Breakfast isn't just the most important meal of the day; it can be one of the best when it's done right.
This week, we have two venues that offer new morning temptations: Crispelli's Bakery & Pizzeria in Berkley, with terrific house-baked pastries and savory items, served daily; and Ferndale's Local Kitchen & Bar, whose weekend brunch ranges from short-rib hash to pecan waffles and a juicy burger.
Crispelli's expands new breakfast menu
Crispelli's on Woodward has been quietly offering breakfast for several weeks, featuring delicious house-made European-style pastries, Belgian waffles, extra-thick French toast and savory items like individual breakfast calzones, quiches and gratins.
But starting this weekend, it's rolling out several thin-crust, stone-fired breakfast pizzas that are topped with scrambled or sunny-side-up eggs and other ingredients and baked to order in 5 minutes or less.
Priced at $5.50-$6.95, they're supposed to be individual-sized pies. But the one I tried last week -- topped with sliced ham, scallions, Swiss cheese and three eggs -- was large enough to share.
Crispelli's head chef Steve Lindemier, who developed the recipes, says he likes to break the still-runny yolks and spread them over other pieces of the pizza or dip slices into the yolks.
However you want to eat them, they're really delicious -- and far more interesting than the usual toast-and-eggs breakfast.
That's the idea behind the entire breakfast menu: "I don't want to do the same things you can get anywhere," Lindemier says.
Some other dishes I've enjoyed are the delicate, silky, cheese-leek-and-wild-mushroom quiche and the three-meat-and-egg-filled calzone. And the pastries -- made from scratch every day -- are as flaky, buttery and delicious as they are pretty.
Healthy selections like Irish steel-cut oatmeal, fresh fruit, house-made granola with vanilla yogurt, and muesli with Greek yogurt are available, too. Customers can dine in and take their time -- or get their food quickly and go.
Breakfast hours are 7-11 a.m. daily. (28939 Woodward; 248-591-3300 and www.crispellis.com)
Local Kitchen debuts weekend brunch
Chef Rick Halberg's new Local Kitchen has introduced weekend brunch with a tempting, well-rounded menu that ranges from a beef short-rib hash skillet and a stylish take on chilaquiles to banana-Nutella stuffed French toast, a deluxe kale salad and a pulled-pork Cuban sandwich.
The colorful chilaquiles features two eggs served atop smoky, tender black beans, surrounded by crisp tortilla chips and garnished with ranchero salsa, guacamole and queso blanco cheese.
The short-rib beef hash with potatoes, onions and peppers avoids the usual hash pitfall of being too greasy and has great flavor. The big chunks of tender beef and vegetables are topped with two poached eggs and a distinctive horseradish hollandaise sauce. All in all, it's an excellent version of the dish.
Other menu offerings include a classic eggs-and-meat breakfast; daily-changing scrambles, omelets and frittatas; steel-cut oatmeal, and pecan waffles with fruit compote and maple syrup. Other lunch-y dishes are Local's popular burger, a roasted vegetable panini and panzanella salad.
Don't miss the side-dish duo of fresh biscuits with orange butter and two kinds of delicious house-made preserves -- a steal at $1.50.
Also new at Local is its Locally Late Night lineup. Available Wednesday-Saturday, it's designed to attract other service industry workers with offerings like free s'mores at midnight and a late-night grill menu with food and drink specials. The late specials are served 10 p.m.-midnight Wednesday-Thursday and 11 p.m.-1 a.m. Friday-Saturday.
Local Kitchen & Bar opens daily at 5 p.m. and closes Sunday-Tuesday at 10 p.m. Brunch is served 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. (344 W. Nine Mile; 248-291-5650 and www.localkitchenandbar.com)