By Lindsey Foss, Iowa Food & Family Project
Photos by Joseph L. Murphy, Iowa Soybean Association
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, but often comes in the form of a portable protein bar or cold bowl of cereal for many busy families. This February marks “Hot Breakfast Month” and a time to celebrate plate-sized pancakes, fluffy eggs, sizzling sausages and other Iowa-grown comfort foods.
Fortunately, Waveland Café in Des Moines and Booneville honors hot breakfast not just in February, but every day of the year. Known for their hearty portions and friendly staff, the local restaurant chain continually tops Des Moines-area diners’ “best of” lists when it comes to a fulfilling breakfast.
“It’s nothing fancy, but I think people appreciate the laid-back atmosphere,” said Sherry Feldman, manager of the Booneville location, which opened in 2006. “People feel at home here, and we’re happy to be a place where they can enjoy breakfast as a family.”
In addition to the nostalgia of pulling up a seat at Grandma’s kitchen table, Waveland Café credits their popularity to fresh, made-to-order menu items.
“Everything is cooked to order and made with ingredients grown right here in Iowa whenever possible,” said Feldman (who personally recommends the Mexi-skillet, piled high with taco meat, veggies, cheese, hashbrowns, eggs and toast). “We work with both Iowa farmers and Des Moines area butchers to source our meats. For example, our bacon is produced in Webster City and processed at a local butcher in Des Moines.”
And judging by the numbers, it’s working. Waveland serves approximately 150 pounds of bacon each week. This is just a “side” to the nearly two tons of hashbrowns ordered each month and 400,000 cups of coffee poured in a year.
And about those hashbrowns? New and repeat customers alike rave them as the “best in the galaxy.” The secret?
“A good helping of butter and oil,” says Feldman.
While breakfast is served all day, Waveland’s lunch and dinner menu includes a variety of pizzas, sandwiches, sides and half-pound burgers; the most-popular being the Breakfast Burger, topped with hashbrowns, a fried egg, bacon and cheese.
“The hand-pattied meat is really good,” said Feldman. “But people just can’t get enough of breakfast foods, which makes this burger a favorite.”
Celebrate “Hot Breakfast Month” the Waveland Café way – surrounded by friends, with a mug of coffee and an order of out-of-this-world hashbrowns.