By Mary Cobbler
The first time I went to the Breakfast Shoppe, located in the Park Plaza shopping center at 552 Ritchie Highway in Severna Park, I was amazed at how crowded the place was for 9:00am on a Wednesday. Folks were standing outside the door! A friendly greeter seated my dining companion and me at a tiny table. We later asked to be switched to a booth, but here’s the deal: Even if we stayed at that small table, it would have been worth it. It was the best breakfast I’ve ever had — worth the wait and worth the cost.
It’s a cozy restaurant, brightly colored with hanging lights and a partial aluminum tile ceiling. Photos of classic kitchen tools line the walls, and decorated chicken and rooster figurines are perched on ledges. Patrons can sit at booths, round tables or at a breakfast bar.
Our waitress, Ashley, promptly arrived with coffee. Throughout our meal, Ashley, along with other wait staff, was friendly and professional. Glancing around, I saw folks with huge servings of food, including giant pieces of French toast. I’d heard about the harvest pancakes and was anxious to try them (the Breakfast Shoppe offered them through December 31), but there were many other tempting offerings.
Ashley suggested the backpacker’s pie, so I picked that along with just one of the harvest pancakes. My dining companion chose the biscuits and sausage gravy.
Smiling servers brought the food quickly, and we laughed at the enormous servings. The backpacker’s pie, served in a cast-iron skillet, could have fed a couple of lumberjacks. It was a feast of eggs, ham, sausage, peppers, onions, potatoes, mushrooms, spinach and broccoli topped with a generous portion of melted cheddar jack cheese. Sizzling hot, it was a fantastic mix of freshness, and the flavors exploded in my mouth. The meal came with a choice of biscuit, cornbread or croissant. It was so filling; I could eat only a quarter of it and took most of it home for my hubby.
I ordered one of the harvest pancakes to taste, and what a treat! These are made from a variety of flours and spices and freshly baked pumpkin. It was a delight, but the icing on the cake was the topping: cinnamon whipped cream. The cream was not too sweet, just light, fluffy and perfect. Ashley suggested using some of it in the coffee too, which I was quick to do, and I stirred it with the accompanying cinnamon stick. It was wonderful! I discovered later that these pancakes are legendary, and folks come from all around the state in the fall to get their pumpkin pancake fix.
My dining companion’s meal came with two sausage biscuits topped with gravy and two eggs, with another biscuit for dipping, and a side of home-fried potatoes. My companion is a senior citizen and regularly goes to breakfast, and to be honest, he didn’t expect much from the eggs because he always orders over-easy eggs and they arrive undercooked or fried hard. These, he pronounced perfect. The biscuits were fluffy, and the sausage gravy was savory and somehow didn’t even taste greasy. The potatoes weren’t greasy either. They were cooked through, so they were soft and pleasantly hot.
The food was flawless.
The cost of the entire meal was $49, but once again, that was actually with three meals and both of us took home doggie bags.
Since the pumpkin pancakes are now gone, I called a few days after the New Year to place a carryout order of the winter apple pancakes, which are made from three types of apples that simmer for hours and are blended with the house pancake recipe, cinnamon and brown sugar. It’s topped with about one-half cup of cooked apples, walnuts, apple chips, butter and powdered sugar. It’s a great combination with tons of apple flavor, not too sweet, with a good bit of crunch. The only thing I’d add is whipped cream, which I’m sure I could have requested.
The Breakfast Shoppe also offers lunch with wraps, sandwiches and salads, and the restaurant caters. Order a waffle or omelet station! Be sure to check out the entire menu online.
This place has me hooked. It’s one of my top five restaurants in the area.