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Breakfast in Cedar Rapids/Iowa City?

tom Jun 25, 2005 03:11 PM

Looking for a couple of great breakfasts

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  1. d
    david m RE: tom Jun 27, 2005 04:43 PM

    In Iowa City my favorites are

    1. Baldys Wraps - everything is in a wrap but the breakfast wraps are fabulous

    2. Hamburg Inn #2 - the old standby for a traditional breakfast.

    3. Tony's Grill is the new kid in town. I haven't gone but have heard good reports.

    David, in Iowa City

    2 Replies
    1. re: david m
      MD RE: david m Jun 28, 2005 03:28 PM

      This Iowa grad still craves the food in Iowa City! Micky's always draws a crowd on the weekends for their brunch and lunch options. I second the Hamburg Inn rec, if you're looking for a greasy spoon. Enjoy!

      1. re: MD
        RaceHorse RE: MD Jun 28, 2005 04:07 PM

        On the SW side of Cedar Rapids, Brothers on 16th Ave near sixth st. Sure beats Perkins or Denneys.

    2. s
      SmallCap RE: tom Jul 7, 2005 10:51 PM

      Assuming it's still there -- I only make it to Iowa City every 2 months or so -- I'd mention the relatively-new spot downtown called "The Cottage," or something like that. It's on Linn Street in the big clocktower building... sort of an open-air space... a cross between a self-service deli & a casual sit-down joint.

      My companion & I had pretty decent omelettes, & there were a variety of foods in the counter case, plus coffees & other breakfast items both pre-made & made-to-order. Most were a la carte. I'd actually call it a bit of a brunch spot, although as I said, I've only done breakfast.

      The food was not *outstandingly* fabulous, & service was pretty, oh, laidback (as most service is in Iowa City!), but overall, it's the kind of local spot I really enjoy for breakfast -- big, light, airy, clean, casual, fresh, etc. If I worked in downtown IAC, it's definitely somewhere I would take a client for an informal morning meeting.


      1. LifeB RE: tom Apr 11, 2008 11:43 PM

        There are two really fantastic places to get great breakfast in Iowa City, Lou Henri's and Red Avocado on the weekends. Try the French toast made out of banana bread with fresh banana's on top at Lou Henri's, or their omelet with turkey, bacon, white cheddar and avocado and I swear you won't be disappointed.

        Fantastic smoothies at Red Avocado, flavored with rose water...

        10 Replies
        1. re: LifeB
          sigerson57 RE: LifeB Apr 12, 2008 03:07 PM

          Is Lou Henri's strictly a breakfast place? When I pass by in the afternoon and evening, it always appears closed.

          1. re: sigerson57
            Devotay RE: sigerson57 Apr 12, 2008 05:36 PM

            Yep, breakfast and lunch only

            By the way, for brunch don't miss Augusta in Oxford. The area's second restaurant from our influx of Katrina refugees, these guys have great comfort food with a cajun twist. yumyum.


            1. re: Devotay
              Stan RE: Devotay Apr 13, 2008 08:50 AM

              Thanks, If the place is only half as good as you say the suggestion is perfect. We were looking for brunch in the area on a Sunday a few weeks from now.

              1. re: Stan
                krcasper RE: Stan Apr 14, 2008 03:00 PM

                Augusta is great for brunch - flavorful, homemade food and HUGE portions (a tasty snack after returning home).

                I've heard good things about the Lincoln Cafe's Sunday brunch. I like the idea of traveling to small towns on Sunday mornings for savory bites and strong coffee!

                1. re: krcasper
                  Stan RE: krcasper Apr 14, 2008 05:36 PM

                  Dare I ask? How big of a portion can Eggs Benedict be?

                  1. re: Stan
                    puzzler RE: Stan Apr 15, 2008 04:38 PM

                    We've had brunch at Augusta the last two Sundays and can attest that you come away very full. First choose from Prime Rib @ $10, Eggs Benedict @ $7, Biscuits & Gravy @ $5.50, Omelet (choice of fillings) @ $6, Pancakes @ $5, or French Toast @ $5. All the choices come with 3 sides, so add 3 of the following: biscuit & gravy, home fries, sweet potato hash, fried cheesy grits, bacon, sausage, Canadian bacon, and pancake.

                    Not on the menu, but well worth it if available is Crabcakes Benedict @ $12 -- two of the best crabcakes I've ever had (with large chunks of crab) on English muffin, topped with poached eggs and hollandaise.

                    Damn, made my self hungry writing this and it's 5 days until next Sunday.

                    1. re: puzzler
                      kellog sully RE: puzzler Jun 24, 2008 06:16 AM

                      A bit of a message in a bottle, but nevertheless, here's my 2 cents on local breakfast:
                      Lou Henri is pure SYSCO in a sticky booth, served up by a finger-lickin' waitstaff, in a slumping, former Maid Rite. Hangover food at best...The enigmatically beloved Hamburg is a temple to margarine and corn syrup. Iowa City's "diner" experience, except most diner food is tasty. How do they make this genre of food taste so bad? Not to mention the psychotic clown paintings leering at you as you poke at your plate with a fork. Both Lou's and the 'Burg have positively LOUSY coffee; neither place seems to try, and neither have any concern about the well-being of their patrons. But then take a look at their patrons--pretty much an endless supply of groggy frat boys and disaffected fringers in I.C.....the best spots are limited to the weekends for service: the Lincoln Cafe in Mt. Vernon and the Motley Cow which is MUCH better than the former, and much closer. yours, Kellogg

                      1. re: kellog sully
                        IowaBoy RE: kellog sully Jun 25, 2008 09:00 PM

                        What always has interested me about Iowa City is that there is only one joint that is 24/7. Perkins in Coralville. If you want breakfast at 3AM, that is it. Tell me if I'm wrong in an area of 75K people, that is all.

