With all of its great greasy spoons within walking distnce of one another, Manchester's Main Street should be nicknamed diner row.
But there's one slightly diner out of that orbit that is one of the most-talked about breakfast places in the solar system east of the river: The Cosmic Omelet.
Step through the threshold to find a world in which expansion and shiny new kitchen appliances haven't taken away kitschy relics of greasy-spoon yore, a world that happens to be Hartford County's most punk breakfast spot, where you're just as likely to hear chatter of metal core as well as Medicare, or talk of homework alongside Hot Water Music. Local art (for sale) hangs on the walls, and a trip to the bathroom uncovers a collection of old-school arcade games. (The art recently included a portrait of Notorious B.I.G. (Biggie) made from Big E tickets.)
The omelet selection is unlike anything this side of the Crab Nebula. A few examples of of egg-wrapped insanity are the Cosmic Mad Max (shaved steak, hot peppers, tomato, red onions, cilantro, cream cheese, cheddar cheese; $8.49); the McOmelet (ground beef, raw onions, ketchup, yellow mustard, American cheese and pickles; $7.49); Leo's Death Dog (hot dog, bacon, onions, BBQ sauce and American cheese; $8.49); and Miss Piggy's Junk In The Trunk (pulled pork, onions and cheddar cheese, all topped in BBQ sauce, $8.49).
Omelets are all served with hash browns, and diners have the option (though it should be required) of adding bacon, cheese, and ranch dressing for $1.49 more. Cosmic cream cheese for an extra dollar boldly takes the omelets to a place where this diner has never been before. With more than 30 combinations, daily specials, and a "make your own" option, there are more options than stars in the Milky Way. Even Scotty couldn't beam this food from the plate to my mouth fast enough.
The omelets fall in to pretty standard pricing considering the number of ingredients. Breakfast for two with coffee, a biscuit substitution (fluffy, buttery, and only $.50 more) and loaded hash browns came to a little more than $20.
If you go on a weekend, be prepared to wait. Even though the restaurant nearly doubled in size a few years ago, there can still be long lines.
>>Cosmic Omelet, 485 Hartford Road, Manchester, is open Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Sundays 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. All credit cards except American Express accepted. Information: 860-645-1864 and www.cosmicomelet.com.