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Anything but a boring morning

Non-traditional breakfast options are plentiful in the South Sound

BEHIND THE SCENES: Try the breakfast burrito at Burs if you're looking for something different. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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While the calf-liver breakfast at Ben Moore's in Olympia (112 Fourth Ave. W.) may be a little too adventurous for most, typical breakfast offerings can be as boring as the morning conversation after a night spent tearing it up.

I do not want [green] eggs and ham. Dr. Seuss may have been on to something. Eggs ... hash browns ... toast. It's an expected litany of the uninspired.

While straying from safe bets and incorporating other proteins can be risky for chefs and businesses, slight changes to the usual can turn tired into terrific.

Not all sausage must be of the greasy, shining, Denny's patty or link variety. Portuguese sausage, for example, is used in the Island Scramble at Spring Lake Café in Fircrest (616 Regents Blvd.), along with sautéed sweet peppers, fruit salsa and pepper jack cheese. At Burs in Lakewood (6151 Steilacoom Blvd. SW), Italian sausage, peppers and onion are the filing in a hefty breakfast burrito - a convenient and portable way to eat the first meal of the day.

In Sumner, seasoned ground beef joins eggs and a cheddar-mozzarella mix in The Buttered Biscuit's (1014 North St.) huge breakfast roll-up. Honestly, if the Buttered Biscuit's breakfast roll-up were an athlete, it would be totally ‘roided out. Pepperoncinis, jalapenos and salsa dancing on top create an inferno in your mouth. Sour cream does little to tame it. Also at the Buttured Biscuit, The Aristotle is a stoner's dream: spiced gyro meat and garlicky tzatziki, poached eggs, provolone and feta cheese along with zucchini, tomato, ranch dressing and hollandaise is served open-face on a biscuit.

Paco's Tacos in Lacey (4520 Lacey Blvd. SE), one of the few Mexican restaurants in the area dabbling in breakfast, opens early at 8:30 a.m., offering a breakfast burrito featuring tender seasoned pulled pork scrambled with eggs, with pico de gallo and beans thrown into the mix. The fact that pulled pork is showing up on breakfast menus more and more indicates diners have a willingness to try new things. Served as a fried egg sandwich on a buttermilk biscuit, braised pulled pork in the Three Little Pigs at Dirty Oscar's Annex in Tacoma (2309 Sixth Ave.) is part of the dish's pork trifecta, along with spiced sausage and hickory bacon. Crisp potatoes and jalapeno ketchup make it a full meal. Also at DOA, check out chorizo breakfast sliders and the popular elk hash with creamy Italian sausage gravy.

Fairly unique to coastal regions, seafood on breakfast menus can raise eyebrows in landlocked locales, as I experienced firsthand on a visit to the land of my birth, Utah, last November.  Here in the Northwest not an eye is batted at dishes like the Puget Sounder at Affairs Café & Desserts in University Place (2811 Bridgeport Way W.), a morning offering featuring a crab and scallop cake topped roasted potato platter that boasts an exceptionally light lemony hollandaise. Likewise, The Bair Bistro in Steilacoom (1617 Lafayette St.) offers salmon pancakes: shredded circular mounds of golden, crisp sweet and russet potato hash browns topped with lox, sliver thin red onion, creamy smoked gouda and little dollop of sour cream. Eggs cooked to order double the protein. Carrs Restaurant and Bar in Lakewood (11006 Bridgeport Way SW) may be known for outstanding biscuits and gravy, but the restaurant also makes one fine scramble plate. The "Northwest" is made with smoked salmon and cream cheese, fresh spinach leaves, and hash browns or home fries. Capers and feta cheese give a nice salty punch to a dish that's so popular it's been repeated on many a local menu.

Replacing poached eggs in the vegetarian benedict at MoonRise Café in Lakewood (6020 Main Street), a firm tofu seasoned with nutritional yeast (and garlic upon request) is scrambled and then layered with thick tomato slabs, generous avocado slices and a wealth of fresh spinach on toasted English muffin. Citrusy hollandaise is refreshingly light. Hand-shredded potatoes make for ultra fresh hash browns. A meatless breakfast never tasted so good.

LINK: South Sound Restaurant Guide

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Comments for "Anything but a boring morning" (2)

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Jason said on Sep. 22, 2011 at 2:32pm

Love the use of bold to call out restaurant names.

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DC ThundR said on Sep. 24, 2011 at 1:10pm

I would to participate in video recording interviews with restaurant entreprenuer talents found through the Volcano Weekly thereby taking these delightful stories to the next level.
DC ThundR

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