have ever eaten anywhere in the USA. Nearby attractions include the wonderful Berkeley Plantation, which is the home of Signers and Presidents and where “Taps” was first sounded. If you meander down the river road and back again, be sure to stop whenever the whim strikes you. Don’t miss the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, with the superb collection of bronze equestrian statues, and marvelous John Singer Sargent portrait of Mrs. Albert Vickers.
Hope these have whet your appetite for more, because we are sure you have a breakfast joint to add to the list, and to have as your destination, the next time you #DriveTheNation.