Experts claim that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Fortunately, Decatur has an array of delectable restaurants serving up your morning favorites. Some dish it out during typical breakfast hours, and others offer a tasty breakfast for dinner. A few have called Decatur home for a decade or more, and one is finding success after being opened only a few short months. All agree: Decatur loves breakfast!
For three years, McGorray’s Golf and Grille has been a popular north end spot for Sunday Brunch, which is served from 10 am to 3 pm. Offered are a fun, golf-themed environment and scrumptious favorites, which include a large assortment of omelets, tasty flatbreads and breakfast sandwiches. McGorray’s credits their success to great food that is reasonably priced. Where else can you get a gourmet omelet for $7.49?
Open since mid-September, the Blue Spoon was conceived by owner Donovan Marschner, who moved to the area in 2000 to attend Millikin University…and never left! He recognized the great need for a breakfast/brunch spot on the west end, so he opened the Blue Spoon. A real hit has been the Blue Spoon Shoe, which is a yummy conglomeration of toast, gravy, eggs, and meat if requested. Donovan attributes the popularity to the food being made on site. Even the gravy and fruit spreads are made in house!
Located in the same spot for 11 years, the Downtown Café is still going strong and dishing up favorites! Residents love the downtown location and that the café is consistent: always great food and excellent service. Top requests include the Working Man’s Breakfast, which consists of two eggs, any way, with meat, hash browns and toast. Of course, their pancakes are also sure to be a hit.
If you’re searching for an omelet station or made-to-order crepes, then look no further than Benny’s! Opened in 2011, Benny’s offers a delicious, kid-friendly Sunday brunch buffet from 10 am-2 pm. Benny loves what he does, always does the best that he can, and treats his customers and employers right, and he says that is why Benny’s is thriving.
For 20 years, Golden Glaze Donuts has been proudly serving Decatur residents. Business has increased since recently moving to Water Street. Golden Glaze offers over 50 varieties of donuts and a full breakfast menu. Residing in the area for two decades has given Golden Glaze insight into what folks here crave. So, what is at the top of the list? Donuts…made fresh every single day!
Not only does Coney McKane’s offer breakfast until 11 am, they also dish up breakfast on Monday and Tuesday evenings to those of us who crave the morning favorites later in the day. They have been in their current location for over 14 years and credit some of their success to the lovely downtown and the fact that people feel a deep sense of community while visiting, eating, or shopping there. All ingredients are fresh, and everyone seems to devour Flo’s Famous Sausage Gravy and Biscuits, which is a family recipe, and the Sunday potatoes with cheese, ham and onion. Are you hungry yet?
Debbie Hill of Debbie’s Diner enjoys her repeat customers. For 11 years, she’s been open for breakfast every day and offers it all day on Sundays! She appreciates the loyal patrons who come in eager for her homemade biscuits and gravy, sausage breakfast with Heinkel’s bulk sausage and other tasty favorites. She remains successful because she always has satisfied customers.
Are you yearning for a fully loaded and stuffed omelet at dinnertime? Look no further than Clare’s Family Restaurant! They’ll whip up breakfast specialties until 8 pm. They’ve been serving Decatur for 17 years. Due to their food quality, great staff and reasonably priced food, they continue to thrive.
Obviously, a breakfast/brunch bonanza is happening in Decatur! What are you in the mood for? Is it traditional eggs and bacon, an array of omelets and crepes, fluffy pancakes, or freshly made donuts? No matter your palate, the breakfast and brunch establishments in the area are sure to please. But don’t take our word for it! Go in and taste for yourself!
Small Town Breakfast Bonanza
Blue Mound: Dippin Merv’s
317 N Railroad Ave, 692-2992, 6-10:30 am
Cerro Gordo: Judy’s Kitchen
219 E South St, 763-3131, 7-11 am
Latham: Korner Cafe
151 Macon St, 674-3411, 6-10:30 am
Macon: Whit’s End 51
181 N Wall St, 764-3300, Sunday breakfast buffet 9-11 am, full brunch starting at 11
Maroa: Country Town
515 E Main St, 672-8276, Breakfast all day
Moweaqua: Pats Korner Kitchen
201 N Main St, 768-4422, 6-10:30 am
Mt Zion: Four Star Family Restaurant
1100 N State Highway 121, 864-2817, Breakfast all day
Heather Meadows is a freelance writer and a lover of family breakfasts with awesome omelets and endless cream and sugar with a splash of coffee.
