For years, Blue Moon has been saving the asses of pro imbibers with truly excellent breakfast fare, but after-hours and weekend-mornings customers should be prepared to wait for a seat in the small dining room, and then some more for the tiny kitchen to get through the crush of orders. It's worth the wait to sample homemade sausage, over-the-top omelet and eggs Benedict variations, stellar bacon, and bafflingly good hash browns. Always get the famous "cat's head" biscuits (don't worry, it's just a size reference) and homemade jam. Ingredients are top-notch and portions are startlingly large.
This Pikesville institution not only offers the hands-down best New York-style bagels in the area--a full line of chewy, crusty marvels--but its lunch business is nothing to sneeze at either, with soups (mmm, mushroom barley) and salads that make a visit after breakfast has passed pay off.
Most bagel places--at least in this part of the country--are nothing special. The exception is Greg's where the bagels are just about perfect and come in a staggering array of flavors--flax seed pistachio is our current favorite. But what really gets us out of bed and in the door is the blackboard of daily smoked fish offerings, each of which gets the fine-wine treatment, with descriptions of its flavor and body scrawled beside its name. The prices reflect the seriousness with which bagels are taken here, but it's well worth it.
A popular brunch spot in Roland Park (and now downtown), Miss Shirley's offers traditional breakfast fare dressed up for company. It doesn't have regular eggs Benedict; it's got sweet corn cakes Benedict. Sure you can get a hot dog wrapped in bacon, but it's applewood smoked bacon, see. Which probably isn't any better for you, but it sure sounds healthier, right?
Reminiscent of '90s coffeehouses with its mishmash décor of well-worn couches and tables, Spoons does coffee with a wine-aficionado's fervor. A wide variety of organic and exotic beans are roasted on site, and things are usually busy come breakfast time on the weekends. A stack of banana pancakes is a top seller on the simple café menu that includes lunch staples like soups and sandwiches. The real appeal of the spot is in hunkering down with a cup and a book and soaking up the upbeat atmosphere.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201