The Breakfast Bunch


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 Editor's note: This story from the May 2010 issue struck a responsive chord among readers. Be sure to note their suggestions following the main story, and feel free to add your own!

There are few things as comforting as a good breakfast served by capable hands in friendly surroundings. It’s a way to start the day off well—your belly is full and you’ve got hours and hours to burn it all off. But there’s a psychic reward as well. No matter what else happens during the day, no matter what challenges or disappointments may await, well, at least you’ve had a good breakfast.

There are scores of perfectly good breakfast spots in Connecticut, and you can find them in virtually every city and town. We all have a favorite or two, usually nearby, where the coffee is good, the eggs are done just right and the other diners like to nod “Good morning.” But some breakfast restaurants are worth traveling to, either for a special dish, above- average creative flair or just a special, wonderful “breakfasty” feel. Here, in no particular order, are 23 we think are worth checking out. And if you’ve got a favorite we haven’t mentioned here, please let us know.

Olde Blue Bird Inn
363 Black Rock Tpke., Easton, (203) 452-0697
Do you have recurring fantasies of a good country breakfast in a 1919 roadside diner complete with maple hutches and bustling crowds of locals? The Blue Bird’s homemade baked goods are exceptional, as are dishes like blueberry-peach pancakes and pumpkin-walnut pancakes with maple butter. Very good eggs Benedict, too.

Waiting Station
1048 Main St., Branford, (203) 488-5176
Here’s another classic sort of breakfast lover’s choice: the  popular little place on Main Street right near the middle of town. The Waiting Station specializes in homemade muffins and omelets, but also knows how to carry off special treats like sweet potato pancakes with spiced applesauce.

Chez Ben Diner
927 Center St., Manchester, (860) 649-4011
Then there’s the breakfast spot that offers something you can’t get anywhere else, that you’d either like to try for the first time or can’t live without. At Chez Ben, which specializes in Canadian cuisine, it’s poutine—french fries and fresh cheese curds covered with brown gravy. Mmmm . . . now that’s the way to start off the day!

The Shack Restaurant
324 Flanders Rd., East Lyme, (860) 739-8898 
Hungry? A local favorite at The Shack is “The Mess”—a plate of home fries topped with scrambled eggs, ham, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, sausage and onions, all covered with Monterey Jack cheese and bacon, with grilled corn bread on the side. The extensive breakfast menu at this popular spot amply covers less bearlike hungers as well.

Sally & Bob’s Eatery
10 North Main St., West Hartford, (860) 236-5392
A friendly, modest spot amidst the rather glitzier offerings of West Hartford Center and Blue Back Square, Sally & Bob’s offers two eggs, bacon, toast and home fries for $5.75, a good buy these days. Specialties here include challah French toast, homemade corned beef and matzoh brei (fried matzoh).

Whistle Stop
108 Main St., Deep River, (860) 526-4122 
A tiny, charming spot with big-time creative fervor. Check out the Garden Lover’s Eggs Benedict served on grilled eggplant slices instead of an English muffin, with sautéed mushrooms, artichoke, fresh spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. Or Austin’s Wrangler omelet, made with homemade hash, roasted peppers and horseradish cheddar.

Billy D’s Full Belly Deli
58 Bridgeport Ave., Shelton, (203) 924-6600
The happy home of the good-deal breakfast sandwich. There’s virtually no seating here, just a counter where you place your order, then you pick it up and eat in your car or take it to work. The basic egg, bacon and cheese on a hard roll costs a very reasonable $3 and you can double all three ingredients for a mere 75 cents extra.

The Breakfast Bunch

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