Bardog has been serving a mean first meal since early September, extending their hours from 8 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Breakfast sliders are the least expensive item on the menu at $1.29 and come with a fried egg, spicy mayo, and any number of cheeses and breakfast meats. They serve a breakfast burrito with potato hash, pancakes, eggs, and, of course, Bloody Marys, mimosas, and screwdrivers.
Your breakfast tab will range from $5 to $10, depending on how many sliders or slugs you can tuck away before noon.
Manager Rubi Renfro says Bardog's extensive weekend brunch menu is still more popular than the weekday breakfast (tough to beat the glamorous lobster sandwich), but their prime location puts them in place to get early-morning business types and law-school students.
Bardog Tavern, 73 Monroe (275-8752),
Nearby, Market Café offers breakfast and pastries courtesy of Theresa Johns, part owner and head chef. The pastry counter is not completely set up yet (Johns hopes it will be delivered sometime next month), but that hasn't stopped her from rolling out apple strudel, beignets, biscuits, and a variety of French pastries.
If you prefer to sit down and stay a while, Johns also turns out meat and vegetarian frittatas, omelets, breakfast burritos, and quiches. A few blocks east of the Main Street mall, Market Café is also primed for walk-in traffic, and since they open at 7 a.m., there is plenty of time to grab a bite before work. Breakfast entrées range from $4 to $12.
Market Café, 149 Madison (577-0086) memphismarketcafe.com
Brontë, the café nestled in a corner of Davis-Kidd Booksellers, has had a breakfast menu for about a year now but recently pushed up their opening hour to 7:30 a.m.
"We want to create a buzz about breakfast," says Brontë manager Debbie Durso. "We do a great lunch business, but people don't realize that we're also open for breakfast."
The café offers a sit-down and take-out menu, a plate breakfast, and à la carte items. The crème brûlée French toast with a crispy sugar-crusted top, the berry brûlée topped with berries and bananas, and a spinach, tomato, and feta omelet served with Paula Deen's hashbrown casserole are all favorites on the sit-down menu.
Items such as a bagel and cream cheese or a freshly baked muffin make for a more transportable meal.
Brontë's breakfast is especially suited for families, with the à la carte menu available in kid-sized portions. And as an after-breakfast treat, take the kids to storytime every Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 11 a.m.
Brontë, inside Davis-Kidd Booksellers,
387 Perkins Ext.
Lou's Pizza Pie in Cooper-Young began serving breakfast last month. On the menu are standard egg dishes, along with a breakfast burrito and homemade salsa.
And then there's the breakfast pizza. While manager Donna Davidson says she can make a personal pie to your liking, the two suggestions on the menu are excellent examples of all that a breakfast pizza can be: one with egg, sausage, onion, red pepper, and mozzarella, and the other with egg, bacon, mozzarella, and feta.
Why breakfast pizzas? "They sounded good, and you can't get them anywhere else," Davidson says.
Davidson admits their breakfast business isn't great, but she has some regulars, one of whom sidles up to the counter for his breakfast burrito as I get up to leave.
"I don't think people know we serve breakfast now," she explains. She also tells me they've got karaoke, but karaoke before noon sounds like a disaster. Let's save that for brunch.
Lou's Pizza Pie, 2158 Young (722-4031) louspizzapie.com