Sashay over to Springfield for breakfast, and you can’t go wrong. There are morning repasts for early risers and late sleepers alike. We don’t recommend trying them all in one day, unless you want to explode. Take a couple mornings to savor the offerings.
Starting off on A Street, check in at Addi’s Diner. It’s not a real American diner unless it’s open all night, or at least opens in time for hungry truckers to grab some grub. Addi’s fits the bill. Black-and-white tile floors, Route 66 signs, Betty Boop and license plates are mixed in with old coke bottles for décor.
Owner Addi Hand says the throwback décor came from “just whatever people give me, you know, just kitschy and fun.”
Addi’s opened in 2006, and Hand says it took a while for her to develop her strong base of regular customers. “When I first opened I was damn near begging people to come in.”
But now Addi’s often has a line out the door on weekend mornings. “It’s been work, but I got it there.”
Not only does Addi’s have the right aesthetics, it has the right attitude. You can get a pancake the size of a mountain for $4.50. The menu says, “The Hotcake (one is all you need … Trust me!).” A signature dish, The Trainwreck, is a mess of scrambled eggs covered with cheese, home fries and gravy. If that’s not American, we don’t know what is.
It’s also home to some pretty damn good diner coffee at a reasonable price, which is surprisingly rare in the Eugene area.
Hand always has a wink or a good word for whatever kids are hanging around the booths. We once overheard her make a bet with an 8-year-old. “If my team wins today, you have to draw me a picture,” she said. “But if your team wins, I’ll give you a free hotcake!”
Despite the popularity, she says it’s not really her goal to expand the restaurant. “You can only really grow so much.” If she gets bigger, she’ll lose the opportunity to chat up her customers, she says, and “that’s the best part.”
Meanwhile, continuing down the road, steak and eggs are magical at Todd’s Place, a bustling little diner, also on A Street. Walk in and the sun begins to shine and your soul is warmed — though the warmth might be the result of the coffee pot they leave on the table for you.
Or the fact that you can feast on a delicious medium rare sirloin, three perfect over-medium eggs, hash browns and a blueberry muffin — for less than $12. We could only finish half.
No one at Todd’s seems to be in much of a hurry and, like Addi’s, it’s a good place for a coffee fill up. They just leave the coffee on the table for you — don’t mind if we do help ourselves to a third or fourth cup!
Finally, walk on over to Main Street and don’t miss The Pump Café and The Washburne Cafe on your breakfast sojourn. The brick-walled Washburne has a historic but open, bright feel, and serves Slightly Coffee Roasters, in-house made pastries and locally produced gluten-free items.
The Pump Café, named for the gas station it used to be, also plays to its historic past in its classic décor. The Pump has your basic breakfast items such as corned beef hash and eggs, omelets and pancakes, but also gets fun with breakfast specials — recent repasts have featured chocolate chip and peanut butter waffles and banana cream cheese stuffed French toast covered in strawberry compote. — Kelly Kenoyer and Max Thornberry
Addi’s Diner is open 4 am to 2 pm Wednesday through Sunday at 207 S. A Street; 541-747-9482. Todd’s Place is open 7 am to 2 pm daily at 1909 S. A Street; 541-345-9976, eugenetoddsplace.com. The Pump Café is open 7 am to 2 pm Monday through Friday and 8 am to 2 pm weekends at 710 Main Street; 541-726-0622. The Washburne Cafe is open 7 am to 4 pm Monday through Friday, 8 am to 4 pm Saturdays and 8 am to 2 pm Sundays at 326 Main Street; 541-746-7999, thewashburnecafe.com. All are in Springfield.