Best of the River Wards 2012: Best Breakfast or Brunch

Win­ner: (Tie) Mer­cer CafĂ© at 2619 E. West­mo­re­land St. and M&M Res­taur­ant at 2736 E. Al­legheny Ave.


Mer­cer Cafe

Om­elets stuffed with crab, as­paragus and moz­zarella or pan­cetta, to­mato and onion. Mas­car­pone French toast. Salty, but­tery creamed chipped beef.

Stom­ach grumbling yet?

These are but a few of the break­fast and brunch op­tions Mer­cer Caf&ea­cute; serves up, and ac­cord­ing to own­er Tom Woltjen, every single menu item is pre­pared fresh daily.

Open since May 2000, Mer­cer Caf&ea­cute; is a true fam­ily busi­ness. Woltjen’s wife, daugh­ter and broth­er are all a part of the op­er­a­tion, and the fam­ily grew up in the neigh­bor­hood.

“There’s a lot of ‘Mer­cer ba­bies’ we’ve watched grow up,” Woltjen said. “We’re al­ways chat­ting with every­one. Every­one’s part of the fam­ily.”

The caf&ea­cute; of­fers sea­son­al as well as daily spe­cials, and Woltjen said it’s al­ways packed on the week­ends, when brunch runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sat­urdays and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays.

With di­verse break­fast, brunch and lunch of­fer­ings, it’s un­likely any­one who stopped in to Mer­cer Caf&ea­cute; would go hungry. Plus, the staff mem­bers clearly love what they do.

“It feels good to serve the neigh­bor­hood,” Woltjen said.

Call Mer­cer Caf&ea­cute; at (215) 426-2153.

M&M Cafe

Though not named for the can­dies with the chocol­ate shell, the of­fer­ings at this diner seem to be con­sidered just as de­li­cious.

M&M stands for Mari­an and Mag­gie Cud­nik, the hus­band-and-wife team who have owned the Port Rich­mond caf&ea­cute; for 19 years.

What’s so good on their menu that read­ers voted M&M the best place to go for break­fast or brunch?

“Everything is good, no choice,” said Mari­an Cud­nik. “But people really like the chipped beef and the om­elets.”

With its very simple yet clas­sic diner style, com­plete with counter seat­ing and vinyl booths, M&M is just what you’d ex­pect from a small town joint.

The menu is packed with break­fast and brunch staples like eggs any style, break­fast sand­wiches and ba­con, as well as Pol­ish fa­vor­ites like potato pan­cakes and piero­gis.

“All my neigh­bors, I know every­one that comes here. Many people come even from the North­east,” said Mag­gie Cud­nik. “The neigh­bor­hood is really nice.”

M&M is open from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. every day of the week. Call the caf&ea­cute; at 215-423-4990.

-Mi­kala Jam­is­on

Run­ner Up: Ida Mae’s Bruncher­ie at 2302 E. Nor­ris St.

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