Before brunch, there was breakfast: an honest, no-frills meal that started the day at home, or at the diner, or, if you were lucky, at the taqueria around the corner. While brunch is all about the hangover cures, sobriety cures and wondering which J Crew shirt to wear, breakfast is an honest, working person's meal, meant to be consumed while shaking your head at the news.
I once thought breakfast culture was a dying phenomenon, relegated to insomniac old timers with nothing else to do before work. But I rarely found empty tables as I tooled around Dallas looking for interesting morning meals. The breakfast culture here is alive and well.
Lucky's Cafe: The neighborhood diner breakfast (pictured above) Newspapers were folded like fans on every other table at Lucky's during my visit late one weekday morning, but the diner ushers in the next generation of breakfast goers as well, with diners thumbing story to story instead of flipping. Order up two eggs over easy, bacon and toast, and try to finish your coffee. The attentive staff will beat you with a top off every time.
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Jonathon's Oak Cliff: Best relaxed rural breakfast Sure, Jonathon's is known for their weekend brunch, but there's something about the space that just feels breakfasty. Maybe I was just looking for another excuse to use the best chicken and waffles picture I've ever seen, but Tuesday though Thursday they serve up an honest breakfast in what feels a little like a country home.
La Victoria's Best breakfast served counter-side There are only four stools at the small counter that frames the kitchen entrance at La Victoria's. When I stumbled in one weekday morning only one slot was open -- the others were filled with three ladies, all from the 'hood, and all catching up with Vicky, who served as half waitress, half best friend. The burrito pictured above is best when ordererd with chorizo, roasted poblanos and cheese, but it's the gordita that Tia, just two stools down, was snacking on that gave me serious plate envy.
All Good Cafe Best breakfast to take a brunch fiend Even with cheap mimosas All Good Cafe, still feels like a neighborhood breakfast spot. On a weekend, despite drink specials, the customers skew away from the trendy brunch crowd toward honest breakfast folk.
Taco Joint The death by cheese breakfast Picture a massive breakfast burrito called The Great Gordo: A 14-inch flour tortilla filled with eggs, bacon, potatoes, chorizo and ohmygodsomuchcheese. Here is a breakfast so big it negates the need for lunch. Hell, you might even skip dinner.