October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, but the editors are already talking a lot about food. Although it was difficult to narrow it down to just one restaurant (and in some cases they simply couldn't), the editorial staff compiled a list of their favorite breakfast joints. Here they are and add your own via the Talkback feature. And then take yourself out for a cheesy omelet or a plate of bacon. You deserve it.
Senior Contributing Editor
Three words explain why Brocach is my favorite place for weekend brunch. Irish soda bread. It is delivered sometimes hot to the table after you have placed your order.
Although I had a great-grandmother Flanagan, I make no claim to being an expert on Irish soda bread. I don't know how authentic Brocach's is. I do know I could make an entire meal of it.
Warm, sweet, satisfying. You must try it.
Brocach's brunch entrees are also very good. There are enough vegetarian choices to please the non-meat eaters who seem to always be dining with me, and I favor the biscuits and gravy. I know, I'm a little carb crazy when I go there.
The second floor outdoor patio is a summer bonus for weekend brunchers.
Breakfast is rarely my focus in the morning. Most days I either sleep through it or throw something together in a fog as I'm heading out the door. When I do get a rare chance to sit and enjoy breakfast, I actually prefer staying in and tackling a recipe or improvising something new. It's cheaper, the service is always excellent (if I do say so myself) and I don't even have to change out of my pajamas. Milwaukee has plenty of great restaurants, but I'll save dining out for lunch or dinner.
Picks: Blue's Egg, Cafe at the Pfister, Original Pancake House and Lowlands Group
I love Blue's Egg. How can't you? It's breakfast heaven. But, since I have drive to get there I just don't go there as much as I should. Hint, Downtown Blue's Egg. So, my favorites and most visited breakfast stops are Cafe at the Pfister, Original Pancake House and any of the Lowlands Group (Trocadero, Cafe Hollander, Cafe Benelux, Cafe Centraal) spots. The Pfister just does it right. Huge omelets, great hash browns and freshly squeezed and often somewhat exotic juices. OPH is the consistency champion. Big, good food, quick and inexpensive. Lowlands is great for the experience and I love the breakfast tacos, waffles and the Anodyne coffee always hits the spot.
Pick: Cafe At The Plaza
Most mornings for me, it's just espresso from home, or if I'm out and about, I might grab a cup to go from The National, The Fuel, Alterra or Sil's which is my new favorite because their coffee smells like min-donuts so it's almost (I said almost) like eating a bag without eating of bag of those deep fried puffs of deliciousness.
However, whether breakfasting on the charming patio, belly up to the counter or in the dining room, I always enjoy eating at the Cafe At the Plaza. I have been going there for more than a decade and although I usually order their pancakes and coffee, I will occasionally splurge on the vegetarian eggs benedict and a Bloody Mary. I always imagine myself living in The Plaza Hotel, which is where the cafe is located, and wonder if maybe someday, when my kids are grown and it's time for me to write my best-selling memoir, I will.
Pick: Blue's Egg
Like many, I'm a breakfast fiend, so there are all kinds of places that can satisfy my yen for omelets, French toast, pancakes and waffles. But if I want something great, hardy, tasty and interesting – something a step above – I head to Blue's Egg, where the choices are a mix of traditional and unusual (the polenta is awesome and so is the shrimp, scallop and calamari scramble). Just prepare to wait a bit on the weekends because Blue's Egg's brilliance is no secret.
Pick: Multiple locations
Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, but I don't eat it too often ... unless you count a scone on the go or a toasted bagel with cream cheese. When it's time to be gluttonous, however, there are too many fantastic breakfast spots in Milwaukee to choose just one. In my own neighborhood is Cafe Centraal, with its über decadent Napoleon Dynamite. Then again, Blue's Egg served me the absolute best corned beef I've ever had. I love Beans and Barley, Ma Fischer's (but usually more at 3 a.m.), or just a coffee and a muffin at Alterra at the Lake (sitting outside, of course). And that's to take nothing away from giant Greek diners like Omega on 27th St. Finally, chain or otherwise, nothing beats the Dutch Baby at the Original Pancake House. Sorry, I just can't name a favorite. I just love breakfast.