Lavish brunch is swell, but this relaxing meal doesn't have to be three courses or even a heaping plate. There are plenty of restaurant breakfast foods that will still hit the spot—without slamming your budget.
All cost less than $6:
French Toast and Sausage, $4.50
Pete's Coffee Shop, 540 Union Ave., Sat. only 7 a.m.-2 p.m., petescoffeeshop.com
A couple of slices of old school French toast, replete with syrup and melting butter and your choice of bacon and sausage. The people watching and friendly smiles from the staff—no additional charge.
11 Ounces of Organic Bunch Bar, approx. $5
Three Rivers Market, 1100 N. Central St., Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., threeriversmarket.coop
The hot food and salad bar at the food cooperative is all organic, with lots of vegetarian and vegan options, and a dollar cheaper per pound—$6.99—for brunch. The menu changes daily, and you can take out or pause in the store with splendid noshes like carrot ginger soup or vegetable frittata—and complete your grocery shopping in just one stop.
Slice Harold Shersky Breakfast Pizza, $3.95
Tomato Head, 12 Market Square and 7240 Kingston Pike, Sat.-Sun. 10 a.m.-3 p.m., thetomatohead.com
Is it citified or New Ager pizza? Who cares? This slice with scrambled eggs, cheese, smoked salmon, capers and red onion topped with crema is luscious. Of course, you could break the bank and go for the whole 9-inch pie for roughly three times the price. Or there's that chewy, not too sweet cinnamon roll, oversize and warm, topped with vanilla cream cheese, for $2.95. It's perfect for hanging out if your friends are eating and you already have.
Blunch Pie, $5.50
Holly's Eventful Dining, 5032 Whittaker Dr #3, Mon-Fri only, 8 a.m.-3 p.m., hollyseventfuldining.com
Executive chef and owner Holly Hambright has invented "blunch"—it's just right for that suggestion of brunch midweek—and she offers it complete with her own blunch pie (sort of a quiche derivative). Two varieties, the choice is pleasant torture: The Lurleen involves Benton's ham, Sweetwater Valley cheddar, sautéed Vidalia onions, and tomato custard, while The Hollyhock spins spinach, mushroom, asparagus, and Parmesan custard. Cozy.