After much deliberation and anticipation, with no pancake left unturned and no egg un-cracked, Moon Rise Café became the champion of the 2012 Tournament of Breakfast. From the final four contenders that included Cicada Restaurant, Alfred's Cafe and Dirty Oscar's Annex, the voice of the people has been heard. The final head-to-head battle with Dirty Oscar's garnered over 7,000 total votes, and Moon Rise out-flipped and out-scrambled their competition, taking home the title of Best Breakfast.
Bad breakfast metaphors aside, the folks of Moon Rise Café have been cooking and serving a mean breakfast since 2006. Lakewood native Christine Curren co-owns the café with her daughter, Samantha Syverson, and has worked on and off in the restaurant business for the last 40 years. It is a true success story, born from Curren being told she could not do it herself. Well, she did, and Moon Rise is going strong. There are planning to expand into the space next door, as well as to add fresh juices, smoothies, espresso and more baked goods.
When asked how she thinks they won, Curren said, "It's not just about the food, but it is pretty damn good. Nothing comes out of the kitchen that I wouldn't pay for or enjoy myself. ... Along with being a café comes a sort of eclectic energy, spirit and caring that comes with the food. We are different. (Breakfast) is what we do."
And they do it well. Everything they serve is homemade, including dressings, soups, sauces and the jam, which is made by Curren herself.
The most popular items on the menu are their eggs Benedict ($8.50), smoked salmon scramble ($10.25), Monte Cristo sandwich ($9.50) and tofu scramble ($7.95). The build-your-own omelets are a big hit, too.
Being a Moon Rise Café virgin, I had to investigate what exactly constitutes the best breakfast around. What I found was fast, friendly service, competitive prices and quality homemade food. I also found firefighters eating there, which confirmed my earlier conclusions.
The Moon Rise Benedict hit the spot with two poached eggs on English muffins and a light, lemony hollandaise sauce. Topping it with your choice of bacon, ham or turkey and sautéed onions and peppers take this dish to another level. Paired with their perfectly crispy, yet fluffy, home fries, you are good to go.
Don't forget the Salmon Lovers Scramble, a generous portion of smoked salmon, spinach, cream cheese and capers all scrambled together with eggs. It is like a bagel and lox with schmear, only better. I am fairly sure an "oy vey" escaped my mouth.
Even after only recently winning the tournament, Moon Rise has seen growth. "We have had lots of new customers coming in after reading the Weekly Volcano Tournament of Breakfast. It has been fun meeting all the new people," said Curren.
She added that she is grateful for their customers, and that, "all the restaurants that participated do (breakfast) their way. They do their best, as do we. We take the food and service seriously, with pride, love and much gratitude. We are blessed."
Moon Rise Café, Open Tuesday - Friday 7 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m., 6020 Main St. SW, Lakewood. 253.983.9999.