by Mabel Suen
Where: Benton Park Cafe (1900 Arsenal Street; 314-771-7200)
When: Anytime during regular business hours: Sunday through Monday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Tuesday from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m., Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., Thursday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday through Saturday for 24 hours.
We Tried: The classic breakfast pizza ($12.49) and the "South of the Border" burrito ($8.49).
Since 2007, Benton Park Cafe has cooked up an egg-centric menu alongside a full roster of coffee drinks and cocktails in one of the best restaurant neighborhoods in St. Louis. The all-day selection includes plenty of standards as well as the restaurant's unique specialty: breakfast pizzas.
Former chef John Caton shared the recipe for his classic breakfast pizza with Gut Check back in 2011. The original iteration of the dish featured a hand-tossed dough with a Provel cheese-stuffed crust topped with scrambled eggs, mushrooms, diced tomato and onion, crumbled bacon and a light sprinkling of more Provel on top, for good measure. Baked on a delicate crust until golden brown and lightly crisp, the pie packs a savory punch with a creamy consistency that's good any time of the day.
Variations on the breakfast pizza include a meat pizza with egg, ham, chorizo sausage, bacon and Provel; a veggie pizza with egg, tomatoes, onion, mushroom, spinach, avocado and Provel; and a build-your-own option. Additional breakfast dishes include burritos and omelets, a breakfast sandwich, french toast, pancakes, beer biscuits and gravy, eggs Benedict, a Monte Cristo sandwich and more.
On the flip side of the menu, choose from salads, soups and sandwiches including chili, a shrimp po'boy and a pork-belly BLT on sourdough toast. Drinks include all manner of espresso, hot tea, iced-coffee options, frappés, juice and smoothies. The dining room gets fairly busy during typical brunch hours, so keep in mind that it's all available all the time.
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