Breakfast is about more than just the food at restaurants in the GLBR.
Wonderful things happen over breakfast—strangers become friends, jobs are found, and tasty meals are had.
While it has always been said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, those heading out to area restaurants for a meal are finding that it’s about more than just the food.
It’s about nourishing the soul as well as the stomach, and perhaps spending a relaxing hour or two with friends or family before the activities of the day begin.
Variety defines the four restaurants featured here, places that serve food all breakfast lovers will enjoy. From a big stack of traditional pancakes and eggs to healthy and elegant choices such as tofu scramble and Eggs Benedict, there’s a dish to satisfy everyone’s taste buds.
We suggest putting that carton of eggs back in the refrigerator and heading out to an area eatery the next time you’re hungry for breakfast. Who knows what adventures may be waiting?
After being in the restaurant business for 30 years, Bill Bringer, owner of Saginaw’s Bringer Inn, has more than a few stories to tell.
But, like all good storytellers, he does have his favorites.
“Sitting at the counter, my friend met someone who worked for Schafer Bakery,” remembers Bringer. “They got to talking, and my friend ended up getting a job. It’s crazy how things work out. You’re sitting there, [so] why not talk to someone? Everyone reaches out to everybody.”
Then there is the group of strangers who met at Bringer Inn and became friends.
“They met individually sitting at the counter,” says Bringer. “Now there is a group of them and they meet every morning at the same table. New people walk in and they are added to the group. It is really something to watch.”
The clientele at Bringer Inn is as varied as the omelets whipped up by Bringer and crew right in front of diners’ eyes.
It’s a place where retirees rub elbows with doctors, lawyers, and those who work in a shop or own other area businesses.
One popular menu item is the create-your-own omelet, which offers diners a choice of four items out of bacon, onion, tomato, mushrooms, ham, green pepper, or Italian or link sausage, served with a side of hash browns.
Second on the list of diner favorites is bacon and eggs or steak and eggs. Many patrons also opt for the breakfast sandwich, made with two eggs any style and a choice of meat and cheese.
And, let’s not forget the pancakes—buttermilk, made from scratch, and covered in regular or sugar-free syrup.
To wash it all down, order a piping hot cup of coffee, or a glass of milk or juice.
Bringer Inn, 516 W Genesee Ave, Saginaw, 989-753-1462. Breakfast is served from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Saturday through Wednesday, and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., Thursday and Friday.
Heather’s, located in downtown Bay City, is truly the place where the staff knows your name. Owner Heather Christopherson says her restaurant—known for its vegan and vegetarian meals—has a pretty regular group of diners. Not only does the staff know their names, but also what time they will be stopping by as well as their favorite menu items.
While Heather’s does serve the usual eggs, sausage, hash browns, and toast, the restaurant also has healthy alternatives.
In fact, during the past four years that Heather’s has been in business, Christopherson has gained a reputation for using healthy ingredients to make tasty dishes.
One diner favorite, for example, is the tofu scramble.
“It’s something out of the norm,” says Christopherson. “We season it all different ways to make it tasty. We use different spices, including turmeric, to give it a yellow coloring. It almost looks like scrambled eggs. It has a different texture and it does taste different from an egg; it’s really delicious.”
And, of course, what is breakfast without bacon? Yes, there is tofu bacon to go along with your tofu scramble.
“It’s [made using] a different process than the tofu egg,” Christopherson says. “It has a smoky, maple kind of flavor, but it’s vegan.”
Breakfast dishes at Heather’s include a choice of one of a dozen sides, such as baked butternut squash, toast, or fresh fruit.
Although the popular oatmeal bar is gone, oatmeal is still on the menu, served hot from the kitchen with a variety of toppings.
Drink options include flavored coffees, hot cocoa, and various juices.
The old-fashioned atmosphere not only offers tables for families or groups of friends, but cozy tables for two off in an intimate corner.
Heather’s, 205 Third St, Bay City, 989-402-1116. Breakfast is served from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., Sunday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday.
The secret’s been out for a few years now: The Turkey Roost in Kawkawlin, famous for its turkey dinners, serves delicious breakfast dishes, too.
“We do everything but omelets,” says owner “Turkey” Todd Ballor. “We do wheat cakes, eggs any way you want, [and] all the different meats: ham, sausage, [and] bacon.”
What’s the secret to the Turkey Roost’s breakfast success? Ballor says it’s serving premium meats, local produce, homemade thick-sliced toast, and eggs made in a fry pan—not on a grill.
It just makes the eggs fluffier, he says.
Over-easy or basted is the most common style of eggs to order, with fluffy scrambled eggs coming in second.
The Turkey Roost is the place where local families gather to discuss the news up and down the Lake Huron corridor, from Bay City to Pinconning.
“We have round tables,” says Ballor. “Groups of farmers or retirees gather around the tables to talk.”
Kawkawlin locals aren’t the only regulars stopping by. Because its location is not far from I-75, the Turkey Roost is a natural stopping off point for those heading Up North to fish, hunt, snowmobile, or vacation.
One of the most popular dishes on the menu is the No. 2. It’s extra-large eggs, any style, with a fried potato-and-onion mixture, a choice of meat, and homemade toast.
“It’s the most popular because of the potatoes,” says Ballor. “You’re getting something that’s fresh cut every day. They are Michigan russets from a nice farmer in Munger. It’s one of the better frying potatoes. People want it homemade and they want it fresh, and that’s what we give them every day.”
Turkey Roost, 2273 S Huron Rd, Kawkawlin, 989-684-5200, www.turkeyroostrestaurant.com. Breakfast is served from 6:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., Monday through Saturday, and until noon on Sunday.
Midland’s Café Zinc is the place to get adventurous when it comes to breakfast.
If you’re looking to try something new, one option is the Southwest Egg Roulade, a combination of chorizo, pepper jack cheese, pico de gallo, avocado, sour cream, and hash browns.
“We have the best tasting food that is a little bit out of the ordinary,” says executive chef Theo Bawar.
Café Zinc is the place to go for businesspeople from the downtown Midland area as well as guests of The H Hotel (Café Zinc is located within the hotel). Though the food can be a little more pricy than other area restaurants, it’s well worth it when you can have, for example, a crêpe filled with shrimp, scallions, smoked salmon, and mirin, served with a sesame rice cake, for breakfast.
Not feeling quite that adventurous? Try an omelet, one of the most popular items on the menu.
But even omelets take on a whole new flavor under the hands of Bawar and crew: They make them based on what ingredients are currently in season.
If you don’t see what you want on the menu, make a request, and if the ingredients are in the kitchen, the staff will make it to order.
“We pride ourselves on not only our ambiance, but our service,” says Bawar.
To drink, diners can order smoothies, cappuccinos, espressos, and lattes. And, on the weekends, you’ll see couples celebrating a special occasion with a romantic breakfast, complete with mimosas. The special occasion can be anything from an anniversary to a first date.
Bawar says breakfast can be made even more romantic by ordering two different entrées and sharing. He suggests, for example, the Eggs Benedict and the Panettone French Toast.
“It gives you the sweet and the savory,” he says, “and a little bit of both to share. That would be a great thing to do.”
Cafe Zinc, 111 N Main St, Midland, 989-837-6030, www.thehhotel.com. Breakfast is served from 6:30 to 11 a.m., every day.