Early Edition

Eggs, bacon, and a side of small-town camaraderie at three classic Twin Cities breakfast joints. Rated for scene and sizzle.
  AL’S
BREAKFAST
MICKEY’S
DINER
OUR
KITCHEN
SCENE Just 10 feet wide and 14 stools long. And, yes, that woman standing right behind you does want your seat. Built to look like a railcar, this 1937 gem is St. Paul’s perennial movie star. A tiny house holding 11 stools along the counter and two
four-seat tables.
COUNTER
CULTURE
Early-bird professors mingle with guys just getting off the night shift. Families snapping souvenir pics, regulars in baseball caps, the occasional downtown suit.  Generally an older crowd, with plenty of Vikings apparel.
STAFF
ATTITUDE
Cool, calm, and collected, even at 6 a.m., when the crowd’s already stacked three deep.  In control. And in no hurry at all—Mickey’s never closes.  Good-humored. “We do have indoor plumbing,” the waitress ribs a customer.
CHATTER “Hey, is that Ben down there?” “Yeah. You hear his daughter’s getting married?”  “You can jelly your own toast. I’m not coming to college with you to jelly your toast.”  “Antique is just a nice way of saying something’s old.”
THE
BASICS
Two eggs and toast: $2. No grease at all—so expertly fried they’re practically wholesome. The Fry 2 (eggs and toast): $3.10. Local eggs and meat are cooked in real butter. Two eggs, toast or not-to-be-missed pancakes, and hash browns big enough to make a meal: $4.60. 
THE
WORKS
Two-egg scrambles dubbed Spring (asparagus and hollandaise), Summer (tomato, basil, and mozzarella), or Winter (feta, spinach, and tomato): $5 to $6. Add half a grapefruit for $1. America’s Favorite All-Day Meal (two eggs, hash browns, toast, choice of meat): $6.75.  The Kitchen Special (two eggs, hash browns, toast or pancake, sausage, coffee): $7.35.
RATING 10 7 8

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