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Jun 25, 2005 03:11 PM

Breakfast in Cedar Rapids/Iowa City?

  • t

Looking for a couple of great breakfasts

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  1. 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

      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

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

    2. 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. 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

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

          1. re: sigerson57

            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

              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

                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

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

                  1. re: Stan

                    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

                      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

                        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

                          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

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

            1. 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

                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

                  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.