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Jul 21, 2006 08:42 AM

Non-Egg Breakfasts

I'm not much of an egg man.

Any recommendations on places serving a mean non-eggy breakfast? Pancake places are sufficiently plentiful that I'm not really in dire straits pancakewise. A place that serves a sort of potato-based fry-up would be perfect. But I'm open.


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  1. Would a bowl of jook work?

    1. Bagels & Lox at the Lighthouse Diner (Sausalito and San Rafael):

      Fresh Mozzarella, Procuitto and Arugula Panino at Rose's Cafe (SF):

      Barbequed Oysters on the Half Shell or Irish Smoked Salmon at OReilly's (SF):

      1. As a non-egg eater myself married to a die-hard egger, I often have to make do with the non-egg offerings at otherwise ovo-heavy places. Here are some of my stand-bys (not too pancake oriented) in the East Bay (mostly):

        Shrimp and Grits at Blackberry Bistro on Park (Oakland): Often needs some hot sauce added, but always a good bet. The potato pancake served with applesauce and crème fraiche is also tasty, if sometimes too greasy. I sometimes get the Down Home Breakfast without eggs, which is then just bacon, good potatoes, a biscuit and a grilled tomato.

        Biscuits and Gravy at Full House Café on McArthur (Oakland): These B&Gs are made with smoked chicken (you can get it without), which gives them an odd, but alluring flavor (I can’t explain it – it has a slight sourness to it that for some reason I like). I always have to add a lot of salt and pepper, but it’s good.

        Potato Pancakes at Montclair Egg House on Medau (Oakland): I would not go out of my way to get to this place, but if you are in the area, it’s a fine place. The potato pancakes are made with cheddar cheese and ham added with the potato shreds – good “morning after” fare. I also had luck one day with the special of cheese blintzes.

        Polenta at Oliveto on College (Oakland): this is served with cream and poached fruit – delicious. They also have a breakfast sandwich without eggs.

        Any Pancake at Rick & Ann’s on Domingo (Berkeley): They have such a variety (I particularly like the cornmeal) that it almost makes the wait worth it – almost.

        Homefry Heaven at Homemade Café on Sacramento (Berkeley): this is basically a bunch of potatoes, onions and peppers topped with cheese and sour cream, with your choice of guacamole or pesto (or both). Again, perfect hangover food. I sometimes get a side of fruit, especially if it’s something like blackberries, etc.

        Coffee cake at Millie’s (Lafayette): this coffee cake tastes like the one we used to make as kids off the box of Bisquick – they heat it up and top with a pat of butter. All the egg eaters are always jealous of me with that cake.

        Blueberry Pancakes at Marvin’s on Grant (Novato): There are literally more blueberries than pancake in these huge cakes – I’ve never been able to finish an order. Also recommend the fabulously rich and sausage-y biscuits and gravy.

        Biscuits & Gravy at Boonfly Café (Carneros/Napa): these B&Gs were a special one day and were some of the best ever, especially coupled with those donut holes.

        1. In West Berkeley, Gilman Grill potatoes.

          1. Boogaloos on Valencia has a number of good, non-egg options. The red-pepper polenta is good as is the 'temple of spuds', though only when you really need a pile of homefries topped with cheese, sour cream and salsa. It is like nachos made on home-fries.
            Another thing I get at a few places around town (though few have been actively good, most are pretty acceptable) is biscuits and gravy. Pork Store Cafe on Haight or 16th have is, Boogaloos (again) has it and it shows up in other places I don't expect it. I find that hard to pass up when it is on a menu but most of them are so unmemorable I am having trouble remembering where I have ordered it. Blue Jay Cafe had a good version the first time I tried it there, but I just can't take the inconsistency and the worst friendly service in the city. They aren't snobby or mean or vacant, they just somehow manange to never get anything done for any of the tables. It is kind of a mystery to me how/why it is that bad.