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That Most Important Meal of the Day

July 5, 2010

By Pat Tanner

For at least half a century now, nutritionists and the medical community have been telling us that eating a good breakfast is key. Of course, what constitutes a “good” breakfast is debatable. When the editors of Food Network Magazine contacted me a while back to nominate three restaurants with the best breakfasts in New Jersey for a story running in their July/August issue, they didn’t have nutrition in mind.

For the record, the magazine chose my number one pick, the Summit Diner’s Slider: egg, cheese, and Taylor Ham on a Kaiser roll. I also nominated the Cyclops Pancake at Mustache Bill’s Diner in Barnegat Light and the Russian Peasant Omelet at the Café at Rosemont.

Not one of these is particularly healthful – the calorie count alone would do them in – but they are delicious and arguably better choices than skipping breakfast altogether. But on a recent round-up of breakfast places in and around Central Jersey I happened upon some choices that are equally delectable and good for you.

Multi-grain Oatmeal at Caffe Galleria, Lambertville. I am a big fan of hot cereal in general, but this version is so good I didn’t even add sugar! And because I am an oatmeal purist, I didn’t choose the fresh fruit option, either. At $3.95 for a big bowl, this is also a healthy bargain. caffegalleria.com

Tofu Scramble at Sprig & Vine, New Hope. I admit you have to like tofu in the first place, but if you do, the version with spinach or mushrooms is tops. (I suggest getting both, which brings the cost to only $6.). I first wrote about this new vegan restaurant in May after an impressive lunch, and am pleased that its Sunday brunch doesn’t disappoint. (The warm sugar-cinnamon doughnuts are terrific, by the way, although perhaps less suitable for the health-conscious. The bruleed grapefruit, while not as indulgent, is a delicious alternative.) sprigandvine.com

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