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Five iconic local breakfast joints

JBLM-area institutions have dished it out for more than 30 years

The Wagon Wheel at the Homestead Restaurant is a giant cinnamon roll prepared as savory stuffed French toast, then drizzled with glaze. (Credit: Marguerite Cleveland)

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Sometimes only a big, hearty, greasy breakfast will do. With menu items like chicken-fried steak, fluffy pancakes and biscuits dripping with thick sausage gravy, these local restaurants fit the bill and fill your stomach.

Galloping Gertie's Bar & Grill -- Simply known as Gertie's, this breakfast favorite has been around for more than 65 years, serving locals and catering to soldiers from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM). The bar and grill's namesake and owner, Gertie Rice, passed away in 1991. The "galloping" part comes from her love of gambling and horse racing. If you dare, try Gertie's Bigfoot, a huge slab of chicken-fried steak slathered in country gravy and served with three eggs, hash browns and a biscuit. This baby is big, and if you can eat the whole thing, you get a Bigfoot pin and your place in the Bigfoot Hall of Fame. This spot has great service, and even when it's busy, the food comes out quick.

6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday-Thursday; Friday and Saturday, 6 a.m. to 12 a.m., 15417 Union Ave. SW, Lakewood, 253.584.4848

Pine Cone Café -- Serving up delectable breakfasts for more than 60 years, the Pine Cone is a University Place institution. Owner Steve Warp grew up eating at the café, and he purchased it in 1986 to keep the tradition going. It's just good food, nothing fancy, but people keep coming back to this neighborhood hangout. Try the malted waffle or one of the omelets.

6 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily, 7912 27th St., University Place, 253.565.5690, pineconecafe.net

Homestead Restaurant --So yummy. This place has been around for 35-plus years, and is well known for its fresh pies, giant cinnamon rolls the size of a dinner plate, and its variety of takes on chicken-fried steak. The signature dish, one you must check out, is the Wagon Wheel. This behemoth is a giant cinnamon roll cooked like French toast, then stuffed with ham, bacon, hash browns and American cheese.

6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m., daily, 7837 S. Tacoma Way, Tacoma, 253.476.9000, homesteadwa.com

Poodle Dog Restaurant -- The Poodle Dog has been serving large breakfast platters in Fife for more than 85 years. A must-try is original owner Jim Zarelli's favorite, the Idaho Potato Pancakes Breakfast. The trademark breakfast consists of pancakes made with hash browns, bacon, green onions and cheddar cheese, all topped with a dollop of sour cream and served with two eggs and your choice of breakfast meat. The restaurant is known for great service and its daily fresh-made desserts.

6 a.m. to 10 p.m., daily, 1522 54th Ave., Fife, 253.922.6161, poodledogrestaurant.com

Burs Restaurant and Lounge --Burs has had a recent exterior facelift, but not much has changed inside, where they have served diner favorites for more than 65 years. Breakfast is served all day, and a definite favorite is the "Art the Barber" -- delectable butter horn French toast stuffed with cream cheese and drowned in berries. The presentation truly is a work of art. All your breakfast favorites are on the menu, as well as a homemade hash of the day.

6 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily, 6151 Steilacoom Blvd., Lakewood, 253.588.4844, bursrestaurant.com

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