Each week, we review a different breakfast spot in town, highlighting culinary offerings, brunchability, and the overall vibe as you sip your morning joe. Whether the restaurant in question is grab-and-go or stay-and-play, each offers a unique breakfast buzz that might be just what you need for the most important meal of the day.
The Spot: Ingo’s Tasty Food
4502 North 40th Street
The Scene: For a building shaped like a soda can, Ingo’s is surprisingly warm and inviting. There are a little over a dozen seats at the counter inside – a half-moon bar where you can watch your breakfast being made in the (very) open kitchen. But the best part about Ingo’s is its patio, which wraps around three-quarters of the cylindrical restaurant. Trees, umbrellas, and shade sails create a tranquil hideaway. You won’t notice that you’re on a busy intersection until a fire engine roars down 40th Street.
Breakfast should mean some overflow from the always busy La Grande Orange next door – the restaurants are owned by the same group – but word hasn’t gotten out on Ingo’s breakfast yet. Not until now.
The Goods: Like Ingo’s lunch menu, the breakfast menu is short and sweet. Seven food items fit on a thin strip of paper, including sprouted rye toast and the LGO English muffin. These two, plus the “6 Minute Cinnamon Roll” (which is worth waiting six minutes for), are the least expensive options on the menu: each comes in at under $3.50. But none of the breakfast items exceed $9, and if you’re willing to shell out a few extra bucks, the chorizo and egg burrito ($8.50) is a huge win. Chorizo, cheddar, avocado, and potato fill a whole-wheat tortilla, and so does Ingo’s homemade hot sauce – a bright green liquid that makes everything turn to gold. An egg sandwich from the lunch menu, a traditional egg breakfast, and a vegan burrito round out the small menu.
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The Bottom Line: If you think weekend brunch at LGO is a slam dunk, Ingo’s is more of an understated layup. Though the space suffers from parking problems (there are five spaces and seating for probably 80 at the restaurant – you do the math), the food and service are solid, and the setting is far more peaceful than the chaos across the street. Plus, they’re the best kind of neighbors – Ingo’s will run across the street for fresh OJ if your table wants mimosas, and you have to deal with significantly fewer people in yoga pants.
Special Something: The cinnamon roll is amazing. A perfect balance of fluff and crunch, the warm, soft roll is covered in a sticky, gooey cinnamon-sugar concoction. For $3.25 you get two rolls (or at least, I did, and I didn’t ask questions about it), which means breakfast for one, including coffee, for $5.
Hours: Breakfast is Saturdays and Sundays only, from 7:30 a.m. to 11 a.m., when Ingo’s rolls over to its lunch menu.
Coffee Options: Don’t be fooled by the word “espresso” in large font that covers the bottom half of the menu. California’s Mr. Espresso supplies the beans, but there is no machine to do the more hardcore stuff. Ingo’s does get creative with coffee. Cold brew options are plentiful.
Fresh-Squeezed Juice: Orange and grapefruit, plus house-made lemonade.
Drinking Before Noon: It’s not on the menu, but very minimal arm-twisting will get you a mimosa. Or probably anything else from their lunchtime cocktail menu … these guys aren’t judging.