Early bird gets the worm

New brunch restaurant opens in Papillion


Annalise Smalley

The Breakfast Nachos, a bowl full of tator tots, eggs and bacon.

Annalise Smalley, Staff Reporter

Brunch, a mixture of breakfast and lunch, is a typical meal that many Americans indulge in the early afternoon. This meal includes breakfast items, such as pancakes and bacon, and lunch items, such as sandwiches and salads. Multiple breakfast restaurants like Jimmy’s Egg, Over Easy and Le Peep have added the brunch hours to give customers more of an option. 

Early Bird Brunch was introduced on August 11, in the Shadow Lake mall off of NE-370 E. The opening date and the location were revealed on Facebook in September and people in Omaha and Papillion have been anticipating the opening since. 

Early Bird is open from 6:30 a.m.to 2:30 p.m. seven days a week, excluding some holidays. They have in-dining and takeout for all their menu items, including pancakes, eggs, salads and drinks.

The outside of Early Bird. They opened on August 11 and have been busy since. (Annalise Smalley)

The inside of Early Bird is colorful and modern. The walls are brick and nude colored, while the interior is filled with chairs, tables and lights of all different colors. 

Red lights hang from the ceiling, some small and round, while others are longer. They have high tables and low tables with hard, curved chairs. 

Their menu doesn’t just contain regular items found at any breakfast spot. They have 11 different types of pancakes that range from $8 to $12, three different types of french toast from $9.50 to $11.50 and various options of the traditional breakfasts of eggs, meat and hash browns with added twists. 

Some of their pancakes include plain, chocolate chip and blueberry. If you would like to be more adventurous in your tastes, they also serve pecan pie, s’ mores, birthday cake and cinnamon roll pancakes. 

Their menu includes the OG French Toast, but one can try their PBJ or Farnam French Toast if wanted. 

I went with a couple of friends to try the food. We were all excited to see what this place had to offer.

The inside of Early Bird. It is very modern-looking inside with hard, curved seats and unique light fixtures. (Annalise Smalley)

We were seated right away, but the wait for drinks and food was somewhat extensive. We had a waitress come and ask for our drink orders, and it took them about ten minutes to just get our waters and juice to us. I ordered water and a large apple juice to have with my meal.

After looking over the menu many times, I decided to get the Breakfast Nachos for $10.50 to share and the Farnam French Toast as my main meal for $10.50. 

After ordering, it was about 20 minutes until our food was brought out to us. By then, we were starving and ready to dig into our meal. 

I tried the Breakfast Nachos first. The dish contained crispy, fried tater tots covered in cheese, bacon, salsa and avocado puree. A scrambled egg was layered on top.It was fluffy and covered the entire top of the dish. 

Opening the egg with a fork, steam seeped out from the inside. On the side of the bowl were tater tots covered in less cheese than the bottom ones. Underneath the eggs were multiple tater tots slathered in a homemade cheese sauce.

The taste of the nacho dish was terrific. The egg was scrambled to perfection and was in one whole circle instead of spread all over the place. The salsa was mixed in with the egg, giving it a taste of a fresh tomato instead of plain and salted. The tater tots were crunchy and golden brown. The ones on top of the eggs were crispier than the bottoms since they weren’t soaking in the sauce.  Biting into them, I was in awe of the taste. They weren’t seasoned with pounds of salt and pepper. Instead, they were flavored with the taste of avocado puree and cheese sauce. The avocado puree was light and thin, not chunky. I am not a fan of avocado in chunks over toast or in a bowl, so I was happy with it being more of a sauce.

Breakfast Nachos, a tasty meal that contained tater tots, eggs and bacon. Salsa was added into the egg mixture and then was covered in an avocado sauce. (Annalise Smalley)

The french toast was my favorite part of the meal. It was made from white bread and was three pieces laid out on the plate. It was covered in caramel drizzle and on top was a scoop of whipped mascarpone, a type of sweet cheese, on each slice of bread. The first piece I tried was mouth-watering. The crust around the portion was crunchy and covered in the drizzle. The mascarpone was starting to melt over the bread, spreading around like a piece of butter. It was soaking into the bread to make the flavor more enticing. 

The whipped mascarpone was whipped into the frosting. By itself, it tasted like cream cheese frosting and was sweet and gooey.

After getting past the crust part of the french toast, I got to the softer part of it. The flavors were immaculate. It was sweet from all the added sugar on top, but still had the taste of the OG french toast I’m used to. I liked the added toppings to it; it gave it a unique flavor, one that you can’t just make at home or find at any brunch restaurant. It reminded me of sweet caramel candy and with the mascarpone, it was like a sweet treat you would have for dessert. I was glad the bread part was there because it helped balance out the flavors a little bit. 

I was thrilled that I added the Breakfast Nachos to my meal; without it, I would’ve filled up from sugar and carbs. 

Overall, this place was marvelous. The options they offered were terrific, and the inside was fun to sit and eat at. I would have loved it if my food and drinks were brought out to me a little faster, mostly since the site wasn’t super busy, but they are a new restaurant and getting the hang of things, so it is understandable. I highly recommend this restaurant for the food and to anyone who loves brunch.

I got the Farnam French Toast, three thick slices of bread drizzled with caramel and a whipped cheese on top. (Annalise Smalley)