For each of the three places featured in this week’s episode, I’ll share a fun fact or two and give you my pick (or picks) for food items not to be missed.
After I tweeted a picture from Morg’s recently, a friend commented, “Best breakfast place ever, anywhere.” Morg’s Diner has been a Waterloo institution since 1960. The atmosphere is fantastic. Doris Anderson, who is one of the cooks, began working there a year after it opened.
Fun Fact: Morg’s uses 800 pounds of potatoes EACH WEEK. The hash browns are all handmade, as is the maple syrup.
Aaron’s Pick: If you’re going for breakfast, you MUST get a pancake or hash browns. Or both. If you’re going at lunch, I’d highly recommend looking at the specials on the board and picking one of those. You really can’t go wrong.
Cottonwood Canyon roasts coffee onsite, usually twice per week. Owner Randolph Bryan learned and perfected his craft largely out of frustration that he wasn’t able to get a good cup of coffee. The result is coffee that is unlike any you’ll find elsewhere. It has a rich, smooth flavor no matter what roast you’re enjoying. Coffee is incredibly fresh, as well. Nothing sits on a shelf more than 20 days after it is roasted, ensuring quality and flavor.
Cottonwood serves breakfast on Saturday mornings, with a rotating menu developed using fresh produce and meats.
Fun Fact: Because each cup is brewed individually, the staff at Cottonwood is able (and more than willing) to make you a cup of your favorite roast, even if it isn’t featured that day.
Aaron’s Pick: The Bourbon Pecan roast is unbelievably good. I largely steer away from flavored roasts, but this is like having a piece of pecan pie and a cup of coffee at Thanksgiving.
Newton’s Paradise Café
Newton’s Paradise Cafe was recently recognized as the Cedar Valley Restaurant of the Year. They serve familiar food with a local/Iowa flair. The restaurant is located in the former Newton’s Jewelry building, which makes the atmosphere and ambience very unique. Newton’s serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and offers a freshly breaded pork tenderloin sandwich that's large enough for two.
Fun Fact: The coffee creamer is served in a cow-shaped pitcher.
Aaron’s Pick: The biscuits and gravy are amazing and it's probably the largest order you’ll ever see. The biscuits are homemade, as is the sausage patty that accompanies them. When given the choice of breads, I’d highly recommend the English muffin.
If you’re not heading to work after breakfast, be sure to order one of their famous Bloody Mary's. It is made from scratch and garnished with celery, baby bell pepper, scallion, pickle and bacon.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and these three restaurants have ensured that your breakfast experience recognizes the importance of the meal.
Follow the hashtag #IDigWaterloo for photos, videos, and travel inspiration.
- Aaron Buzza, Waterloo Convention & Visitors Bureau