I stopped by the Coop in Winter Park to try the new breakfast menu as the guest of the founder, John Rivers. The quick-serve restaurant, which opened as a fried chicken and Southern cuisine specialty, added a breakfast menu recently.
As you'd expect from any Southern breakfast menu, there are the usual biscuits and gravy, pancakes, and, marrying the dinner menu to the morning fare, the inevitable chicken and waffles.
I'm an eggs-for-breakfast kind of guy, so I focused my attention on that part of the menu. I almost went for the fried catfish and grits (which came with an egg, so I'd be covered) but decided on the Low Country Omelet instead. It was a fat omelet stuffed with sauteed shrimp and bits of spicy andouille sausage in a red sauce that oozed out when pierced. It was plopped atop a bed of Anson Mills grits, so it was a bit like having shrimp and grits for breakfast. The biscuit that came with it was fresh and firm and it had me wishing I'd gotten an order of gravy to cover it with.
Rivers told me that the Coop is very busy for breakfast on the weekends but that during the week it's calmer. I'm going to keep that in mind the next time I need to schedule a morning meeting over eggs. Or catfish.
The Coop is at 610 W. Morse Blvd., Winter Park. It is open for breakfast Monday through Saturday at 7 a.m. The phone number is 407-843-2667.