Stretch your food budget with five big breakfasts to get the best bang for your buck -- and keep your tummy happy.
5 hearty breakfast spots
June 1, 2009
Anyone who went to the University of Delaware in the mid-1990s or earlier knew that there were two go-to joints for breakfast-gorging glory: Aunt Nannies Family Restaurant and the Iron Skillet, which were across from each other off Md.. 273, just over the Maryland line in Elkton. Catering to truckers, both delivered large portions at low costs. Aunt Nannies is now a Country Pride. But the Iron Skillet (221 Belle Hill Road, Elkton) and its all-you-can-eat buffet remains. It's got the traditional breakfast goodies, including meats like corned beef hash, bacon and sausage and sometimes ham on the weekends. Buffet hours are 6-11 a.m. Monday-Friday; 6 a.m.-noon Saturdays; and 6 a.m.-1 p.m. on Sundays. Cost is $7.99 during the week, $8.99 on weekends.
It's unbelievable -- there are still people in this state who don't know of the Marsh Road Diner or where this palace of breakfast riches lies. A clue: It's on Marsh Road, which is at the very least a minor artery in the heart of New Castle County; and U.S. 13, which is part of the state's transportation aorta. Speaking of hearts and arteries, the diner offers a vast array of so-bad-for-you-it's-good morning eats -- the crispy scrapple; the fluffy, gooey, feta cheese omelettes; the always-full cups of coffee. But the kings of clog are two beastly specials. The Route 13 Special boasts one hotcake, two slices of French toast; two pieces of bacon; one sausage link; a pork roll; two eggs; and your choice of coffee, tea or small juice, all for $6.95. A second unnamed special features a short-stack of hotcakes or French toast, plus two eggs and two pieces of bacon or two sausage links for $5.95. And, shh, here's the secret of the Marsh Road Diner: If you order any combo with two eggs and want three, ask and they throw in the third at no cost.
We can debate whether Helen's fried sausage sandwich is a breakfast item or not. But the scrapple sub ($5.50) most certainly is. It's a money saver because we're pretty sure it'll keep you filled through breakfast, lunch and dinner. A regular sub is four slices of scrapple on a 12-inch roll. Four slices! You can also add egg, cheese and other toppings for a full breakfast bonanza for $6.80.
Fresh Hot Bagels' breakfast sandwiches ($3.99) channel REO Speedwagon by urging us to take it on the run, baby. The store's bagels -- including pumpernickel, garlic and sesame seed -- are made from scratch every day. Add egg, cheese and either Taylor ham, sausage, bacon or scrapple, and you're ready to rock.
News Journal food writer Patricia Talorico discovered this food gem four years ago, and her find is our gain. From 8 a.m. to noon Sundays, the VFW Hall offers an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet in its glass-enclosed, 300-seat dining room that features: Scrambled eggs, creamed chipped beef, stewed tomatoes, bacon, fried sausage and pastries. Cost is $8. This seasonal offering, for tourists and locals alike, ends in late September.