This past Thursday, we slept in. Like until noon. A slothly morning begets a late brunch. After debating where to go, bf and I hopped in the good ol' Hyundai and headed north to Alberta, vaguely thinking of Francis but not committed. Passing Tin Shed and Helser's, both looked busy so we continued on up to Francis. Parked the car, went inside and found...a zoo. I didn't know Thursday at 1:15pm was so popular for breakfast/lunch. Don't these people work? I don't like to wait, plus I never thought Francis was THAT good, so we drove back down to Helser's. Never been there anyway and wanted to try it. There was only a group of 2 in front of us, so we were seated within 5 minutes.
Right off, I liked the menu. Breakfast is served all day, a bonus for those who break their fast after noon, like me. It wasn't your standard bacon-and-eggs-and-benedicts menu. I wish I had one to post. Pancakes were on there, and maybe waffles, and a mushroom hash, bacon hash, a breakfast sandwich with crumpets, uh.......Oh wait, the menu is on their website. Clever. Ok, so no waffles. Potato pancakes, three hashes, steak and eggs, brioche french toast, scotch eggs, three different bennies, a Louisiana Hot Sausage Scramble wrap, the breakfast sandwich, a pear and Havarti pie, black bean chili scramble, and a dutch baby! Lots of things I might want to try for future visits. On the lunch front I spied a shrimp ravioli and a potato cake torta that looked interesting. Also, for the early birds, Helser's offers a $3.95 breakfast special from 7am-9am daily. Why can't there be a "late birds" special? I'm just sayin'.
Did I mention adult beverages for breakfast? Bf ordered a coffee nudge, and I was persuaded to get a hot buttered rum. We are lushes.
It was one of those times when I saw what I wanted right away, and only read the rest of the menu for kicks. Mushroom hash with criminis, scallions, garlic, Yukon Gold potato hash tossed with melted Havarti cheese. I added two poached eggs because, oddly, it was the only hash that did not come with eggs. And a side of hollandaise, just cause.
This was after I finished. It was huge! The mushrooms were more than plentiful, they were abundant. The scallions added a bright crunch to each bite; they didn't skimp on those either. Different from most hashes, the potatoes were sorta smashed and fried. I liked the soft texture. The cheese held everything together, although it didn't really need cheese. Next time I would sub the Havarti for chevre and add spinach. That would be perfection. I didn't really need the poached eggs, either, but it was good to have some protein.
Bf ordered the spinach, mushroom and tomato benedict. The eggs and veggies came atop a nice crumpet, but with very skimpy hollandaise. He was glad I had some to share. Speaking of, the hollandaise was heavy on the butter, but had no lemon taste at all. Not the best but at least it wasn't Knorr's. Bf liked the benedict, especially the crumpet. I "helped" him with some stray clumps of spinach. Very good. He commented that the tomatoes were especially good. Wonder where they get those this time of year?
At $28, it wasn't the cheapest breakfast, but it was really the drinks that did it. Otherwise it would have been under $20. A standout breakfast all around.
Helser's on Alberta
1538 NE Alberta St.