                        However, that Perkins serves better breakfasts than the Hamburg Inn.

                        And I am not making that up.

                        1. re: IowaBoy
                          puzzler RE: IowaBoy Jun 26, 2008 06:12 AM

                          Perkins' pancakes are about the only breakfast thing that's any good; in fact they're great. Everything else sucks!

                          Their hashbrowns are the worst I've ever tasted. Years ago they changed to dehydrated potatoes for their hashbrowns to save a few pennies per serving. Anyone who cares about how food tastes would never serve such junk. They do offer an option called Breakfast Potatoes (deep-fried crispy chunks) that are edible.

                          They consistently massacre scrambled eggs -- I call them the Dead Sea Scrolls. They throw a ladle of blended eggs on an over-hot grill that flash cooks a large flat pond of egg, which they fold and roll up. You get a dried out mass of scorched layers. Obviously no one taught the cooks that eggs need gentle heat and that you remove scrambled eggs from the heat before they're done as they continue cooking on their own.

                          Perkins baked goods like muffins are subjected to some secret process that removes all flavor -- all you taste is sugar (or more likely corn sweetener).

                          Midtown Restaurant (or #2 on the westside) isn't ideal, but at least they know how to put out good hashbrowns and how to cook scrambled eggs.

                          Village Inn had better hashbrowns and good scrambled eggs, but they're shut down since being flooded. There's no sign of cleanup or rebuilding, so maybe they're gone for good.

                        2. re: kellog sully
                          acespeed RE: kellog sully Nov 8, 2008 06:53 AM

                          I haven't had quite the same negative experience with the inn (my breakfast was pretty serviceable. I have larger problems with the burgers not equaling their price but I will leave that for another day), but I would agree about the coffee. The coffee is continually disappointing at the inn. No matter when I get it; it's weak and watery. I can't speak on Lou Henri even though I live around the corner from it (I'm new; haven't gotten that far yet).

          2. rozz01 RE: tom Jun 26, 2008 02:05 PM

            I really like the Sailor's Breakfast at the Red Avocado. The tempeh chorizo and home fries are especially tasty....

            1. Devotay RE: tom Jun 27, 2008 08:16 AM

              I just noticed that no one here has mentioned Leaf Kitchen, corner of Gilbert and Kirkwood. All their food is tasty, but I especially like the buckwheat crepes with lime and brown sugar.

              Had some challenges with the flooding, deserves everyone's support now.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Devotay
                ZSK2000 RE: Devotay Jul 20, 2008 01:40 PM

                I second that, Leaf Kitchen is great. It's one of those places that I love, but never think of. I think because of their location.

                1. re: ZSK2000
                  lizzy69 RE: ZSK2000 Feb 22, 2009 05:40 AM

                  Perhaps it was just the day, but I did finally make it to Leaf Kitchen and had one of the worst breakfasts I've ever had. Eggs Benedict: dry bread, over-cooked eggs (yolks totally cooked through), and almost inedible hollondaise. Yuck. Same dish 100 times better at Blue Bird Diner.

              2. z
                ZSK2000 RE: tom Jul 20, 2008 01:38 PM

                Improbably, the Wedge pizzeria has amazing breakfasts. I had a smoked salmon frittata with capers, red onions, and cream cheese this morning. Sweet potato hash on the side. And Capanna coffee is right there in the same space, so you get awesome coffee, too. Or at least potentially awesome coffee. The best espresso I've ever had in IC came from there, but most of their baristas are not well trained.

                1. rozz01 RE: tom Dec 24, 2008 04:36 PM

                  I was wondering... has anyone tried breakfast at The Wedge.. any good?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: rozz01
                    dubious peach RE: rozz01 Oct 13, 2009 11:45 AM

                    I've had some delicious frittatas there.

                  2. Devotay RE: tom Mar 3, 2009 10:36 AM

                    AND I had a tasty breakfast at the new Bluebird Diner 'round the corner from my place...

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Devotay
                      stephiepooh RE: Devotay Oct 16, 2009 08:42 PM

                      I agree, the Bluebird Diner is excellent . I go with friends nearly every weekend and there is always a wait for seating, but its worth it. They serve breakfast until 1 PM. The owners are very nice and the place is clean and well managed. The omlettes are so amazing, and the pancakes can be topped with strawberries, or pecans or bananas, all for $3.50! We always bring a paper to read and sip the coffee while we wait for the food...it can be a little backed up because of the crowd so don't go there if you are in a rush. The only menu item that hasn't been spectacular was the cinnamon roll french toast, which we thought was dry and disappointing, but the hashbrowns are done perfectly and the other items offered are truly high quality and excellent, and very reasonably priced. The coffee is great too (see picture!) We also have gone to Hamburg Inn #2 which is good, but in our opinion a little dirty feeling and cramped. We also went once to Lou Henri's after reading good reviews and were rather disappointed because the food was unmemorable and the place felt dirty (example, so many half dead plants in the windows in pots and dead bugs in the windows)...it was a little bit too hippie for our taste.

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