Big Mouth

The Nucleus

More stories from Maggie Cipriano

On Hawai’i Time
December 3, 2018

After an extraordinarily long week, I decided to treat myself to the one thing I love the most: breakfast. There is only one place in Eau Claire to do this right, and that place is The Nucleus.

On the weekends, it is not unusual to wait up to an hour for a table, plus another 45 minutes for the food to arrive. Although this seems like a con, I see it as more time I am able to spend unwinding with friends and family.

During the wait, a hot coffee from Racy D’lene’s Coffee Lounge — which is conveniently attached to The Nucleus —  will tide you over.

Being a broke college student myself, you can find me having breakfast at The Nucleus much too often.

The prices vary. As college students with empty pockets, you can get a fresh bagel, egg and sausage or bacon sandwich for no more than $5. That being said, there are pricier items, the most expensive being about $12. Most meals are $8 to $10. For the amount of food given, that is a great price.

If you are not one to wait that long for an over-the-top delicious meal, here is a tip: Enjoy a quiet breakfast at The Nucleus on a weekday before class. This way there is no wait, and you can seat yourself in one of the four dining areas.

My favorite, is the 70s sunroom. In a windowed cube, the sunlight pours in and paints the mid century modern furniture and your skin. The light pink walls and tile floors only accentuate the brightness.

The other rooms are separate but very similar. At the front of the restaurant, again, the huge windows let in the heat of the sun. The old, dark wooden bar matches the intricate trim connecting the ceiling and beige walls.

Once seated in a room of your choice, the attentive waitstaff explains the menu. Certain specialties are only served on the weekends until they are sold out, which happens quickly. With the a la carte section, there are vegan and vegetarian options. As a regular, though, I don’t even need a menu.

My favorite breakfast anywhere in the world is this: The Yeti Skillet. Crispy, buttery hash browns, then a layer of tiny bits of corn, onions, red and green pepper, mushrooms and cubed ham. The veggies are smothered in a layer of not only cheddar, but pepperjack for a kick. And to top is off, two fried eggs over-easy.

This mess weighs well over a pound. The Yeti is served with two pieces of toast of your choice — the fresh rye is the way to go here.

After the broken yolks melt through the layers, everything comes together. The crispiness of the hash browns, the creaminess of the yolk and the cheeses are cut through by the heat of the pepper jack cheese. The freshness of the corn pops in your mouth.

I have never tasted a more delectably addictive breakfast. Local breakfast enthusiasts, like myself, could not be more lucky to live within the vicinity of this establishment.