Sunday, August 21, 2011

The Comfort Breakfast Club: The Glenwood

If you've been a student at the U of O since the Animal House era, you've most likely been to The Glenwood at least once -- and probably, judging by the Sunday lines, it was on a parents' weekend because the Glenwood is the place everyone thinks of when they realize that their usual breakfast haunt (be it Keystone or the burrito refrigerator at 7-11) just isn't quite nice enough to take Mom and Dad (particularly when they're paying).

The Glenwood has one of the most mom-and-dad friendly menus in town. Whether your mother is back on Weight Watchers (and thus drawn to entrees like the Oatmeal with Blueberries for $5) or your father is trying South Beach (and thus will be chowing down on Huevos Rancheros with a side of cottage cheese for $7), there's almost literally something for everyone at Glenwood. Spent your first year in college discovering the beauty of veganism? You can swap out the eggs for tofu under the Ranchero sauce and even get a veggie patty on the side. Spent last night getting so hammered that nothing but the finest in pig products will do? There are sides of thick bacon available; you can also order an espresso drink, even if Mom and Dad are sticking to Cafeto coffee, strawberry lemonade, or Coca-Cola.

Portions at the Glenwood are deceiving: the food comes on plain plates with no decoration, often heaped into little piles slid-right-off-the-griddle piles, but that first disappointing glimpse means nothing. There is more food in every order than you will need. Do not be fooled by the simple, slight-sounding "two egg breakfast." It may sound virtuous, but by the time you've paired it with their just-this-side-of-hashbrowns home fries (a small fist-sized pile of thin, chopped potatoes browned crispy on at least one side) and, say, a link of chicken-apple sausage, there's more on that plate than just two happy (scrambled, poached, fried, hard boiled, you name it) eggs. There's a stomach-sized meal.

The Glenwood boasts an impressive four full -- full -- pages of breakfast entrees, and they will and should catch your attention over the lunch and dinner specials. Though the entire menu is written in a ridiculous script font, let neither that nor the many choices dizzy you. Stick to basics: dense pancakes in four varieties, including sweet potato; forearm-sized omelettes stuffed with nearly any topping you can find in the Northwest (so, yes, avocados, but also smoked salmon, black beans, shrimp, Tillamook cheese, etc.); and eggs Benedict and Florentine. I'm reliably informed, by my own tastebuds and K's, that the Glenwood boasts the best Hollandaise in town -- creamy, just tangy enough, and, on the weekends, sometimes gone before noon.

Beyond the Hollandaise, though, you'll find plenty of comfortable food at comfortable (sub-$10) prices here. Nothing I've eaten there for breakfast, besides the Florentine, has really wowed me; I don't crave their specialities as I might others', but I know that the Glenwood will provide a consistently okay eating experience. Nothing on the expansive but cautious and familiar breakfast menu is a bad idea. Hazelnuts, after all, are good on (and in) pancakes and waffles, even if their addition no longer feels very creative.

Few places are as perfectly Eugene as Glenwood, in both of its incarnations. Then again, few places try as hard to embody Eugene in a menu as the Glenwood does, so that works out just fine.

The campus location has seating up and downstairs; choose upstairs for slightly better acoustics but often slightly slowed service; downstairs is great for people watching and constantly refilled water glasses. The Willamette location, when full, isn't the best for your most hard-of-hearing guests, but it has a bit of parking-lot-adjacent outdoor seating that's nice in the summer. Expect to wait at either location before noon on Saturdays and Sundays, particularly if it's parents' weekend. Locations:
Campus: 1340 Alder Street.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.

South Eugene: 2588 Willamette St.
Hours: Weekdays: 6:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.; Saturday and Sunday: 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Glenwood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

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