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Top 10 breakfast sweet treats

Meals that won’t make your dentist happy

Sel’s banana hazelnut brioche French toast is so good it can be eaten sans syrup. (Credit: Dutch Randall)

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I'm a firm believer in living life to the fullest -- at least when it comes to sweets. "Life is short, eat dessert first" is my motto. With that said, is there any better way to start the day than with a sweet breakfast? Pancakes, waffles, French toast, or even a cinnamon roll can certainly get the day off to a great start. Fortunately, the South Sound is not lacking when it comes to such simple pleasures, and I certainly had no problem finding the best available.

Very few cuisines know sweet treats better than the French, and Sel Restaurant Tacoma is a great deal easier than traveling to Europe. Particularly the Brioche French Toast A La Banane which soaks thick, rich brioche bread in an egg wash before frying to a golden brown and then topping with sweet and creamy mascarpone, hazelnuts and loads of caramelized bananas. There is no need for syrup as there is plenty of sweet flavor throughout. 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Wednesday-Thursday and Sunday; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 5-9 p.m., Friday-Saturday, 229 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma, 253.327.1015

Just over the bridge in Gig Harbor, you'll find Netshed No. 9. In addition to a great view of the harbor, and several creative breakfast dishes, you will also find maple-glazed bacon cinnamon rolls. Yes, you read that correctly -- maple-glazed bacon cinnamon rolls! And if that isn't enough, these sweet, smoky, gooey, sticky treats are served in the same cast iron pan that they were baked in. Even if you are not local to Gig Harbor, these alone are worth the drive. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Thursday-Monday, 3313 Harborview Dr., Gig Harbor, 253.858.7175

The banana bread French toast at Devoted Kiss Café really hits the spot. (Credit: Dutch Randall)

Down the Harbor a bit is the Devoted Kiss Café. A small place that prides itself on creative house-made dishes that are worthy of the view. One such creative dish that really hits the spot is the banana bread French toast. Fresh loaves of banana bread that appear from the oven each morning are sliced thick, egg-washed, grilled and then served with peppered bacon and warm syrup. It is a heartier breakfast than what most are accustomed to, but the flavoring of banana and spices prove to be an amazing combination with maple syrup. And the kick from the peppered bacon is a nice final touch. 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., daily, 880 N. Harborview Dr., Gig Harbor, 253.851.0055,

The French toast at Martin Way Diner is served open to close. (Credit: Dutch Randall)

Diners can sometimes be a dime a dozen, easy to find, and often all serving the same dishes. In Olympia, however, the Martin Way Diner has found a way to take French toast to a new level. The French toast is thick-cut from French bread which creates a soft interior with a crisp caramelized crust that makes an excellent barrier to hold all the butter and syrup you could possibly want. It's no accident that breakfast is served anytime! 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday-Thursday; 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday-Saturday, 2423 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360.705.1438,

Engine House No. 9 in Tacoma has been serving the masses since the mid-1970's, and a few years back, added a weekend breakfast service. Each weekend offers another chance to grab one of their cinnamon rolls. On the menu it's titled "Julia's Awesome Cinnamon Roll," and I'm not certain the name does it justice. This is a plate-sized roll nearly four inches high and smothered in cream cheese icing. Be warned that this dish can go fast some days, so you may not wish to be a late riser when you plan on an E9 breakfast. 11 a.m. to midnight, Monday-Wednesday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., Thursday; 11 a.m. to 2 a.m., Friday; 8 a.m. to 2 a.m., Saturday; 8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Sunday, 611 N. Pine St., Tacoma, 253.272.3435,

In nearby Proctor, Waffle Stop has mainstreamed waffles into more than just a sweet breakfast dish. However, I'm still a fan of the sweets, so I am drawn to the Very Berry Medley. A Pearl Sugar waffle is generously topped with raspberry coulis sweetened fresh strawberries and blackberries that naturally seep into the light fluffiness of the waffle. It is finished off with an ample amount of whipped cream that offers a cool finish to the dish. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., daily, 2710 N. Proctor St., Tacoma, 253.267.5026,

Carrs’ chicken and waffles is not for the faint of heart. (Credit: Dutch Randall)

Carrs Restaurant in Lakewood is known for its huge portions of quality comfort dishes. Though chicken and waffles crosses over into a sweet and savory dish -- if you believe in dipping your chicken in your maple syrup -- then it still counts as a sweet breakfast. With that said . . . I'm a dipper, and I'm not ashamed. A full Belgian waffle partnered with a half-chicken, you may need to ask for a second serving of maple syrup. The waffle is crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside, just as one should expect, with huge pockets to house all the butter and syrup you could possible want. Add four pieces of house-fried chicken, and this meal is not for the faint of heart. 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday-Saturday; 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Sunday, 11006 Bridgeport Way SW, Lakewood, 253.584.4622,

Olympia is a city where you are sure to find wholesome dishes that offer a small-town feel. Our Table, located downtown, is just such a location. With several breakfast sweets to choose from, my go-to is the enormous hazelnut pancakes (available as one or two cakes depending on your appetite). Each one is chock full of chopped hazelnuts and served with eggs, choice of breakfast meat, butter for the pancakes, a house-made syrup that has a nutty flavor, and partnered with fall spices of butter and cinnamon that is so good, you may never want maple on your pancakes again. 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., daily, 406 Fourth Ave. E., Olympia, 360.932.6030,

Manny's Place in Tacoma has a simple menu, but there is nothing simple about the quality of food here. And Manny's pancakes are an excellent example of this. At first glance, the blueberry pancakes seem like any other pancake, but the sweet cream batter makes for a lighter cake that boasts a bit of sweetness not found in the more common buttermilk version. Add a crop of fresh blueberries, a dusting of powdered sugar and a side of hot maple syrup, and you are sure to be back multiple times for these little babies. 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., 3814 N. 26th, Tacoma, 253.301.4353,

Burs’ Art the Barber is the ultimate breakfast sugar rush. (Credit: Dutch Randall)

It would be difficult to list where to get a sweet breakfast without mentioning the butterhorn French toast listed as Art the Barber on the menu at Burs Restaurant in Lakewood. A huge butterhorn roll is egg-washed and fried, stuffed with cream cheese and fresh berries, then topped with a second butterhorn roll and whipped cream. To refer to this as the ultimate breakfast sugar rush is an understatement. The fact that this is nearly a platter full of sugary delight, you are sure to have your week's worth of a sugar fix in one meal. 6 a.m. to 9 p.m., daily, 6151 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Lakewood, 253.588.4844,

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