I was up early this morning, eager to put the first coat of paint on a room that I’m reinventing, and by 9:00 I had three hours of work in already! I decided to cruise over to North Ave. to find some breakfast, intending to grab a meatball at Tall Guy – unfortunately, they were out of the office handling a big catering event. So being a little bit lazy, I chose to go right next door to North Avenue Grill.

I’d never been in before, but I’ve seen people sitting on the sidewalk all summer, and I was excited to find a diner-style counter when I walked in, where I could grab a stool and enjoy my solo breKfast without feeling like I was hogging a table. Speaking of hogs – the street was lined with Harley’s – what a cool day to live in Milwaukee! Glad to host some of those riders in my neighborhood! The rest of the restaurant was cozy booths and quite a bit of outdoor seating – very comfortable and relaxed.

Soon after I sat down, I stuck up a conversation with the woman sitting next to me. I learned that Leslie and Armando have lived in Tosa for 31 years, and enjoy checking out local restaurants. They’ve been to North Avenue Grill a couple of times, and Leslie’s over easy eggs have been prepared perfectly each time. Armando had a skillet that looked amazing – chorizo, black beans, salsa, avocado, cheese – it made my mouth water while I was waiting for my order. Leslie did agree with me that the one thing missing was a Bloody Mary. Our server checked and confirmed that they don’t serve bloodys…yet. Promising…

The menu was large with a great selection of breakfast foods and sandwiches, burgers, etc. Since I’m trying to stick to my Paleo plan, I was a little nervous about finding something appropriate. I needn’t have worried. I ordered a veggie omelette with no cheese (who needs cheese when you have onions, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms and avocado?) which comes with fried American potatoes and toast. It was no problem to substitute fruit for my toast, and I was happy with pineapple, grapes, strawberries and melon.

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I knew I was cheating a little bit with everything being cooked in an unknown oil, but I was still proud of my order. I sampled the potatoes but didn’t finish them – wow – a perfect fried crust on soft potatoes. The omelette was great – the avocado helped me give up the cheese because it was smooth and creamy. Thumbs up on my meal.

I won’t stop there with the compliments. They serve Valentine coffee – my favorite local roaster. The staff were friendly, keeping my coffee and water full despite the fast pace they were moving at. The cooks looked like they were in a carefully choreographed ballet – never stepping on each others toes or acting cross with one another despite the tiny grill space (this is important to me – I don’t want the staff yelling at each other or complaining while making my food – bad juju). When I perused the beer list, local brews prevailed and there was a nice selection of wines on a chalkboard waiting for me to sample.

This breakfast was a happy coincidence, and I can assure you, I’ll be back. Maybe even tomorrow.

Check out North Avenue Grill online at http://www.northavenuegrill.com. They do carry out, too!

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