Starters: Rise, shine, skip the line at Break'n Eggs Creperie Express

Starters: Rise, shine, skip the line at Break'n Eggs Creperie Express

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The Pretzel breakfast sandwich Break n Eggs Creperie

"The Pretzel" with fresh fruit and breakfast potatoes (Phil Wagner/Special to The News)

Bob and Annie Sweeney are filling a void in the ever-expanding Buffalo food scene with their two locations of the French-inspired breakfast spot: Break’n Eggs Crêperie.

Annie is the “French Connection” (well, French-Canadian) behind the crêpe-slinging duo while her husband Bob maintains head chef duties. The success of their wildly popular Break’n Eggs Crêperie on Main St in Williamsville since its 2012 opening has brought about a new expansion on Sweet Home Road near UB North.

Opening three weeks ago, Break'n Eggs Express is serving Monday to Sunday with a larger dining space and drive-through pick-up window in hopes to satisfy a city’s growing appetite, which has challenged the capacity of their original location, and stands as testament to the quality of their product.

I was excited (as in standing outside their door at 7 a.m. excited) to kick off my day with some breakfast.

The dining area is comfortable, clean, and bright, but the modern order counter, which extends to a drive-through that would rival any of your favorite chains, initially caught me off guard. (You can pick up from it, but not wait for your order there, they're not that speeded up.)

You can tell the Sweeneys have done their homework and are homing in with a laser focus on wait times, a common albeit flattering gripe about their original location.

Desperate for a jolt of caffeine I began with some samples from their signature beverage selection. The Nutella Cappuccino and Crème Brûlée Cappuccino ($2.75) both deliver as advertised, and them some. Hot and sweet, but not syrupy as I’d feared, the pungent coffee managed to ring through the flavors I’d thought might overpower it.

Bob Sweeney was also kind enough to provide a small taste of the frozen cappuccino, which was consistently smooth, cool and several cuts above any you might have had from a certain famed hockey player’s cross-border breakfast chain.

Though admittedly a black coffee person, their Kornerstone Coffee roasted in Kenmore at ($2.25) hit home more notably. A difficult thing to perfect, the fact that I still enjoyed the half cup that went cold in my car during work should entice anyone to taste it for themselves. It’s a selection that’s sure to please the nearby university crowd in need of a boost from intensive late-night “studying.”

The menu is substantial but not overbearing. Crêpes are, of course, squarely at the focal point of it all. If you’re not a lover of sweets (like myself), you’ll be happy to know there’s an equal weighting of savory crêpes in the mix.

Protein from seafood to poultry is available in a variety of well-paired combos such as the chicken, bacon, Granny Smith apple crêpe ($11.50) and the filet mignon crêpe served with caramelized onions, mushrooms, goat cheese and a blueberry chipotle sauce ($14.75). There’s also a selection of fluffy omelettes for the traditionalists out there.

Pictured here is my No. 10 Breakfast Crêpe ($11.50). A “build your own” option, mine came packed with feta, scrambled eggs, sausage and spinach. The texture and flavor balance was mindfully weighted.

Fresh salty cheese and egg cooked just past the gooey stage slipped in between crumbles of chewy sausage nipped with the iron bite of fresh spinach at the finish, all carefully wrapped in the slight sweetness of a large and delicate crepe.

The potatoes are also on-point. Dry and crispy skin outside, tender and peppery inside with just enough sautéed onion to keep each bite interesting.

My breakfast sandwich aptly named “The Pretzel” ($5.95) that I upgraded to a “meal” to include fresh fruits and breakfast potatoes for $8.25 was a beast. As a fan of the Crêperie wanting to explore outside their usual medium, I was happy I strayed from the course to take down the soft and chewy pretzel bun housing two eggs and a sausage patty, blanketed with cheddar cheese (in case the photo didn’t communicate that clearly).

The notably fresh fruit alongside my heart-stopping sandwich not only served to provide a false sense of healthfulness to my breakfast, but cut through the delicious salty fattiness of the sandwich without adding much mass to an already hearty breakfast.

As I stepped out of Break’n Eggs Express just before 7:30am, the crippling depression that the sun would no longer be up at this hour for the remainder of the season was overshadowed by another realization. I’d just enjoyed the full Break’n Eggs experience in under the span of a half hour, but lost none of the charm along the way.

The heart of the idea is baked into the name. Break’n Eggs Express is everything you may already love about the Crêperie, polished for efficiency and tailored to fit your morning on-the-go.

Info: Break’n Eggs Express, 1280 Sweet Home Road, Amherst. Phone: 688-6068. Hours: 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Monday - Sunday.

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