For its more than 20 types of golden-brown pancakes and plentiful selection of omelets, waffles, and other hearty American breakfast dishes, The Original Pancake House has gleaned accolades ranging from a Zagat rating and a feature on The Food Channel to being named one of the nation's top 200 franchises in 2009 by Franchise Times. It's no wonder why. Since 1953, every one of the family business’s morning specialties have been prepared from scratch daily with a commitment to real ingredients such as pure whipping cream, hard-wheat unbleached flour, and butter made from fresh sweet cream. Powdered sugar lines the soufflé-styled rims of oven-baked german pancakes, which The Food Channel lauds for their "ever so-slightly crispy" edges and calls "just the right balance between a crepe and a pancake." Apple pancakes—with granny-smith apples in the batter and sinkiang cinnamon glaze on top—are another favorite, and those tart apples also share the menu with fresh blueberries and toasted Georgia pecans for a turn to simmer in belgian-waffle squares like actual grannies in syrup-filled jacuzzis. Unique ingredients add distinction to house specialties such as oven-baked mushroom-sherry-sauce-topped omelets and gourmet fruit-filled crepes garnished with sweet cherry-wine sauce. To accentuate the flavors of each meal, The Original Pancake House brews its own signature coffee blend.
If you couldn’t tell, the name Blueberry Hill Family Restaurant is a nod to a Fats Domino rock n’ roll hit of the 1950s, though the family-owned and operated Las Vegas eatery is a bit of a throwback itself. Located on the southwest corner of Charleston and Decatur in a strip mall largely dominated by a dollar store, Blueberry Hill has been a cheap, accessible dining mainstay for locals since 1987, with several locations in the Vegas Valley. The Decatur outpost is open 24 hours a day, serving up wide-ranging comfort food on a menu that spans breakfast, lunch and hearty dinner items all day long. No matter what you end up ordering, be sure to bring an appetite, as the entrées tend to be as tall and thick as the menu. Or grab a cup of black coffee and relax at your diner-style booth while all that food settles.
The sun is just beginning to rise over the nearby mountains as diners shuffle into Egg Works, suppressing yawns, stretching their arms, and sleepily greeting friends and family. Once they find their seat, though, the energy of the restaurant seeps into their mood. Waitresses swing by to flood their cups with steaming coffee and crowd tables with plates of cheesy omelets, spicy mexican breakfasts, and the sweet and savory crepes lauded by Rachael Ray. Others bring mason jars filled with bloody marys made with Habla Diablo hot sauce and bowls of Hawaiian-style sticky-rice breakfasts. As the sun clambers up the sky, breakfast favorites accept the stomach-filling aid of burgers, sandwiches, and the chefs' renowned Cincinnati-style chili—a hearty combination of chili, oyster crackers, and spaghetti.
Diners linger over third cups of coffee at the counters and cushy green booths of the casual dining room, watching flat-screen TVs mounted to walls where hand-painted murals from local artist Mike Miller stretch out. These paintings depict classic countryside scenes, from verdant fields to rolling mountains and New York City tour groups looking very lost.
Coffee Pub's cozy wallpapered dining room and sunny outdoor patio fill with the sounds of diners supping on fresh, California-style fare. Early birds can focus in on the café's menu as if it were a morning newspaper scribed by scholarly worms, and read about the latest in spanish omelets ($9.25) and smoked salmon's upcoming appearance in a benedict show ($9.55). Ingredient-rich sandwiches commandeer plate space during lunch, including the Marin, stuffed with roast beef, black-forest ham, and horseradish ($7.95), and the Burns and Allen ($7.25), planting avocado next to soy baco-bits and sprouts to cultivate a gourmet, meat-free garden. While sipping on fresh and fruity smoothies such as the Peach Pizazz ($5.45 for 16 oz.), diners can surf the web using Coffee Pub's free WiFi and the computer mouse with the strongest abdominals.
History was made on November 11, 2013. Something occurred at Omelet House & More that hadn't happened since the restaurant opened its first location back in 1979. A customer named Ivan became the first to down both of the restaurant's "monster challenges." The first boss: a 12-egg omelet with sides. The second: a three-pound burger (with more sides, of course). An impressive feat—one that earned the man a T-shirt and immortalization within the restaurant's hallowed walls. Thankfully, there's no need for customers to scale that culinary mountain. Each of the diner's three locations boasts a breakfast and lunch menu with dozens of items that don't require an industrial-size stomach.
For breakfast, there's stuffed french toast and steaks covered in sausage gravy. Lunchtime brings a shift in focus to homemade soups, sandwiches, and half-pound burgers, including one covered in Ortega chiles. The two diners on Boulder Highway also serve a light Mexican menu, while the one at Boulder Highway and Russell stays open for dinner Friday and Saturday nights—the perfect occasions for celebrating the weekend with a hand-cut steak. One thing all locations have in common: classic diner booths and kitschy knick-knacks, which like the restaurant's country-style scramblers, are cheesy in the best possible way.
Most states have made drinking alcohol at home illegal due to the proliferation of home facial-tattoo machines. Enjoy alcohol in public with today's deal: for $10, you get $20 worth of food and drinks at Blue Ox Tavern, Blue Ox Central, or Blue Ox East, Minnesota Vikings–themed bars dedicated to the westward expansion of Midwestern hospitality. Choose from the following Blue Ox locations:
Wager dessert money on video poker or catch a Vikings game while perusing Blue Ox's menu. Heavy on finger-ready fare and appetizers, Blue Ox offers fried, battered, and basket-dwelling basics. Try an order of extra-long fries ($3.75) or beer-battered onion rings ($5.75) as a starter, before delving into dinner with six fried jumbo shrimp ($14.25), a grilled chicken-breast sandwich ($6.75), or the Minnesota Twin Burger ($7.50), which stacks two 1/3-pound Angus patties atop each other in meaty might. Pabulum-seeking Paul Bunyans can swing appetite axes into a juicy 6-ounce steak ($11.75) or enjoy their beef roasted and sliced with the Minnesota Timberwolves French Dip ($7.50). Breakfast and lunch are also served, along with an extensive selection of beer and wine.
Open 24 hours a day, all Blue Ox locations provide nourishment for night owls, early birds, and afternoon albatrosses alike. In between courses, kill time with video-gambling gaming, including poker, keno, blackjack, and slot machines. Misplaced Midwesterners will appreciate familiar football programming, a cheerful staff, and the comfort of knowing that they've yet again escaped the cold steel claws of an Iron Range winter.