Leave it to me to forget to bring a camera and notebook to a visit to a fabulous breakfast spot. Scojo’s, tucked behind the The Baymen’s Museum on Tuckerton Seaport was so good, it has knocked me out of my writer’s coma. This one is worthy of a write-up.
It has the look of a typical seaside cottage and it packed with locals and tourist for breakfast and lunch. On this blustery Nor’easter day, my friend and I raced from the car into the warm and cozy dining room. From hostess to server, we enjoyed Scojo’s friendly service.
There’s a huge choice of breakfast items on the menu and the Special’s Board. My friend ordered one of the specials of the day – a skillet with Kielbasa, onion, potatoes, eggs and cheddar cheese with the fresh homemade biscuits on the side. This plate of food was massive. It got two thumbs up! The biscuits were especially yummy, especially with real butter.
Being a firm believer of the “When in Rome” concept, I ordered the Jersey Benedict that features New Jersey’s own, pork roll – kind of like ham, kind of like Spam, but a bit more tangy. This sat atop an English muffin and poached eggs – all of which were covered in fairly acceptable Hollandaise sauce. This was served with a healthy portion of fried country potatoes. Healthy in size, but not for the waist. Fuggedaboutit! You’re on vacation. Don’t let those spuds get dumped in to the Bay (or the food waste bin).
There is so much on this menu that I look forward to revisiting just so I can try something else – perhaps something from the griddle. Scojo’s is definitely a MUST DO during a visit to the Jersey Shore.
Spendy Scale: $
Coffee Rating: 4
Contact Information120 West Main Street Tuckerton, NJ 08087 609 – 296-5700
Daily: 7:00am to 2:00pm
This is one visit to a restaurant where I didn’t mind being stood up by my usual Breakfast Bunch. Seated at the bar, over looking Tasty n Son’s Kitchen Show was distraction enough for me. I have never seen a more organized kitchen or more well-choreographed kitchen operation than the one I observed at Tasty’s.
When I first arrived, the hostess seemed determined that a lone diner should be put in the further-most corner. I was offered a place by the glassed-in rollup door, but in the furthest corner next to the rails. Why? So odd…I couldn’t last there long. It was absolutely freezing. I asked them to move me and I was hoping for a table so I could spread out a bit. Alas, I was squeezed between two people at the bar. Tables are clearly reserved for more than one person.
I was nearly put off by this, but I because so distracted with the activity going on behind the counter, that I nearly neglected to order my food. It was a chore to drag my attention back to the menu and my notes when it was so much more interesting to watch someone place colorful bell peppers on a roasting pan in neat little rows. Color and order – that’s what this place is about.
I finally did order my Chocolate Potato Doughnut with crème anglaise starter (a simply must do) and my Cast Iron Frittata with caramelized onions, butter-roasted cauliflower, olives & feta. I had a bit of a wait, but was satisfied with my Smith’s Earl Gray tea and honey. The food is definitely worth the wait. I had no idea the donut was freshly made. This golf -ball-sized treat arrived in a puddle of cream. This chocolaty, sugary morsel was a melt-in-your-mouth dream.
The frittata was piping hot in its own cast iron skillet. It was just the right sized portion. Very tasty though perhaps a bit too heavy on the onions for me.
Whether you’re dining alone or with a friend, you won’t be disappointed. I recommend trying one of Bloody Mary’s – Tasty Mary with a generous serving of Monopolowa vodka is delicious!
Spendy Scale: $$
Coffee Rating: Not rated
- Brunch & Dinner
- Happy Hour
Contact Information3808 N. Williams, Ste. C Portland, OR 97212 503.621.1400
Daily: 9:00am – 10:00pm
Fri – Sat: Till 11:00pm
- Nothing noteworthy
Bonjour, mon ami…!
Welcome back to the breakfast blog. Sorry to keep you waiting for the next installment. LIFE happened and then suddenly, I find myself in a new year. Seems like yesterday when I was on the open road sampling High Desert America.
Two friends joined me today to help me relaunch my breakfast bunch. On this glorious sunny morning (a rare find this time of year in the Pacific Northwest) we visited the Mon Ami Coffee shop where they specialize in homemade crepes, baked goods and quality coffee drinks. I’d visited here once before for lunch and enjoyed my crepe tremendously. They claimed to do breakfast so I had high expectations for my morning meal.
How very sad to have those expectations dashed. Really folks – even though Urbanspoon followers seem to find great joy at Mon Ami, my companions and I were disappointed throughout our meal.
