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Don't Forget the Frosting

Brunch soars above expectations at Early Bird

Served with sauteed potatoes, greens, apples, golden raisins and topped with a sunny-side up egg, Early Bird's duck confit will make all of your culinary dreams come true. | Melanie Kim/THE CHIMES


I kept promising myself I would avoid all cliches involving a bird successfully retrieving a worm when writing this piece. In any case, worms are slimy and gross, whereas the food found at Early Bird in Fullerton is quite the opposite.

Though Early Bird features a limited menu in the sense that the establishment only serves breakfast and lunch, I have failed miserably at making a decision with less than 15 minutes of scanning and debating. Under the official lunch banner, one may choose from sandwiches — which look delicious, though I have not ventured into that section of the menu just yet. Breakfast, however, provides many options.

Since Early Bird stays open until mid-afternoon, I prefer brunch. Personally, I believe the hours generally associated with breakfast are far too early for anyone to enjoy food. This may or may not be a result of the long hours spent producing the Chimes. On both days I visited this fine establishment, brunch definitely was in order — first as a result of a late newspaper production night, and then Nationball coverage the following week. Both weeks involved crawling out of bed around 11 a.m., wondering why I was awake, and then remembering — duck confit hash.


For those wondering what “confit” could possibly refer to, it’s pretty simple. Pronounced “con-fee,” not “con-fit,” you only need to know that the process involves duck slowly cooking in duck fat. Basically, it will make all your culinary dreams come true, even ones you did not know existed. Served with sauteed potatoes, greens, apples and golden raisins and topped with a sunny-side up egg, you will proclaim that there could not possibly be a better brunch item in existence.

That is, until you try the chicken and waffles — then you will not be able to decide which to order the next time you decide to dine at this modernized home-cooking hotspot. The perfectly crunchy, popcorn-style breaded chicken on top of a thin, savory waffle needs no exaggeration, or syrup for that matter. The chicken’s breading has the perfect amount of pepper to spice up the dish, without standing out or taking over completely.

Other dishes of note include the eggs benedict, especially the Frank Floyd Benedict and, of course, pancakes. The sans-English muffin twist on classic eggs Benedict involves poached egg perched on top of smoked salmon, sauteed spinach and a portabella mushroom. Out of the ordinary? Yes, but worth the risk. The pancakes are unusually large — one has the same diameter as the plate it sits on — so I recommend getting the single, unless you feel unusually hungry. The pancakes are fluffy, but filling, and come with strawberry compote and freshly whipped cream.

Overall, I do not think a bad order exists at Early Bird. So really it is the customers, not the bird, that claim the prize for rising early — or late — and dining at this roost for flavorful, flawless and creative food.

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