GRAND RAPIDS, Mich (WOTV) – Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Hands down, no competition. I will sacrifice showering, hair straightening, and makeup application to get a good breakfast in. So naturally, I was thrilled when Maxine’s in Sparta made the list of hidden food gems. I woke up at the crack of dawn (okay it was 7:30 a.m.) and hit the road. The drive to Sparta is beautiful, and when you get to the point that you’re sure you are lost, you will drive up to a cozy little brown building with black silhouettes on the outside.
It smells like breakfast as soon as you get out of the car. This is a good sign, and the smell of maple goodness begins to wake me up. Maxine’s has a diner feel to it. Cozy booths and leather back chairs, light stained wood, and a little dessert cooler right in the front. The focal point in the restaurant is a wall full of pictures of people who were or are in the armed services. All different community members of different ages, races, and genders honored on one place, it’s really powerful.
There’s only one waitress on during the weekdays, and I had Cary taking care of me. She was very nice and efficient. Although she was running all over the restaurant, my coffee cup was always filled. I just love diner coffee, it’s never too strong, always hits the spot, and I can enjoy cup after cup of warm goodness on command. In these quick visits I learned that the owner Jen named the restaurant after her grandmother and she has been in business for about 15 years. On this particular morning, Cary, Tammy, and Laurie were running the show and cranking out some delicious breakfast food! Girl power, right?
Must try item: English Griller
Everyone loves a good breakfast sandwich, it has all the essential breakfast components in one bite. I have had more breakfast sandwiches than I would like to admit; I eat them all the time, make them at home, and have spent time perfecting the process. What makes this sandwich a home run is the bread. The secret is English Muffin bread. Wait? What? That’s right, your favorite English Muffin transformed into light, airy bread. It’s buttered and toasted to perfection and really takes this sandwich to the next level. I like that they opt for the over hard egg, instead of over easy. The bread is buttery and I think the added runny yolk would have made it too rich. They double up the cheese, American and Swiss, so it’s melty and gooey over the buttery bread. They put one slice of cheese on each piece of bread for really easy cheese distribution, this is important! You can have any choice of meat on the sandwich. This particular day i chose turkey. It was thick cut and browned on the flat top. A heaping pile of toasted hashbrowns with onions is served on the side. Overall, the English Griller is a dynamite breakfast sandwich that I could eat every morning.
Pancakes can compliment any breakfast, but these were star-worthy. They were super fluffy and and the texture was delightful. Two come in the short stack and are huge, about the size of a frisbee. What I really enjoyed was I could taste a hint of vanilla, which made the pancakes mega-flavorful. I wanted to sample the original recipe, but you can get these fluffy frisbees in blueberry or pecan. They’re just plain good pancakes, and it doesn’t get much better than that.
I just had to try the omelette named after the lady herself. Normally, I’m a spinach and feta omelette kind of girl, so it was fun to try something I wouldn’t normally choose. Hubba hubba! This omelette is naughty, but definitely a hearty breakfast. The eggs are super fluffy, smothered in cheddar cheese, and stand up great next to the filling. This omelette is jammed pack with American fries, sausage, onions, green peppers, and mushrooms. What made my eyes fall out of my head when I saw this omelette? In addition to all the grilled tasty items, there was sausage gravy in it. That’s right, you didn’t just black out. Sausage gravy. Inside the omelette. It adds rock star flavor, and gravy in your omelette will change your outlook on breakfast. The sausage was grilled crispy, the American fries were perfectly browned, and all the other veggies were grilled to a tasty, yet crunchy, consistency.
I was so pleased with this breakfast. As soon as you pull up, you know you’re in store for a great breakfast. You’ll leave feeling satisfied and ready to conquer your day. The menu is big and a lot of dishes can be customized, so everyone is sure to leave happy and full.
Address: 370 N State St, Sparta, MI 49345
Phone: (616) 887-8700