First of all, I wouldn’t say this place qualifies as a breakfast establishment. Sure, you can eat a muffin with your coffee for breakfast. However, the menu sits firmly in the lunch and dinner categories. There are meat and vegetarian options with a variety of fresh ingredients. There is not an egg is sight. Not a breakfast meat to be found. This is all forgivable to the Breakfast Bunch if the following had not occurred:
- All three crepes, while beautifully presented, arrived cold or barely warm. The Brie, Pear and Ham crepe was bland. The Creamy Smoked Salmon arrived with the tomatoes IN the crepe and not on the side as requested. My Turkey, Roasted Red Pepper and Feta tasted great – it just wasn’t hot. There was some disappointment at the sweetness of the crepe batter: great for dessert crepes, not so great for savory.
- Cristina’s hot chocolate was tasteless and thin. Sadly, the beautiful chocolate design in the froth does not make up for taste.
- For the first time in a review, Stumptown coffee earns a 3. Why? It was weak. Not the fault of the coffee. Entirely the fault of the coffee maker.
- All crepes came with a barely-dressed salad of mixed greens that looked healthy, but were not at all tender. These salads all went into composting.
- My Cheese and Chive biscuit was cold right out of the bakery case. Warming really didn’t improve its taste.
- Just one last thing…Mon Ami seems to be THE PLACE to go for hip moms and their little darlings. At 10am, I would say this place was more like a creche than an eating establishment.
Ok – that’s enough grumpiness for one day. On a happy note, Mon Ami IS a friendly place. It’s clearly busy and popular and it does seem to draw a crowd. Perhaps when it’s less busy, the food will be hotter, the coffee will be stronger, and the tea won’t be served with a soup spoon.
Spendy Scale: $
Coffee Rating: 3 (Stumptown)
- Local Art
Contact Information1906 Main St. Vancouver, WA (360) 750-5693
Mon – Fri: 7:30am-5pm
We’ve been to Price, Utah so many times that I thought there was no breakfast place could surprise me enough to write about it. During this trip, we went back to the Balance Rock Cafe (reviewed previously) and while the food was good – as before – the service was dreadfully slow. So slow, that I’ve decided it’s not quite worth a return trip on future visits to the area.
Then, we stumbled up Café Ricardo’s at the Greenwell Inn & Convention Center in Price just a few hundred yards from the Best Western Carriage House where we were staying. We were heading south to Zion National Park and we wanted to start off our day with a good breakfast. My aunt recommended Ricardo’s (so not exactly a “stumble upon”).
Ricardo’s specializes in coffee drinks so it was Skinny Mochas and Americanos all around (except for me of course – a breakfast lover who doesn’t like coffee.) Both traditional and south-of-the-border flavors are available on this menu.
My husband enjoyed his mushroom and ham omelet, but ruined his hashbrowns with the cheap ketchup offering on the table – Ketchup is nothing to skimp on, folks. My daughter ordered a short stack of pancakes which appeared large and fluffly, but tasted dense and gummy. My son had no complaints as his scramble was loaded with diced ham. Mr.Meat was happy indeed.
I suppose I was happiest of the bunch as I decided to venture into the unknown. I ordered the Machaca Con Huevos – a Mexican omelet with shredded beef and Pico de Gallo. It was tasty, indeed. Be warned – this baby packs some heat!
Spendy Scale: $
Coffee Rating: 4.5
- Lunch & Dinner
- Full Bar
655 East Main
Price, UT 84501
After being on the road for a week eating at diner after diner after diner where traditional breakfast is prepared in not-too-different ways, it’s an absolutely pleasure to visit an establishment where “traditional” is turned upside down.
The Egg Shell is in the heart of the Cherry Creek shopping district in Denver, CO. Indoors (and outdoors) the place was hopping and I expect never more so than during the Cherry Creek Art Festival which was going on the day I visited.
I was about to type The Egg Shell’s specialty dish, but a second glance at this To Drool For menu has me rethinking my approach. EVERYTHING they do is their specialty. Clearly Benedicts are something they do well with their house made hollandaise sauce. However, I’m sure you can’t go wrong with their omelets, scrambles and French Toast.
Our party of three went for two of those choices. The youngest of our trio went for the Strawberry Cream Cheese Stuffed French Toast (“of doom” – Kaethe’s little addition to the name of the dish). What a gorgeous presentation! Three slices of Texas Toast dipped in batter and folded over a decadent layer of cream cheese and fresh strawberries – the only thing doomed here was the meal. I seem to recall that not a bite was left…
I went for the Granola French Toast. This is a croissant, dipped in batter, rolled in Granola and grilled. It arrived flat as a pancake, which is what I thought this was at first. It was delicious and in the perfect portion size for someone who had been eating out for a week – straight! I ordered a side of bacon to balance out my carb/protein mix. NICE bacon – meaty with not too much fat.
The third of our group went for the healthiest choice – a Vegetable Star. This is an egg white scramble loaded with fresh vegatables – visibly fresh veggies. My high school buddy, Doug, seemed to enjoy his meal tremendously. I found that he was an excellent Breakfast Blog companion when he described his coffee: Smooth, but intense. Not quite smokey, but close. He got the hang of my gig very quickly. I love sharing my breakfast adventures with friends.
