BroYo – 1617 W. Wells St., Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Open every day from 7am until just past lunchtime.

Milwaukee has a few distinct university neighborhoods, and I like wandering through those during times when school is in session to get that electric vibe of optimism, curiosity, and early morning vomit encrusted hangovers. I spend more time in the UWM Union than a creepy old guy should, but I rarely make it over to Marquette, and that campus is mostly a mystery to me, so on a recent weekday morning I walked over looking for breakfast that wasn't a Starbucks pastry or fast-food breakfast sandwich. I came upon a little storefront restaurant called “BroYo” which apparently used to be called The Broken Yolk, but on one of their signs the “ken” and “lk” are crossed out to clearly illustrate the evolution of the name. I didn't look into the history of this place, nor am I willing, at this time, to perform an online archaeological dig, but I'm guessing it could be interesting.

It seems that there are a lot breakfast burritos eaten here, and looking at the other customer's plates, they really load you up. I went with the basic, two eggs over easy and hash-browns, and asked without much hope if they offered gluten-free toast. To my surprise they did! Not bad, either, and no extra charge. The portion of potatoes was massive (as portions of potatoes at breakfast should be) (and they were good hash-browns, too) and it all came to about $5—so this is truly an affordable breakfast—harder and harder to come by in the Milwaukee area. You order at a counter, which I'm not crazy about, and the silverware is plastic, but at least the plates are washable. It's just a small room with tables, but happily pretty bustling with people on this morning. The worst thing was a TV up in one corner, which was on, so I tried my ploy of sitting directly under the TV so I wouldn't have to see it. Unfortunately, the volume was high enough to not be able to ignore it. Also, since everyone else there was watching it, I felt like I was about to hold a press conference. It seemed like one of the guys there, eating alone, controlled the remote, and mercifully changed the channels from time to time—so that was kind of charming in a one-flew-over-the-cuckoo's-nest way.

Richard Skiller 2.3.18