Finding a favorite breakfast restaurant can be a personal venture, but The Old European Restaurant on Grand Avenue took the first place prize.
Nate and Mellynnda Thiessen own and operate Pullman’s favorite breakfast restaurant. The menu offers traditional German cuisine from recipes brought over to America by Mellynnda’s immigrating ancestors, Nate said. The restaurant owes its success to the hard work Mellynnda’s mother put into starting and running the restaurant since 1989, he said.
“I think we’ve got some second or third generation customers now,” Nate said.
The restaurant also owes its success to a lack of pre-made food. Everything on the menu is made from scratch, Nate said. And everything on the menu is popular, but the Danish aebleskivers are both his and the customers’ favorite, he said.
“Those are my wife’s great grandmother’s recipe. Her story is in our menu,” he said.
Along with making everything from scratch, the idea of preserving heritage is at the core of The Old European’s menu, Nate said.
“We do the best we can to serve the absolute freshest food we can,” he said. The restaurant goes through hundreds of pounds of flour, sugar and baking soda, he said. Nate said he’s especially partial to the fresh orange juice, squeezed right in front of the customers.
Second place for best restaurant was a tie between Tam’s Place and The Breakfast Club in Moscow.
Tam’s Place provided Pullman with classic American breakfast food for more than 12 years. Tam and Dave Shermer owned and operated the restaurant. Tam said the food is so good because of the cook.
“My husband is the best cook in town,” she said. “He’s old, but he’s good.”
The Shermers have been working in the Pullman restaurant industry for 40 years.
“I like the people, I like the customer’s, the food’s good, and ya know what, the people are good to me too,” Tam said.
She said there have been a lot of ups and downs, but overall it’s been good. Running Tam’s Place for the last 12 years has been great, but she’s 68 years old and is ready to retire, she said. Which is one of the main reasons why Zoe Coffeehouse and Pub is opening today in the building Tam’s operated out of for 12 years.
“I can’t work till I’m a hundred!” Tam said.
Griffin Rod, The Breakfast Club general manager, said the name of the restaurant is not related to the ’80s cult classic film, it’s just a coincidence.
“I think it’s a great name for a restaurant, easy to remember,” he said.
The faculty unanimously agreed the stuffed biscuits and gravy are the crowd-favorite menu item, he said. The huckleberry and zucchini breads are also popular, he said.
“We’re basically diner-style food, family owned since 1998,” Rod said.
The Breakfast Club employs a lot of college students, who Rod said are all responsible, caring and driven people who are part of the reason the restaurant has been so successful, he said.