Tulsa has no shortage of start-your-day-right cafés, brunch spots and other early-riser locales.
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Sometimes classic eggs and hotcakes just don’t cut it, and a little something different is required to get the day started. Traditional breakfasts from around the world have gained popularity within our shores and can truly be an eye-opening experience. Next time you wake up craving bacon and eggs, why not branch out a bit on your own breakfast adventure?
What could be wrong with starting the day at a German beer hall? Absolutely nothing, especially when the breakfast menu includes breakfast tacos with house-made chorizo and a breakfast dog (breakfast sausage on a bun, loaded up with grilled onion, a fried egg and cheddar cheese). The regular menu also is available and includes lamb sausage, bratwurst and jagerwurst, all made in house, and fresh-cut, skin-on, duck fat fries. Wash them down with a mimosa, Bloody Mary or a liter of German ale. Oh, and did I mention the addictive pretzels flown in from Germany? Brunch: 11 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. 304 S. Elgin Ave., 918-576-7898, www.fasslerhall.com
Guang Zhou Dim Sum
The art of Cantonese dim sum is known for the unique way it is served. Dishes, typically single servings or small sharable plates, are carted throughout the dining room for customers to pick and choose. From potstickers and sticky rice to rice paper shrimp dumplings to barbecued pork steamed buns, dim sum comes in all shapes, sizes and flavors. You might even be willing to try a plate of deep-fried chicken feet! Guang Zhou is one of the only places in the region to enjoy this unique brunch. 10:30 a.m.-3 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. 4003 E. 11th St., 918-835-7888, www.guangzhoudimsum.com
Kilkenny’s Irish Pub
Stroll into Kilkenny’s Irish Pub and you feel as if you are there … in Kilkenny, Ireland. In fact, much of the décor and many of the menu items are imported from the Emerald Isle. The traditional Irish breakfast, or the “Irish Fry-up,” takes me back to my honeymoon in Ireland. The breakfast includes two eggs, bangers (Irish sausage), rashers (Irish bacon), black pudding (blood sausage), grilled tomatoes and grilled mushrooms, served with Irish soda bread. Diners also love the Craique Omelet (sautéed shrimp, lobster and crab topped with hollandaise) and Kalakos Benny (grilled sirloin topped with homemade Irish whiskey mushroom sauce). Brunch: 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Saturday and Sunday. 1413 E. 15th St., 918-582-8282, www.tulsairishpub.com
The Dallas-based la Madeleine chain opened the doors of its first Oklahoma café this past April to rave reviews and busy Cherry Street crowds. La Madeleine specializes in preparing authentic country French cuisine, including a variety of fresh-baked signature breads, pastries and desserts, as well as omelets, crepes and egg dishes. From a counter overlooking the open bakery, customers can watch the breads being made and gaze into the gorgeous pastry case. Breakfast daily: 6:30 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday- Thursday; 6:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday- Saturday. 1523 E. 15th St., 918-710-2106, www.lamadeleine.com
For many, a bowl of menudo is not only a great way to start the day, it is also a legendary cure for hangovers (or so I hear!). This hearty, spicy soup made of tripe is a breakfast specialty at many Mexican restaurants, which also typically feature huevos rancheros, huevos con chorizo and other traditional breakfast dishes in addition to Tex-Mex or New-Mex menu items.
This longtime Brookside gem features a killer patio and authentic New-Mex cuisine. The breakfast menu is served Saturday and Sunday mornings, but huevos rancheros are on the daily menu. I always order the queso blanco omelet — ricotta, feta and Monterey Jack cheeses in a three-egg omelet, topped with chili verde sauce and served with black beans — but the Olé Hash, made from new potatoes and chorizo sausage, topped with two poached eggs and hollandaise, also is popular. Breakfast: 9 a.m.-noon, Saturday; 9 a.m.-2 p.m., Sunday. 3509 S. Peoria Ave., 918-745-6699, www.cafeolefranchise.com
Tex-Mex classics such as enchiladas, tacos al carbon and carne asada, as well as a few brunch items, are served all day at this small upscale chain from Texas. I love the Chilaquiles (strips of seasoned corn tortillas sautéed with eggs, jalapeño and shredded chicken) and the brunch quesadilla (scrambled eggs between two grilled flour tortillas with onions, poblano peppers, bacon, tomatoes and cheese, served with sour cream and salsa verde). Breakfast items are served on the regular menu all day. Breakfast served all day; open 11 a.m.-10 p.m., Sunday- Thursday; 11 a.m.-11 p.m., Friday- Saturday. 1342 E. 15th St., 918-599-8009, www.micocinarestaurants.com
El Rio Verde
The Gonzalez family, owners of this no-frills café, hails from the Mexican state of Jalisco and offer up some of the best traditional recipes around. The beef cheek taco filling and shrimp seviche are favorites, and the enormous wet burrito never fails to impress. Satisfy your “brunch tooth” with omelets and breakfast quesadillas daily as well as posole on the weekends. Breakfast daily: 8:30-11 a.m. 38 N. Trenton Ave., 918-592-2555
Named after the famous Mexican artist Frida Kahlo (who was coincidently a great cook), Casa Frida cooks up traditional Mexican fare in a quaint Peoria Avenue storefront. Owners Nancy and Emmanuel Montes, originally from Tamaulipas, Mexico, feature their restorative menudo (a thick tripe-based soup with ancho chili, hominy and oregano) Friday through Sunday in addition to breakfast gorditas and huevos norteños — two eggs, each over a fried tortilla, bathed in a fresh tomatillo sauce, with beans and handmade tortillas on the side. Breakfast: 11 a.m.-9 p.m., Tuesday- Friday; 9 a.m.-9 p.m., Saturday; and 9 a.m.-3 p.m., Sunday. 5239 S. Peoria Ave., 918-743-6064
Aside from traditional Tex-Mex fare — think carnitas, gorditas and fajitas — La Hacienda offers breakfast all day. Go for Mexican omelets, the chorizo breakfast (a scrambled mess of Mexican sausage, eggs, onions and peppers) or the zesty caldo de camaron (a large brothy bowl of boiled shrimp with mixed vegetables, onions and tomato, served with a side of avocado, tomatillo and pico de gallo). Ask for fresh tortillas on the side. Breakfast daily: 8 a.m.-9 p.m. 4518 S. Peoria Ave., 918-712-8645