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Posted on Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 11 a.m.

Frugal Friday at the Bomber - One breakfast at this iconic Ypsilanti diner could feed a family of four

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu, Contributor

It's Frugal Floozie Friday, and today's feature offers the most gargantuan quantity of food yet for our measly budget of $5 per person! What you see in the photo is the infamous Bomber Breakfast, found only at the Bomber restaurant.

Jeremy recently had an early morning appointment, and his dad, Stuart, and I went along with him. Afterwards, we decided we could use some breakfast; and so we ended up at this Ypsilanti institution:

"The Bomber opened in 1936 as Baldwin's Diner. In the 1940s the name was changed to the Bomber, only to be discarded in favor of Bob's Barbecue in the mid-1970s. Finally in 1986, the name Bomber returned, and the current owners John Sebestyen and Johanna McCoy purchased it in 1995."

The restaurant is noted for the historical artifacts linings its walls - everything from uniforms to posters to autographed photos to rifles — not to mention the 24 model airplanes which hang from the ceiling. It is also noted for friendly service, generous portions, and the kind of atmosphere that encourages eating, reading the paper, having just a little bit more coffee, chatting with other customers and making oneself at home.

The signature dish — the Bomber Breakfast — is so enormous that it was once featured on the Food Network's "Top Five Overindulgences" show. There is enough food, truly, to feed a family of four: a pound of hash browns with cheese and onions, two full slices of toast, four eggs any style, and a choice of six sausage patties or seven sausage links or 10 slices of bacon or two slices of ham. (Our waitress told us, upon seeing our eyes glaze over, that we could mix-'n'-match if we wanted to.)

So, how much does this platter full of food cost?


And since Stuart and I split it — though we couldn't finish it, despite valiant efforts! — it came in at under our mandatory $5 per person limit.

As though this wasn't enough indulgence, Jeremy ordered an obscenely rich and decadent breakfast for himself: Chocolate Hazelnut French Toast. A half order — two portions of thick bread filled with luscious Nutella, dipped in batter and drenched in syrup — costs only $4.95.

The Bomber also features weekday breakfast specials for $4.50, featuring everything from traditional pancakes, eggs and oatmeal to breakfast sandwiches. There are many items on the menu which could qualify for our Frugal Floozie Friday mission.

The Bomber is a great place to go for a hearty breakfast or lunch, and is easily a place where you could become a regular.

306 E. Michigan Ave.
Ypsilanti, Michigan

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Mary Bilyeu has won or placed in more than 60 cooking contests and writes about her adventures in the kitchen. She was thrilled to have her post about Scottish Oatmeal Shortbread named as one of the daily "Best of the Blogs" by the prestigious Food News Journal.

Go visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — on which she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related. Her newest feature is Frugal Floozie Friday, seeking fun and food for $5 or less ... really! Feel free to email her with questions or comments or suggestions:

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers as they cook along with her ... may you always be happy here.


Mary Bilyeu

Sat, Dec 3, 2011 : 3:11 p.m.

I would certainly never eat all those eggs and bacon and sausage and hash browns (I never even got to the toast!) on a regular or even semi-regular basis; but sometimes, a girl just wants to have some fun! And I wasn't even hungry again that day until late in the evening, so I didn't ingest lunch and dinner calories on top of the enormous breakfast ... whew! The character of the Bomber is certainly a huge attraction, as is the fabulously friendly and efficient waitstaff. It's a good, old-fashioned, comfortable, welcoming place even if no one could find any healthy items on the menu. I loved it, and am glad to see that others do, too ... :)


Sat, Dec 3, 2011 : 2:26 p.m.

They make a great (and huge) breakfast burrito.


Sat, Dec 3, 2011 : 12:27 p.m.

This is my go-to spot for a special breakfast -- especially with out of town guests. It's a perfect example of what makes Ypsilanti unique, quirky and oh so fun for visitors. I'll take this place over a $20 per person boring breakfast buffet in Ann Arbor any day, and be thankful for the option to do so. Keep flyin' high Bomber!!


