Woke Up, Got Out of Bed
Pete's Grille · Blue Moon Café and Espresso Bar · Bel-Loc Diner · Suburban House · Golden West Café · Cinnamon House · Jimmy's Restaurant
Pete's Grille (3130 Greenmount Ave.,  467-7698) is a blue-ribbon diner blessed with both neighborhood charm and terrific food (at, may we add, terrific prices). Breakfast at Pete's means heavenly hash browns, fluffy pancakes, and waffles made from scratch. It means perfect bacon and a coffee cup perpetually filled to the rim. As a matter of fact, we like to say that breaking fast at Pete's is a metaphor for living a successful life: simple, perhaps even old-fashioned pleasures, simply enjoyed. You won't find fancy foods with unpronounceable foreign names at Pete's, but you will find good cheer, community, and one of the best breakfasts anywhere.
The most celestial café in Fells Point, the Blue Moon Café and Espresso Bar (1621 Aliceanna St.,  522-3940) is especially notable for its fabulous baked goods (homemade biscuits! cinnamon rolls to die for!) and killer coffee. The cheerful service, homemade jellies on the table, and eclectic, jazzy background music are just so much gravy. The Blue Moon serves an important function in Baltimore's breakfast universe, being the best (and, as far as we know, only) place to get a deluxe breakfast, nay, make that brunch, on a weekday--until 3 p.m. ! And the café's deep indigo lunar-motif décor is a soothing environment in which to break your fast and prepare to face the day . . . even if you day begins at about, say, noon.
The late, great cartoonist B. Kliban advised against eating anything bigger than your head. But then he probably wasn't acquainted with the oversized omelets at the Bel-Loc Diner (Loch Raven Boulevard and Joppa Road,  668-2525) which, depending on the circumference of your noggin, may well fall within this no-eat zone. Cholesterol be damned, these primrose mammoths are tasty, no matter what you choose to stuff 'em with. (Naturally, the Bel serves up every other greasy breakfast staple you can imagine; it's a diner after all.)
Of course, for some people breakfast doesn't mean eggs or spuds or bacon and sausage. Especially not bacon or sausage. At Suburban House (911 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville,  484-7775) you can pacify your inner Jew with soul-satisfying servings of bagels, blintzes, chopped liver, and all manner of smoked fish.
Golden West Café (842 W. 36th St.,  889-8891) has rendered homemade breakfasts obsolete. On weekends you can enjoy all of this warm, homey atmosphere, golden sunlight, and hearty, tasty food without breaking an egg or cleaning a skillet yourself. The standout breakfast burrito bursts with potatoes, green chiles, and the fluffiest scrambled eggs in Baltimore. Coffee drinkers can get a buzz going and, no matter what tea you choose, you'll drink it from the largest mug you've ever seen. Not a big eater? The sweet, moist chocolate-chip or blueberry muffins are the perfect way to start your day.
We're pretty sure Cinnamon House (Lexington Market,  727-2162) got its name in recognition of the size of its feature product. The soft, warm, sweet, comforting cinnamon buns available at this Market mainstay are big enough for their own zip code, and are available in plain ($1.25), sticky ($1.25), raisin ($1.35), fruit ($1.45), and pecan-laced ($1.50) permutations. Just one of these bad boys can serve four. Induce an insulin-shock coma by requesting a generous ladling of icing, which costs extra only on the sticky bun. Maybe that's a safety feature.
Breakfast at Fells Point's Jimmy's Restaurant (801 S. Broadway,  327-3273) is a longstanding tradition for many Mobtowners, who jockey for position at the checkered-tablecloth tables to soak up the latest headlines (and the latest gossip) along with thick slabs of meaty scrapple, light and fluffy pancakes, perfect eggs, and some of the best home fries in town. Add a cup of OJ, a mug of regular or fancy joe, and a cheerful "Mornin', hon" from one of the waitresses and you've got yourself the quintessential Baltimore breakfast experience.
812 Park Ave.
Baltimore, MD 21201