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First Meal

Cheap Eats 2017

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Jenny's Kitchen Sink comes with "endless" hashbrowns. - YOUNG KWAK
  • Young Kwak
  • Jenny's Kitchen Sink comes with "endless" hashbrowns.

Breakfast out is a treat, and a great way to start your day's activities or catch up with friends and family. And while it's also a way to break up your morning routine, going out to breakfast shouldn't break the bank. Whether you favor carbs or protein, sweet or savory, cheap eats abound for your first meal of the day.

Plain Jane Omelet, $6.75

Nosworthy's, 4045 N. Government Way, Coeur d'Alene, 208-664-6161

For nearly 40 years, this Coeur d'Alene favorite (formerly the Ground Round) has been serving up extra large portions of hand-pressed burgers and fries, three-egg omelets and 32-ounce schooners of beer. Surrounded by sports memorabilia, locals love to start and end their day here. Try one of 20 omelet choices like the Plain Jane — cheese only — or kick it up to the Calamity Jane, which includes ham ($9.50).

Cinnamon Roll Trio, $8.75

Chomper Cafe, 2345 W. Prairie Ave, Hayden, 208-719-0441

Theirs is an unlikely location at the entrance to a park and sandwiched in between prairie subdivisions, but Chomper Cafe is worth finding. When you smell these rolls baking, you'll say "Yes, please" to a trio of one each: classic, maple pecan and seasonal, like the cherry pie or blueberry surprise. Ideal for sharing, or for a little midday dessert.

Jenny's Kitchen Sink, $8.75

Jenny's Café, 9425 E. Sprague Ave., Spokane Valley, 928-8055

We're probably not alone in wishing Jenny Bennett would adopt us all. Her boundless optimism radiates from the kitchen, in the homey décor and in the menu of hearty breakfasts like Jenny's Kitchen Sink: mushrooms, green peppers, tomatoes, onions, sausage, bacon and melted cheese. Skillets, omelets, scrambles, burritos, waffles — they do it all, accompanied by their endless, crispy hash browns.

French Toast, $6.50

Mason Jar, 101 F St., Cheney, 359-8052

Mason jars are versatile containers, not meant to hold a lot but certainly adaptable to a variety of uses. That's the gist of this Cheney eatery: cozy, conveniently located, with a range of breakfast and lunch options for those in search of an affordable quick bite. The sweet tooth in you will respond to the French toast cinnamon raisin brioche, but a mimosa ($5) and smoked salmon lox is mighty tempting ($6.50), especially when breakfast is served all day on weekends.

Piccadilly Waffle, $7.95

Cottage Café, 6902 E Appleway Blvd, Spokane Valley, 928-8888

It'll feel like your birthday is every day when you order Cottage Café's Piccadilly Waffle. It's a fluffy Belgian waffle with pecans cooked inside, then topped with ice cream, bananas and whipped cream. Add a stout cup of DOMA coffee for a rich, satisfying breakfast with a bit of European flair in this Valley locale. Get there early and you might avoid the bit of a wait. If not, it's well worth it.

Biscuits & Gravy, $10

Otis Grill, 21902 E. Wellesley Ave., Otis Orchards, 922-9136

It used to be a Burger Barn, but now it's a local favorite for folks in Otis Orchards and beyond. As if the fluffy biscuits smothered in gravy weren't enough, you also get two eggs and your choice of bacon, sausage or ham. Come for breakfast and swing by again for dinner when the outdoor lights are on or the hot rods have gathered out front, and savor a little bit of Americana.

Country Breakfast, $9.49

Kalico Kitchen, 2931 N. Division, Spokane, 326-7144

When they say old fashioned, they mean it. Good food and plenty of it. Stick-to-your-ribs dishes that will sustain you through the most rigorous of activities. Add your name to the Zags fan wall while you wait for your country breakfast, served with your choice of protein (bacon, sausage links, ham; add 50 cents for smoked sausage, hamburger, chicken fried steak or corned beef), and your choice of a waffle, French toast, biscuits and gravy, fruit and toast, tomato and cottage cheese, pancakes, hashbrowns and toast or home fries and toast. You might want to bring a to-go box.

Blue Crab Benedict, $10

Dueling Irons, 1780 E. Schneidmiller Ave., Post Falls, 208-262-9716

No mock crab in this joint; both their crab omelet and benedict are the real deal, with a bright touch of green onion and rich hollandaise. Everything in Dueling Irons is scratch made by Chef Thomas Didra, who covers all regions of the map with equal aplomb. Southwest? Get the pulled pork burrito ($9.79). East Coast? The corned beef scramble ($9.79). French Quarter? Try sourdough French toast ($4.99), or cheese-cake filled crepes ($8.79). It looks like a diner inside and out, but this Post Falls eatery is all that and more. ♦