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 9:44 p.m.

Total (EXCLUDING cheese, onions, and any fat used in preparation of eggs): Total calories 2294, 151 grams fat (35.4 g saturated), 798 mg cholesterol, 3371 mg sodium, 149 grams carbohydrates, 64 grams protein. For many, the # of calories is at or more than the daily recommended, the fat grams are roughly 2.5X the recommended amount, the saturated fat is about 1.6X the maximum recommended, cholesterol is about 2.6X the daily recommended amount, sodium about 2X, and the amount of carbohydrates (most of which are high on the glycemic index, meaning causing a rapid rise in the blood sugar) is about half the recommended daily allotment. Even splitting the meal in two meets or exceeds most of one's daily allotments for fat, cholesterol and sodium. You are doing your body no favors by eating this meal, even splitting it between two, or even three, eaters. Given that they had 10 Health Dept. violations (3 critical) at their last inspection on 8/26/11, I'll pass on this restaurant.


Sat, Dec 3, 2011 : 12:17 p.m.

Maybe it's not doing your "body any favors" to eat this breakfast, but my body appreciates the occasional treat (I really doubt this would be anyone's daily morning meal), and if this breakfast is split among friends, it's certainly no worse than a plate of donuts! Love this place and the food served in it. Also a shout out to the great waitstaff.

steve h

Sat, Dec 3, 2011 : 4:26 a.m.

and thanks for passing. clears space for me. don't think they miss you either judging by how busy they are on the weekends.


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 9:43 p.m.

THE BOMBER BREAKFAST: One pound of hash browns: Total calories 1453, 98 grams fat (22 g saturated), 2000 mg sodium, total carbs 146 grams, 12 grams protein ( <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> ). And that's WITHOUT the cheese and onions (quantity unspecified in article). Two slices of toast: Total calories 159, 2 grams fat (426 mg sat), 121 mg sodium, total carbs 30 grams, 5 grams protein ( <a href="" rel='nofollow'>;a=</a>*EAC.ExpandedFood.*Bread.*Food%3AVariety_Food%3AWhite---_**Bread.*Food%3ACookingMethod_Food%3ACommerciallyPrepared.Food%3AVariety_Food%3AToasted.Food%3AVariety_Food%3AWhite---&amp;a=*EAC.ExpandedFood.*Bread.*Food%3AVariety_Food%3AToasted---_**a.*Bread.*Food%3AVariety_Food%3AToasted---.dflt- ). Four eggs (plain, fat used in preparation unaccounted for): Total calories 221, 16 grams fat (5 g sat), 484 mg cholesterol, 250 mg sodium, 17 g protein ( <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> ). 7 sausage links: Total calories 461, 35 grams fat (8 g saturated), 314 mg cholesterol, 1000 mg sodium, 3 grams carbs, 30 grams protein ( <a href="" rel='nofollow'></a> ). [Continued in second comment below]

Guinea Pig in a Tophat

Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 8:35 p.m.

I love The Bomber! I always get their homemade corned beef hash and pancakes. The wait staff are fantastic, too!


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 8:14 p.m.

Great place. If you've never been there, go. Lots of cool pictures and newspaper clippings on the walls.

Mary Bilyeu

Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 7:12 p.m.

Taters, hash, huge portions ... oh, this makes me want to go back to the Bomber right now!


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 7:07 p.m.

If you like 'taters, this is the place for you!

UM Rocks

Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 7:02 p.m.

Mmmm Bomber!!! Their homemade corn beef hash is awesome!!


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 6:50 p.m.

Interesting, that I just had breakfast there this morning. The portions are huge and food is great!


Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 5:46 p.m.

Great place. The cowboy skillet is my favorite.

Mary Bilyeu

Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 6:01 p.m.

Oh, that's an excellent choice! Made me hungry just reading about it ... :)

Sarah Rigg

Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 2:42 p.m.

The Bomber is even better with the no-smoking laws!

Mary Bilyeu

Fri, Dec 2, 2011 : 3:12 p.m.

Amen and hallelujah to that, Sarah!!!