For those waking up hungry in this scenic small town near Pisgah National Forest, going out for breakfast in Brevard used to be mostly a choice between something beige or something brown. But over the past few years, Brevard has woken up to not just smell better coffee, but also to offer early risers more variety to offset pastries and standard franchise fried-egg fare.
Two recent newcomers to Brevard’s culinary scene, the Cedar Mountain Café and Jaime’s Creole Brasserie on Main Street, offer gourmet-style breakfast and brunch options in stark contrast to the more ubiquitous toast, hash browns and eggs, scrambled or sunny-side up.
The Cedar Mountain Café has quickly become a morning food mecca for Brevard and Cedar Mountain residents and visitors, even if it means driving 15 minutes up the curvy Greenville Highway. For some, it’s the bold huevos rancheros or the sweet fruit crepe of the day. For others, the homemade sodas and locally roasted coffee and the fact that all meats served are organic and hormone-free. Either way, servers help meet all dietary restrictions for a balanced and delicious meal just minutes from the trails and waterfalls in DuPont State Forest.
Jaime’s offers daily breakfast specials and a Creole-themed brunch menu just steps from the Transylvania County Courthouse. Featured dishes range from house-made granola to savory New Orleans barbecued shrimp served with grilled corn and Worcestershire butter.
Other restaurants in town that have earned small-town culinary stripes for fine casual brunch service, include the Hobnob Restaurant and Marco Trattoria, located side by side on West Main Street, as well as the Jordan Street Café on Jordan Street. While the former two lure in their patrons with eggs Benedict and alfresco patio seating – the latter is known for chicken and waffles, which often means a line by 11 a.m. during the summer.
More casual, both in décor and menu choices, are Mayberry’s on West Main Street and Tony’s Real Food Deli on Chestnut Street. Tony’s patrons can get their fill of Big Apple-style bagels and lox. At the Sunrise Café in the College Plaza Mall, breakfast nachos rule, and wraps can be loaded up with everything but the kitchen sink. The Sunrise Café’s ever-efficient staff keeps the coffee urns full with good reason. It’s the cheapest good coffee in town — and the best place to linger and perhaps strike up a conversation on any given day except Sunday, the one day the restaurant is closed.
Not high-brow but friendly and good, is Creekside Subs, just past the Ingles on Asheville Highway. The fare is all about eggs, but the service is lightning fast, and the coffee is bottomless. It’s the kind of place where servers call patrons’ “honey” and a group of local firefighters are crowded into the next booth over.
If sitting down is too much of a commitment and only coffee and croissants will do, out-of-towners are well-advised to follow sleepy-eyed or bushy-tailed Brevardians to the Bracken Mountain Bakery just half a block from the courthouse. When owners Debbie and Bill Tellman announced earlier this month that the bakery would extend its hours to be open on Mondays until November, there was a communal sigh of relief all through town. Now the bakery is only closed Sundays, so devotees need to stock up for just one day to maintain their supply of sunflower-oat bread or organic dog biscuits (good for both dogs and teething babies).
The Blue Ridge Bakery, near the Transylvania County Library, features a daily cupcake special, as well as extra-large (think saucer-sized) cinnamon rolls along with many other baked temptations.
A wide variety of caffeine-based beverages and pastries can also be found at Quotations Coffee Café on East Main Street and Brighter Day Coffee in the Food Lion shopping mall. Crank Coffee on Asheville Highway near the Pisgah National Forest entrance also carries a selection of coffee and pastries, and it can mix up fresh smoothies to order. On Rosman Highway, Coffee cARTS Studio offers vegan and gluten-free pastries with coffee, and guests can sign up for art and craft workshops, making it a good place to absorb caffeine and culture at the same time.
Appalachian Coffee Co., on the Brevard College campus along French Broad Street, is the newest coffee shop in town, featuring fair trade, all-organic coffee.
If it is Saturday and shopping for locally grown produce is on the to-do list, creative breakfast food is part of the offerings at the Transylvania Farmers Market on the corner of Johnson and Jordan streets. The Oskar Blue’s Chubwagon and Chameleon Catering and Mobile Food Co. – both food trucks — serve everything from buttermilk biscuits with homemade preserves to “freedom toast” (more commonly known as French toast) with stout-flavored chocolate sauce — a completely acceptable way to combine happy hour and breakfast.
Two of Brevard’s brightest culinary talents, Wild Indigo Catering’s Anne Somich and Kate Renner, have such a loyal following for the organic, seasonal breakfast creations they dish out at the market that they take reservations via text and on Facebook a day before the market each week. This is not a joking matter: The market opens at 8 a.m. and procuring a burrito or baked good of choice after 9 a.m. cannot be guaranteed. Check Wild Indigo’s Facebook page on Fridays for such choices as bacon jam with smoked provolone, spicy greens and a local fried egg or Hungarian shortbread with strawberry-ginger jam.
Because a well-crafted cup of coffee is breakfast’s most important ingredient, here is one more tip: In Brevard, the best espresso-based beverages, complete with foamy flairs of feathers can be found at Kiwi Gelato on West Main. And who says you can’t have Italian-style ice cream for breakfast?