Rise and shine at Sunrise Café in the Bay

TAMMY SMITH/SUN HERALDA Philly omelet is served with grits at Sunrise Café in Bay St. Louis.
TAMMY SMITH/SUN HERALDA Philly omelet is served with grits at Sunrise Café in Bay St. Louis.

Breakfast is not my big meal (sorry, nutritionists). That usually is lunch. Give me a bracing cup or two of good coffee and some little nibble, and I'm set to start the day. However, that doesn't mean I can't appreciate breakfast food.

I decided a trip to Bay St. Louis one sunny, mild weekday morning was in order to check out Sunrise Café. It's at 315 Reese St., but here's an easy way to find it. At the intersection of U.S. 90 and Dunbar Street in the Bay, turn north onto Dunbar off 90, then take the immediate left, where you will see a C-Spire store. The phone store is directly in front of the small parking lot for Shieldsboro Square, which houses Sunrise Café.

Sunrise Café is a small, casual breakfast and lunch spot. If I lived in the Bay, it would be a great place to go when the yen hit me for homemade biscuits and other comforting breakfasty things that I didn't want to make for myself and didn't want to change out of yoga pants and a T-shirt to enjoy.

The breakfast menu includes a special that offers two eggs (your way) along with grits and toast for $2.95, plus sausage biscuits with gravy, French toast, pancakes, oatmeal and a la carte items.

Specialties include omelets ranging from ham and cheese for $5.75 to the Ultimate Omelet (three eggs with hash browns, onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, sausage, bacon, Cheddar and Swiss for $10.95), and the Sunrise Sandwich (egg, spinach, mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, pickles and cheese) for $4.95, a breakfast quesadilla (sausage or ham, grilled onions, scrambled egg and Cheddar) for $5.95 and a tortilla topped with hash browns, grilled onions and mushrooms, cheddar cheese and two eggs for $5.95.

I chose the Philly omelet for $6.95. It's a two-egg omelet stuffed with Philly steak, grilled onions, bell peppers and Swiss cheese. All omelets come with grits or hash browns and toast; I opted for grits and just said no to toast. The $1.25 cup of coffee is a good-sized cup, and my server Maylen made sure I never lacked for it.

My breakfast arrived quickly and hot. A nice golden pool of butter sat in the middle of the grits, and the omelet was folded over much more neatly than I have ever been able to achieve. It was nicely stuffed with the innards of a good Philly sandwich, including plenty of meat and satisfying chunks of grilled onion.

That filled me up. Nevertheless, as I went to to pay the bill I couldn't help staring at the obviously homemade chocolate chip cookies wrapped individually and displayed by the register.

"Oh, that's cruel," I said.

"I know!" Maylen said. "And I have to see them all day!"

Cindy Kane opened Sunrise Café in November 2013. While breakfast is the busiest time for the restaurant, she also offers lunch, which includes sandwiches ($4.95 to $6.95), burgers ($3.85 to $6.25), soups and salads ($6.25 and $7.45) as well as daily plate lunches (Monday's is red beans and rice for $5.95). Breakfast is served all day.

"Breakfast is definitely our busiest time, especially in the summer with visitors here," she said.

The Sunrise Sandwich and chef's salad are among the most popular items on the menu. And there's the Ultimate Philly Steak Hash Browns.

"Oh, it has the hash browns, with the eggs on top of that, with the meat and the grilled peppers and onions and mushrooms and the Swiss cheese," Kane said, nodding. "Oh, yeah, that's really popular."

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