I never really thought about what qualified a good order of biscuits and gravy until I ventured around town (I guess even I can be accused of bein’ a creature of habit) to find who serves some of the best of one of my favorite breakfast options. I visited eight local hot spots (ha) and of those, I picked my five faves.
One of my first stops was Coney McKane’s American Eatery. What’s distinguishing about their biscuits & gravy is the sausage—it’s spicy. Personally, I like my sausage to carry as much flavor as my gravy, so for me this was a bonus. The menu advertises it as an original “from the farm” recipe, and at $3.29 it’s a bargain. What’s great about visiting local restaurants is that you’ll get that sense of homemade or “made from scratch” taste.
Since it’s across the street, I also visited The Downtown Café. For me, the biscuits won me over. They’re light and fluffy, not weighed down with too much flour. They were just the right size—not too thin or too thick—so they weren’t drowning in gravy. The taste is mild but flavorful. The sausage is more crumbled than it is bombarded with big chunks, and for the price (just $2.75), I think it would appease even the toughest breakfast critic’s palate.
After makin’ my way across town, I grabbed a stool at the Four Star Family Restaurant in Mt. Zion (formerly known as the All Star Diner), and it was like love at first taste. Sometimes the mornings are too early for me to wallow in so much spicy goodness, but their biscuits & gravy helped me make an exception. With Coney McKane’s, you got the sense the wallop was in the sausage, but here, I really tasted the spice throughout the gravy. The gravy is a bit darker in color, too, which lets you know the flavor of the browned sausage really sunk into it. I liked that the sausage isn’t just an afterthought, either. Sometimes it can exist in the gravy like shattered pieces of iceberg in the ocean, never really presenting much of an impact. But you won’t have that problem if you come here for breakfast, and you’ll only drop $2.99.
Another great spot is Jan’s East End Grill, and the price is right at $2.99. You’ll get generously-sized pieces of sausage. They’ve chosen to go light on the pepper, so the gravy and sausage contain just the minimum amount of seasoning. The gravy is a bit thinner, so you really get a taste of the flour and milk, just like homemade.
The final gravy boat dock was The Main Hangar. It’s the priciest of the options (a still reasonable $4.29) but well worth it. It tastes more like your typical restaurant biscuits & gravy. Well-seasoned gravy, and the biscuits have a nice consistency, not cakey. The gravy is peppery but not spicy: a step above mild. The sausage isn’t too big, but it’s not too small, either. And it’s not under- or over-seasoned. It was deliciously perfect, with all three elements harmonizing wonderfully.
Because of the holidays, I feel generous, so I’m torn between two (who only wants to eat one place for breakfast anyway?). My favorites *drum roll, please* would have to be the biscuits & gravy at The Main Hangar or Four Star Family Restaurant. It’s a matter of personal taste, but those two places offer the kinda taste that would get me to come back for more.
PS: I do anticipate that the day the Blue Spoon comes out with biscuits & gravy on the menu (I’m salivating already at the thought of the gravy alone), I will be one of the first in line to try it!
I picked up a half pound from Jeffrey's Meat Market (135 S. Oakland Ave., Decatur). Nothing fancy, but thick cut is a MUST. Thin = burnt candy. Also, if you only get a half pound, you'll regret not getting more. I speak from experience here, folks!
2. Mix your glaze.
For one pound of bacon use
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 1/4 cup beer
Combine the sugar and beer in a bowl and whisk the heck out of it. You'll be amazed at how great just the glaze smells.
Beer Note: Anything but an IPA should work for this recipe. I went with a home-brewed American brown ale that was awesome. Thanks, Rob Zimmerman!
3. Preheat the oven.
Bring your oven up to 400˚F.
4. Glaze the bacon.
Glaze both sides and place on a wire rack. Feel free to overlap if needed. It's also important to place the rack on a baking pan that's lined with aluminum foil because you won't want doing dishes to get in the way of eating bacon. As you can see to the left, I cut the bacon into half thinking it would be easier to share. You can skip that step, though; you won't want to share anyway.
5. Bake and re-glaze.
Place your bacon in the 400˚F oven and set your timer of choice. I marked my beer bottle, but you may want to be more scientific and try to hit 10 minutes right on the dot. At 10-minute intervals, remove, glaze both sides, and bake again. My batch went through only 2 intervals and transformed into pure awesome! Next time around I plan to shoot for 4 shorter intervals in hopes of an even thicker candy coating.
6. Eat bacon candy.
To dress the bacon up even more, dredge it in brown sugar while still a bit warm; then brush off the excess to leave a nice texture.