Mere words cannot describe the warm affection I feel toward the breakfast meal. I consider myself quite the breakfast aficionado, so it only makes sense that I would venture out to various breakfast spots in town in search of the best place I could find where the food is delicious and the menu delightfully varied.

Vidlak’s Brookside Café, 15668 West Center Road, Mon-Sun 7:00AM – 1:00PM

Vidlak’s Brookside Café has a no-nonsense ambiance. You seat yourself and the efficient wait staff suddenly appears out of nowhere. There is not much by way of décor, but what it lacks in aesthetics it makes up for in great food and low prices.

The menu features the standard breakfast fare, but the extensive omelet menu stuck out to me so I ordered the Mexican Omelet. The flavoring was quite amazing, especially when I doused it all in the salsa that accompanied the dish. The omelet was not too spicy but nowhere near bland. I usually have an issue with restaurant hash browns because they are typically a lot greasier than I like, but the hash browns at Vidlak’s were just about right.

Our waiter told us that the chicken fried steak was considered one of their breakfast specialties, so my husband ordered it and prepared to be underwhelmed. I watched him when he took his first bite, seemingly a little suspicious because he’d been figuratively burned by bad chicken fried steak before, but the way his eyes lit up when he took the first bite was all I needed to know that Vidlak’s makes a mean chicken fried steak breakfast.

If you’re like me and do not think breakfast is complete without a pancake or two, you’ll be pleased to hear that Vidlak’s makes pancakes that are just plain delicious. I don’t know if they add extra sugar to the pancakes or if there is some other secret ingredient that makes them so tasty, but I would make the drive out to Vidlak’s just for the pancakes.

Lisa’s Radial Café, 817 North 40th Street, Mon-Sun 7:00AM – 2:00PM

I first heard about Lisa’s Radial Café after I lamented to my friend Todd that there were no really great breakfast places in town. I complained that there was no place like the places I visit in California, where you have to wait for an hour to be seated and the wait staff is rude, but by golly it’s worth it because the food is so ridiculously delicious. “The pancakes at this one place are bigger than my head,” I told him, asserting that this is a good thing. He claimed to know of a place in town where they serve bigger-than-a-human-head pancakes and as a bonus there was no hour wait or rude staff.

Right away I liked the ambiance of Lisa’s Radial Café. It seemed like a very comfortable place that had spent years easing into its current personality. The furnishings aren’t new and the décor is eclectic. The

staff was friendly, although when I go places with Todd I have to wonder if people are nice because that’s how they are in general or if it’s because Todd knows everyone.

The pancakes are indeed huge. It would be a shame if they were huge and mediocre, but these were fluffy and tasty. From what I hear, Lisa’s Radial Café is a favorite of party-goers who need to go eat somewhere in an attempt to subdue a hangover, and I can speculate that the pancakes are probably a favorite of this crowd because of their sheer size and potential ability to sop up alcohol gushing around within a person’s stomach. This is sheer guessing though, as I was completely sober for my visit.

Bring cash because Lisa’s Radial Café does not take credit or debit cards.

Syzzlyn Skillet, 7616 Main Street, Ralston, Tues-Sun 7:00AM – 2:00PM

Walking into the Syzzlyn Skillet was like what I imagine walking into a David Lynch film would be – lost in time and full of interesting characters who briefly acknowledge you with an apprehensive glance. I was told that Syzzlyn Skillet was the best greasy spoon in the area for breakfast by a few different people, and they were right in the sense that this place is perfect if you’re looking for a big, greasy breakfast.

I had the breakfast croissant, partly because I love croissants and partly because I was interested to see the Syzzlyn Skillet version. To date this was the only greasy croissant I have ever had in my life. The hash browns were also greasy, but the way they were prepared was crispy and tasty. I also tried the pancakes and they were fair and probably the least greasy item on the table.

Now let me tell you about my husband’s experience, as he is a big fan of greasy breakfasts. He loved it. He enthusiastically sopped up the gravy on his chicken fried steak with the heavily buttered toast. He guzzled the strong coffee. He kept giving me a giddy smile as this is not generally the type of food I serve in the house. The moral of the story is that Syzzlyn Skillet is a great place for breakfast enthusiasts who are not currently concerned about their cholesterol count.

Like Lisa’s Radial Café, Syzzlyn Skillet only takes cash.

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