Spendy Scale: $$
Coffee Rating: 4 (Illy)
- Breakfast Cocktails
Contact Information235 Fillmore Street Denver, CO (303) 322-1601
When a “google” fails to turn up a decent place to eat, I always turn to the locals for advice. Thankfully, I was visiting family in Vernal and being locals, they knew just where to go to get a good breakfast.
My cousins introduced me to Naples Cafe just off Highway 40 as you head east out of town. If you’re not careful, you can almost miss the place as you zoom your way to the Colorado border.
In a converted industrial warehouse looking thing, Valerie, the owner, has converted vast space into a comfy country diner with room for large parties. Except for the scrambled eggs, everything we ordered was fresh-tasting and pleasant in appearance. It arrive quickly and was consumed with enthusiasm. My son rejoiced at his “better breakfast” which put him in a much better mood than the day before.
I usually leave behind a little bit of food on my plate, but the home fries were so perfectly prepared with the right amount ofcrispy, I ate them like an addict. The bacon was gorgeous! It looked great and tasted even better. The country gravy was flavorful with the right amount of pepper.
Everything at the Naples Cafe is homemade right down to the delicious homemade boysenberry jam. A stop here is a great place to start a travel-filled day or a romp around dinosaur country.
Spendy Scale: $$
Coffee Rating: 3.5
- Lunch and dinner
- Space for large parties
1010 S 1500
Vernal, UT 84078-8611
- Dinaland Golf Course
- Dinosaur National Monument
- Steinaker State Park
- Red Fleet State Park
- Ashley National Forest
My choice for this day was a hotel complimentary breakfast (don’t you just love those waffles, folks?) or a random pick of restaurant found via Trip Advisor.
I chose Betty’s Cafe as it seemed to be the only one that advertised breakfast. I wrote down the address, noting how remarkably close it was to the Best Western Antlers Hotel where we were staying. My son and I had a bit of a giggle when we looked across the street and there it was – right in front of us. Aren’t we clever!?
The restaurant appears to have taken over an old fast food establishment. It had the same fast food furniture, but with the added touch of red white and blue curtains, country decor – roosters and all. The place was hopping and the servers did a great job keeping people happy.
Betty’s turned out to be one of those mixed bag experiences. Some great – some not-so-great. I went for the highly-recommend waffle – it was perfect. Just the right amount of crispy on the outside. However, I had only generic cold syrup to complete the dish. My side of bacon was tasty – at least the part I was able to strip away from the fat.
My son ordered Betty’s Skillet which consists of a grilled pork chop, eggs, potatoes, and country gravy. His high hopes were dashed when it arrived in a food stack with everything covered in probably some of the worst gravy I’ve ever tasted. A watery, floury, flavorless concoction that dominated his meal. Thank goodness for his toast and the delicious homemade raspberry freezer jam – just the thing to keep the breakfast blues away.
Spendy Scale: $ – very inexpensive
Coffee Rating: not reviewed
- Beer and Wine
- Take Out/Drive Thru Window
- Homemade Pies
- Breakfast Served All Day
416 West Main Street
Vernal, UT 84078-2510
- Utah Field House Natural History Museum
- Dinosaur National Monument
- Flaming Gorge National Recreation Area
So here we are again, back on the road with most of the Hatton family. This time we are tackling the Western States with short stays in Utah and Colorado.
The first leg of our journey is more about getting to a Utah destination and with one driver for the first half of the trip, we’ve broken up the road into smaller portions. I am, after all, traveling with kids – great travelers, my kids, but there are times… Well let me just say I’m thankful for hotel pools to wear the darlings out.
Today, we ate at the Best Western Hotel restaurant – The Sunridge – “The place to eat” (their slogan) when the place you intended to eat at is closed (my little addition to that slogan). We intended to go to the Baker Bistro on Washington, but sadly it was closed. Will someone let me know what we missed?
The Sunridge is a friendly coffee shop type place. I wouldn’t say it was gourmet, but the portions were certainly plentiful. Jessica enjoyed her Continental Breakfast with banana muffin and fruit bowl. Fresh fruit, but a bit too much melon for my non-melon-lover girl.
Cameron’s pancakes were loaded with blueberries and his take on the bacon? Perfect! I ordered the Gourmet Omelet – loaded with all the things a lactose intolerant acid reflux sufferer shouldn’t have, but hey – I’m on vacation! That’s what pills are for. I have to say the highlight was the hashbrowns and the lowlight was the frozen butter which I had to tuck under my tea cup to melt. Rather a funny situation when I think back on it…
Spendy Scale: $ (Especially if you stay at the Best Western Sunridge – $2 off per person for breakfast or dinner)
Coffee Rating: not reviewed
- Lunch and Dinner
- Next door to a bar and grill
- Room service for guests
Contact Information1 Sunridge Ln
Baker City, OR 97814
When I want something windswept and interesting for breakfast, locally, I tend to cross that wee stream also known as the Columbia River from the Washington to the Oregon side. This time I was able to stay closer to home.
