The Starting Line
Photo by Carli Wentworth
As The Saturday Sun Rises On Norman, not a great deal is stirring downtown. A car moving east from Flood along Main Street about 9 a.m. is likely to have the road more or less to itself … until that car reaches the Sooner Theatre. Suddenly the deserted road springs to life, streetside parking on both sides of Main goes from practically unoccupied to near-totally full and quick-stepping pedestrians move toward the crowd loitering outside a certain set of windows. Norman diners have a newfound appreciation for the most important meal of the day, thanks to the sweetness to be found within Syrup Breakfast Boutique.
The menu isn’t huge, but does contain selections both sugary (the Crunchy French Toast, whose slices are coated in cornflakes before grilling, is a surprisingly light marvel) and savory (Eggs Benedict and biscuits and gravy are classics for a reason). Alternately, the Morning Glory piles scrambled eggs, bacon and cheese on top of a delicious waffle – the best of both worlds.
And a word about one of the most popular options, the Plain Jane: The name isn’t meant as a bland pejorative, but to indicate its status as a blank slate, a waffle or stack of pancakes with a panoply of possible toppings for diners to create individualized perfection. Bananas and pecans? Blueberries and caramel syrup? Peanut butter, chocolate chips and crumbled bacon? Say the word and make it happen.
Sitting in the bright, clean-lined interior, suffused with light and redolent with rich aromas – thanks in part to the beverages wrought courtesy of Portland-based but widely famed coffee culture cultivators Stumptown Roasters – is a reward in itself for early risers. Just don’t linger too long; you’ll hold up the line.
Step outside. Depending on the time and attendant crowd, there may be a moderate delay (15-20 minutes or so), but the waiting area up front gets congested pretty easily. You’ll be part of the solution if you’re prepared to take a brief sojourn in the morning sunshine.
Don’t skimp on the protein. The temptation to pile up the sugary carbs is strong, and encouraged – the place is called Syrup, after all – but do yourself a service and get a side of pecanwood smoked bacon. They do it right.
Ask about the larger mission. The Syrup brass founded the restaurant in part to provide financial support for humanitarian projects in Africa; if you’re interested, you can probably find someone eager to share the story.
Syrup Breakfast Boutique
123 E. Main St., Norman
Tuesday – Sunday
7 a.m. – 2 p.m.