B is for Breakfast
Jimmy's · Blue Moon Café · Golden West Café · Morning Edition Café · Helen's Garden Café · Hull Street Blues Café · Loco Hombre · Weber's on Boston · Suburban House
Come good and hungry to the Blue Moon Café (1621 Aliceanna St.,  522-3940). Have a sticky bun for breakfast, but don't attempt it with less than a party of four. The coffee is piping hot, the jams homemade, the biscuits a paragon of lightness, the hash browns made just as they should be, the creamed chipped beef good enough to win converts to the beleaguered dish. If you're not there by 8 a.m. on a weekend be prepared to wait, but even that isn't so bad--just order a fresh-fruit smoothie and ponder the menu. Lunch is good here too, but we don't pay it much mind, because breakfast is served all day.
Winter mornings in Baltimore can be chilly, so why not head where it's warm? Go West, young man (and woman)! Hampden's Golden West Café (842 West 36th St.,  889-8891) now delivers its nontraditional, sunshiny breakfast seven days a week, complete with newly instituted table service. Go spartan with a cup of hot coffee and a scrumptious scone, or get decadent with banana-topped french toast, the hearty breakfast burrito, or the plate-dwarfing montuleños.
In these parts, Morning Edition Café (153 N. Patterson Park Ave.,  732-5133) has become synonymous with "brunch," offering a warm, cozy oasis on a rather bleak East Baltimore corner. Arrive early or bring a paper: It gets mighty crowded on weekend mornings, and you're likely to end up cooling your heels for a while in the foyer--which also gives you more time to make up your mind about which hefty, hearty, creative spin on eggs Benedict, pancakes, or French toast will start your day off right.
The Canton revival has brought eaters from all over the city to the waterfront neighborhood in search of the latest culinary craze. Helen's Garden Café (2908 O'Donnell St.,  276-2233) has cornered the market on cutesy breakfast names--you'll be offered "Tomlettes" with various tasty fillings and "Edds" prepared to order. Before you lose the breakfast you haven't yet eaten, consider Helen's less adorable selections, such as pumpkin pancakes, multigrain toast, and crisp, hearty home fries that don't need ketchup. Call ahead and check on the omelette special--we recommend the mushroom and brie.
Hull Street Blues Café (1222 Hull St.,  727-7476) does the morning meal only on Sundays, but does it up very, very well. Hull Street Blues lays on a dee-luxe southern-style buffet--eggs, home fries, seafood, and various breakfast meats--then goes lesser restaurants one better, with sweet treats such as fluffy stacks of blueberry pancakes, made-to-order and brought to your table. Go ahead and order all of them. The servers won't blink an eye, except to ask if you'd like a refill of one of Hull Street's exemplary mimosas or hearty Bloody Marys.
The calling card of Loco Hombre (413 W. Cold Spring Lane,  889-2233; 1777 Reisterstown Road,  486-4800) is its nouveau- Tex-Mex dinner fare, but its trump card is the siesta- inducing brunch, served both Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. A sizzling skillet of huevos rancheros (with two kinds of salsa--sweet green and tangy red); a fluffy egg, cheese, and tomato strata; a heaping plate of fruit-topped corn cakes; or banana-stuffed french toast all go down easy when accompanied by a bottomless cup of Starbucks coffee. And best of all, the newly expanded Roland Park flagship seems to have finally retired that worn out Gipsy Kings tape.
Brunch buffets can be impersonal, but the spread at Weber's on Boston (845 S. Montford Ave.,  278-0800) tastes like Mama made it herself. Of course, there's a couple of un-Mama-like touches--fried white polenta, mixed greens, subtly spiced muffins--but the bulk of this breakfast is made up of big trays of scrambled eggs, french toast ladled with warm syrup, corned beef hash, biscuits with gravy, and every imaginable variety of breakfast meat. And what the food lacks in sophistication, the restaurant makes up for in atmosphere. Too bad you can't eat every breakfast in such a refined setting.
When most people hear the words "soul food" they think candied yams and gravy-soaked chicken and biscuits. We think of matzo-ball soup. When we need a dose of comfort food, Suburban House (911 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville,  484-7775) is where we turn. From Jewish favorites such as blintzes, kugel, and latkes to whitefish, lox, and consistently excellent delicatessen, this family-friendly Pikesville mainstay delivers full bellies and healed souls.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201