My recent column about Thumbs Up Diner got a number of people asking: Where do you go for breakfast in Atlanta?
Personally, I do like Thumbs Up a lot — but not the one in Decatur as much as the older branch on Edgewood Ave. in the Old Fourth Ward. Why? Because the dishes I like come out just the way I like them. The tofu and veggies are big, sloppy and steamy enough to wilt their bed of raw spinach. The omelettes are fluffy and (usually) free of brown spots. The sunny side up eggs have that edge of crisp brown lace. The biscuits are whole-wheat rocks, but in a good way.
Lots of people love Ria’s Bluebird on Memorial Drive for its pancakes and poached eggs served with slow-cooked brisket. (Ria’s, along with Thumbs Up, were both recently named as two of the “59 Best Breakfast Places in America” by Esquire Magazine.) Others swear by the Social House on Howell Mill Road for its ginormous platters of fish and grits and variations on Eggs Benedict. And then there’s Waffle House. It may all be about the eggs.
Hillary Clinton tells the best scrambled egg story, which goes something like this. Soon after her family moved into the White House, Chelsea woke up in the middle of the night, scared. Clinton did what she always does for her kid: went into the kitchen, took out a pan and started scrambling eggs. The sleepy, bathrobe-wearing staff went into high alert, and soon a cook appeared to whisk the pan out of her hand. Clinton had to explain, “You don’t understand. I’m her mother. I have to scramble the eggs.”
Indeed. The person who cooks your eggs — whether a short-order diner cook or your mom — does a lot for your soul.
So, where are the great breakfasts around Atlanta?