Three Of My Favorites And One That Attracts Crowds
By The BaldOne
We all have our favorite spots for particular purposes. Given a choice of breakfast places you would certainly have an immediate preference, or at least a short list of options. Breakfast seems simple enough, but it isn’t really simple at all. Eggs, meat, potatoes, bread, cheese, veggies, sauces, even fruit are all in the equation. For me home fries are key. They have to have some character, and they have to be consistent.
Here are a few of our favorites, in no particular order complete with a short explanation.
Brother’s Taverna has been in place on Derby Street for more than a few years. They made the conversion from a cafeteria a couple of years back. Breakfast is a strong point for them, featuring a consistency that many places lack. Their omelets are cooked properly, not runny, not dry, and a solid variety is offered. They offer both excellent home fries and classic hash browns. The house-made corned beef hash is a menu highlight. I don’t drink a lot of coffee and prefer a more robust cup than the regional favorite. Brother’s steps up in that regard.
They are open also for lunch and dinner and for now can serve beer and wine. Once April 1 arrives their full liquor license will be in play.
Sitting on the side of Boston Street in a classic 1936 Worcester Diner (#725) sits Deb’s Diner. The exterior panels on the diner are virtually untouched from it’s first day. Deb’s is small with both counter and booth space. You can watch the cooks as your breakfast evolves from order to plating. Their home fries are excellent as they should be. The specials board is alway interesting and creative without being over the top. I have developed an affinity for both their hollandaise and their sausage gravy. House-made Maryland crab cakes are a star of the menu. Recent exploration of the Italian Sausage Benedict was a wonderful experience as was the Texas Benny with house-made corn muffins and the aforementioned sausage gravy.
Put Deb’s Diner on your list for breakfast soon.
Fountain Place Restaurant in Town House Square occupies an historic spot. Long ago it was the Henry Ives Book Store, and later became home to various eateries including the late and lamented Pewter Pot. Today they serve breakfast and lunch everyday. Their dining room is worn looking but clean. Their home fries are excellent and one of my favorites. The Chicago Omelet and the Polish Omelet are standouts. They do a very nice hollandaise and have some creative benny selections to include crab cakes and one with grilled and sliced Portabella mushroom. Ask for the corned beef hash grill cheese sandwich, a guilty pleasure that I order once every other full moon. Rest assured, as the photo shows, Fountain Place knows how to do sunny side up eggs.
The Ugly Mug Diner has become one of the more popular downtown Salem spots. It is not unusual for there to be a wait of 30 minutes or more on the weekends. The home fries are good and unlike any other in Salem in that they are cooked a bit more than other places. Sweet potato home fries and chipotle brisket hash are an everyday options. The Mug specializes in fun and funky decor and this is true also of the menu. Themed waffles like the Elvis, complete with peanut butter, bacon, and bananas dot the menu. Duck Confit, chicken & waffles, huevos rancheros, Scotch eggs, and poutine are all features.
As a matter of confession I do not frequent the Mug, but that surely puts me in the minority amongst the Salem breakfast crowd. When I do stop in, the Scary Uncle Sully Omelet is the go-to menu item. There is just something about bacon, jack cheese, and jalapeños that draw my appetite.
There you have it. Four breakfast spots. Three are favorites of mine, one is perhaps the most popular breakfast in town.
What’s your favorite breakfast spot?