Iconic Bacon and Eggs at Ole's

Finding Americana at an Alameda stalwart via The Early Bird Breakfast.


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Hearty fuel: The Early Bird Breakfast.

Lori Eanes

 

$10 Plates

In classic Americana, breakfast was revered as the most important meal of the day, and no other member of the Americana’s breakfast lexicon is more iconic than a plate of eggs, bacon, and toast with a steaming cup o’ joe. At Ole’s Waffle Shop in Alameda, they call this combination an Early Bird Breakfast ($8.25), and for less than $10, breakfast is more than what’s on the plate. It’s an opportunity to enjoy the moment, a chance to find a bit of the Americana that was.

Imagine two eggs, over easy, with edges brown and crispy. The yolk explodes around the mismatched fork and knife, spilling onto the speckled off-white plate, trimmed—of course—in brown. Wheat toast—sagging low with melted butter—whips around the plate, containing the yellow flood before it oozes into three thick strips of chewy bacon. Hearty and heavy, it’s a combo that all but demands black coffee, and no one does black coffee like a diner.

Bitter. Strong. Utilitarian. At a diner, there’s only two ways to order coffee—yes or no. It may not be grande, but it’s damn good coffee made all the better by Ole’s white ceramic mugs, the ubiquitous diner staple. The mugs, along with the scalding coffee, feel so familiar, as if they have been part of the Ole’s fabric since its grand opening in 1927.

This breakfast is a meal left over from a time when cooking meant simply adding heat to food, and breakfast included carbs, cholesterol, calories, and caffeine. With a little imagination—or a lot of coffee—the pale, yellow counter at Ole’s is a gateway to that time. It’s easier, over the Early Bird Breakfast, to swivel your stool to face the stranger beside you and say, “G’morning.” Because that’s what people did—and still do—at Ole’s. A little bit of Main Street on Park Street, a place where breakfast is still the most important meal of the day, any time of day.

Ole’s Waffle Shop, 1507 Park St., Alameda, 510-522-8108.

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