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Originally published Friday, January 9, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Dining Deals

The Breakfast Club: A diner that feels like Grandma's

Dining Deal review: Longtime Lake City diner The Breakfast Club provides tasty, filling food.

Seattle Times NW Ticket editor

The Breakfast Club

Diner

12306 Lake City Way, Seattle

206-361-2582 (361-CLUB)

www.361club.com

Hours: 6 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.

Etc: MasterCard and Visa; free street parking on Lake City Way, with parking lot in the back; wheelchair-accessible from the front only.

Prices: $

You already know what the Breakfast Club is: an old-fashioned diner, where the food comes quickly, made-to-order on a grill with a grill-

master you can see through a window to the kitchen, and where the waitstaff and owners know the regulars — and their regular orders.

If you head to this Lake City mainstay for breakfast, you might not need to eat again all day (I sure didn't). Original owners Mike McCauley and Karen McCann know how to feed you. That's no surprise — they've been running the Breakfast Club for 22 years.

The menu: Our group of three moms playing Sunday-morning hooky from their families checked out the deep breakfast menu and settled on one of the house specials — the Welsh Eggs ($9.25) — plus the Frisco omelet (bacon, zucchini and avocado with Swiss cheese, also $9.25) and the French Connection (French toast, two eggs and bacon or sausage for $6.95). There are plenty of other meat-with-eggs dishes, and short and tall stacks of pancakes, with or without the blueberries.

What to write home about: The Breakfast Club bills itself as the home of the "best hollandaise sauce in town," which came on both the Welsh Eggs and the Frisco. Yes, it's heavy and rich, but rather than overpowering the dishes, the sauce added supporting flavors, especially on the Welsh eggs, where it balanced the poached eggs and corned beef. It helped that it was steamy-hot, just lemony enough and not-too-heavily poured. The homemade country hash browns were yummy, too — not overcooked and nice and peppery.

What to skip: The French toast was just OK, a bit too eggy.

The setting: The Breakfast Club might serve up good eats like a diner, but the room looks and feels like Grandma's house, with photos plastered all over the wallpapered walls, cup collections and trophies in display cases, and meaningful-to-someone tchotchkes in every nook and cranny. And it's cute enough and they're friendly enough that you'll forgive them for some offenses, too (the sticky floor, not-quite-clean-enough silverware).

Summing up: Three breakfasts with coffee came to $40.88 including tip. And yes, they have some lunch items (hot and cold sandwiches, $10 and under, Monday through Friday only), but at a place called the Breakfast Club, is that really what you want to read about?

Raina Wagner: 206-464-8147 or rwagner@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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