The Stardust Diner is located in East Vancouver in an area of strip malls, movie theaters and chain stores. Sadly, there’s not much to recommend to tourists, except that the Stardust is a worthy final destination. A replica chrome and neon roadside diner, the menu selections stay true to the era it portrays. Booths and tables, with benches and chair decked out in slate blue Naugahyde and trimmed with stainless steel flank an old fashioned soda-fountain-looking bar.
Unlike the service of the recent past which had me running screaming from the place, service under new ownership is practically unrecognizable. It has turned the place around and is now hopping most hours of the day with mini tabletop jukeboxes blaring classics from the 50′s to the 70′s.
Not much was spared in the vintage-style decor – from the hammered tin ceiling to the coat hooks on the ends of the booths, folks can really enjoy their temporary time travel to the past. Servers also pay attention to detail. When I asked for tea, our server ask if I would like honey, lemon or cream? Some days when I order tea, I get thrown a tepid cup of hot water and a tea bag. My tea at the Stardust arrived hot in a nested pot and cup combo. Nice!
In spite of the yummy sounding specials on the white board, I opted for the Special Country Breakfast with bacon, two eggs, with biscuits and gravy. The gravy was fabulous, but the eggs, which looked more like three scrambled than two, were a bit on the rubbery, I’ve-been-under-a-heat-lamp-too-long side of things. The bacon was very tasty and extra meaty.
My friends ordered a plate of corned beef hash with a side of pancakes and a spinach omelette. No complaints from them except for a slight baking soda after taste from the pancakes.
While not 100% in all ways food wise, there isn’t much to disappoint. Bring the kids, the girlfriends or the baseball team and enjoy a bit of nostalgia and nosh.
Spendy Scale: $
Coffee Rating: 4 – unknown brand
- Lunch and Dinner
Contact Information1110 SE 164th Ave
Vancouver, WA 98683-9638
- Not a lot
I’m sitting here in Starbucks snarfing down chocolate chip banana bread and having a tearful, happy reunion with my blog. Oh…how I have missed you. Okay, maybe not tearful. But guilty? Oy Vey – do I have guilt. It’s been too long since I’ve written anything sensible.
Today was the first day in almost two months that I took notes at breakfast place with the intent to actually follow through with a blog post. Today’s stop? Jam on Hawthorne in Portland, OR.
This was actually my second visit – the first being too long ago to remember the details. Unlike the first visit, the place was hopping. Nearly every table was packed and the servers deftly weaved between tables at speedy speeds trying to take care of every one. Why busy on a Monday, though? Were they having a half-price sale on scrambled eggs? Or is it just the right kind of neighborhood place where a Monday breakfast makes a good start to the work week? It must be that because the visit sure kicked off mine.
For some reason, I seem to choose the wrong thing when I go to Jam. Everyone enjoyed their meals tremendously and they looked terrific – especially the French Toast smothered in blueberries and homemade blueberry sauce. I went back to my notes from the previous visit and found the common denominator between the two visits – the gravy. The gravy that was served with veggie sausage on Ty’s Big Breakfast and the gravy with real pork sausage in my Porkalicious platter today is the reason I couldn’t love my meal. Memo to me: don’t order the gravy at Jams.
There’s a stunning choice of items on the breakfast menu including a unique variety of pancakes, one of which my husband ordered and enjoyed – the Lemon Ricotta Pancake. My friend Frank had this to say about his No’wester Scramble: “Fresh like it was trucked in today”.
It’s kid friendly and long-wait friendly at Jams. There are toys in the back for little ones and Stumptown coffee out front for those waiting to squeeze into one of the cracked Naugahyde booths lining the interior of the small dining area. Our littlest breakfast bunch member loved his hot chocolate, but not his Oatmeal Chai Blueberry pancakes – a pleasing combo for his dad, but a little too complicated for untrained palates.
My biggest regret was being on pain meds for a crappy back because I really wanted to try one of their specialty breakfast cocktails. That combination would have rendered my useless for navigating Portland to Vancouver freeways and hey…I had shopping to do. The Bloody Mary comes highly recommended and if you give it a try, let me know what you think!
Spendy Scale: $
Coffee Rating: 4 (Stumptown - first cup came warm – not hot. Quickly remedied, however)
- Art for sale
Contact Information2239 Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard
Portland, OR 97214
Open Daily 7:30am-3pm