BEST-KEPT BREAKFAST SECRET - 1999
It's a mystery why the dozen or so tables at this Phillips joint (located on the blink-and-you-miss-it corner of 25th and Chicago by Children's Hospital) aren't constantly full. Cathy's boasts all the usual potato-and-egg options, plus gourmet coffee and a handful of original breakfast skillets. For those who've never counted a fat gram in their life, there's a pretty tasty version of eggs Florentine (poached eggs and spinach on English muffins, topped with hollandaise sauce). But the real standouts are the blueberry pancakes: Perfectly light and fluffy, they nonetheless ooze with so much real fruit that they barely need the butter and maple syrup that arrive alongside. A surprise bonus for Grade-A lurkers: Local politicos and other yokels can often be spotted here getting a midmorning fix.