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May 8, 2014 | 12:00 a.m. CST
You’ve heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Well, these restaurants interpret this mantra by making sure you don’t leave hungry. You might find yourself loosening your belt upon finishing your meal, but your craving for brunchtime goodness will be more than satisfied.
522 E. Broadway
Sat. & Sun. 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Lucy’s is a vestige of a bygone era. There’s poignancy in its duct-taped vinyl booths, teetering tables and the way the waitress calls you “hon” while she pours your coffee. Country music plays over the loudspeakers and the wall clock is bedecked with cutlery on all sides. One of the forks fell off once, but Lucy brought in some Scotch tape and fixed it — good as new. Sort of.
Lucy’s Corner Cafe has been around since 1985, but it hasn’t always belonged to Lucy. Until 2007, the restaurant was Ron’s Country Boy, and a 17-year-old Lucy was a waitress. The cafe is known for its homemade, award-winning biscuits and gravy, which can be found under “Blue Ribbon Breakfast” on the menu. If you’re looking for a sweeter option, try Mabel Cakes, five sand-dollar pancakes named after a regular customer during the ’80s. Fresh off the griddle, these probably are the greasiest and tastiest pancakes you’ll ever eat.
— Claire Landsbaum
3910 Peachtree Drive
Sun. 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
If you want great food, big portions and bacon-infused Bloody Marys, 44 Stone Public House is the place to be.
A faux-cobblestone archway to the left of the entrance leads you to a modern-yet-classical dining room with deep burgundy walls, paintings of Irish landscapes and, best of all, a well-stocked bar full of every scotch, whiskey and stout you can imagine.
The crowd is a hodge-podge of young and old, and most are dressed up a bit. The small patio area is a lively, bustling spot, and the indoor seating has a dull hum of people chatting over huge piles of food.
The owners are big guys, and they like big servings. What goes on the plates at 44 Stone fits that ideology, and it should fill you up, too. Bacon makes it into nearly everything, including the Bloody Marys; the two mix surprisingly well. Lamb, salmon and pork are also on the menu, as are typical Irish fares such as bangers and mashed potatoes, soda bread, corned beef and cabbage and bread pudding. Nothing about the dishes, though, is traditional. The 44 Stone take on deviled eggs includes Dijon mustard and smoked salmon, and its Baked B.L.T. Omelet features lobster instead of lettuce.
— Sean Morrison
410 S. Ninth St.
Sun. 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Heidelberg might not be posh, but it’s a Columbia favorite and a perennial crowd-pleaser with its wide menu selection and student-friendly price range. Expect nothing less from the restaurant’s Sunday brunch buffet, which boasts an impressive array of items in even more impressive quantities. Loading up a plate with fried chicken wings and following it with a hearty serving of fruit cobbler or chocolate eclairs is a common occurrence at the Berg.
Rusty Walls, the longtime manager of the restaurant, says the week-to-week selection at the buffet varies depending on what’s around the kitchen, but menu mainstays include sliced ham, home-fried potatoes, pancakes and assorted pastries. As for the crowd, warm spring Sundays generally usher in a tide of flip-flop clad college kids nursing mid-level hangovers along with a healthy mix of families and visiting parents.
The Heidelberg’s brunch is like a long-term boyfriend: familiar, comforting and always there when you’re in need. For the very best experience, come hungry with room in your heart for a satisfying Columbia staple.
— Kate Masters