Made-from-scratch recipes and fresh ingredients have been setting the Original Pancake House apart from its breakfast-spot competition since 1953. That's when its owners established an all-day empire committed to ingredients such as pure hard-wheat unbleached flour and butter made from fresh sweet cream.
Today, Original Pancake House cooks across the country still construct scrambles and omelets from fresh Grade AA eggs. Powdered sugar lines the rims of oven-baked dutch baby pancakes, and granny-smith apples simmer in oven-baked pancakes (two of more than a dozen styles of pancake on the menu). Even the toppings are made in-house, including whipped cream, specialty syrups, and sauces. To complement these flavors, staff fill cups with fresh-squeezed orange and grapefruit juices and coffee blended specially to match the Original Pancake House's menu and upholstery. Although each location takes on the local charm of its surrounding city, all of them share in common a homey atmosphere that welcomes families with perks such as color-in place mats and kids' menus.
Name aside, the Original Pancake House isn't just a breakfast spot—in fact, it stays open for at least two meals a day, or six if you follow most doctors' advice to take a small pancake break every few hours. The savory side of the menu holds sandwiches piled with thick-cut meats, caesar salads, and savory crepes stuffed with cheese and veggies.
The dedicated dough maestros of Pizza Rustica fulfill circular-food quotas with freshly baked, preservative-free pies topped with creative earthborn ingredients. Stop in to peruse the menu, and sample mouthwatering munchables such as a huge slice of mega-meat pizza, piled high with two types of sausage, steak, ham, pepperoni, red onion, and plum-tomato sauce ($4.95), a 14” smoked-spicy-chicken pizza carrying a cast of fresh tomatoes, red onions, mozzarella, and boneless chipotle-chicken breast derived from a stash of poultry that's roasted that day ($16), or a portobello mushroom and goat cheese panini hugged by homemade rustica bread ($6.95). Slices boast above-average girth, so it’s a good idea to grab a friend before tag-teaming one of Pizza Rustica’s tomato-sauced pizza mats or the Nutella-and-ricotta-cheese-filled pizzetta ($3.95).
The kitchen in Bazzura Cafe churns out a menu of flavorful dishes that charm unsuspecting tongues with authentic Colombian flair. Bite into a Bazzura Especial burger that's dressed heavy enough for a Alaskan winter with layers of lettuce, tomato, egg, ham, and bacon, and topped with pineapple and garlic sauces ($7.99). Quesadillas can be packed with cheese, ham, chicken, beef, or sausage before being tossed into friends' mouths ($5.25–$7.50), although tackling a plate of bandeja paisa featuring fried pork belly served with steak, red beans, and sweet plantains might require shoulder pads and a solid helmet ($8.99).
Dubbed Miami's "Best Inexpensive Italian Restaurant" in 2002 by the Miami New Times, Bruschetta & Co. strives to serve traditional Italian edibles that are usually available only at upscale eateries and Donatella Versace's mini-bar. Culinary pathfinders can foray into boot-shaped fare with the funghi and carciofi bruschetta (lunch, $7.50/dinner, $7.95), swathed in still-beating artichoke hearts and oyster mushrooms, or the fritto misto ($10.95/$11.50), a trident's worth of flash-fried shrimp bathed in spicy marinara. Pizza protégés can pursue palate-pleasing pies such as the quattro formaggi ($10.95/$11.50), a pantheon of mozzarella, gorgonzola, fontina, and goat cheese. And intrepid desserteers can sample the bruschetta alla Nutella (pan-fried country bread, caramel, fresh fruit, and Nutella, $7.95), the most groundbreaking dessert since the Soviet Union's top-secret experiments with cotton-candy borscht.
Maison Gourmet's culinary artists channel French cooking techniques to craft cuisine cataloged on an extensive menu. Saturday and Sunday brunch rewards early-rising appetites with delectables such as Maison's omelet stuffed with ham, mushrooms, and swiss cheese ($7). Limber chomping muscles with sweet and savory crêpes, or munch on meal-prefacing portions of ham and cheese croissants ($3.95). A glass of Cotes de Rhone red wine from France pairs well with escargots en persillade ($10.95)—snails under a blanket of garlic-parsley sauce—and hearty helpings of beef bourguignon ($15.95) erase hunger pangs faster than the speed of light: 28 mph. Postmeal cool downs begin with crème brûlée, rich custard cream cloaked in a layer of crispy, warm caramel that sneaks into mouths to goose unsuspecting sweet teeth ($6.95).