Bring appetite to Bigger Bite

As you've almost certainly been told before, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It's the meal of champions. Besides boosting your metabolism, it helps your morning mood and provides energy for the rest of the day. So when choosing a place to eat, your standards should be set high.

Enter Bigger Bite, an American-Egyptian restaurant in the University City area. I know what you're thinking: "Egyptian?" Yes, that's right, Egyptian. But don't let fear of the unknown scare you; this place has all the fixin's of a classic American breakfast - eggs, bacon, sausage and, of course, pancakes. With ease, Bigger Bite keeps up with the neighborhood IHOP.

Family-owned and run by Ahmed, Eva, Kareem and Ramy Onsi, Bigger Bite is a quaint little building with a few outside tables located at J.W. Clay Boulevard and North Tryon Street.

Eighteen months ago, the Egyptian family transplanted from Massachusetts, where they owned a franchise called Brigham's, to open Bigger Bite in Charlotte. Eva loves the location. "Charlotte has beautiful weather and the cost of living is cheaper," she says.

When you walk into Bigger Bite, there's a good chance Eva's smiling face will greet you. She will also more than likely seat you and take your order. Her Egyptian accent is accompanied by a warm and comforting demeanor; it's like telling your own mother what you'd like for breakfast.

While you wait for your food, you'll hear uplifting Egyptian music playing. The Egyptian pyramids and the Sphinx are painted on the wall, but this ambiance isn't reflected on the breakfast menu. From a Western omelet to Texas-style French toast, every item on the breakfast menu is what I expect to find in a traditional American diner.

Try one of the Bigger Bite specials, like the Lumberjack, which includes two eggs, two pieces of toast, two strips of bacon, two sausage links, two pancakes and your choice of home fries, hash browns or grits. If you're a big breakfast eater and want to "super-size it," order the Hungry Man, which adds one more of each item to the Lumberjack.

Bigger Bite offers more than just a hefty breakfast. Go for dinner and start with a typical American appetizer, like mozzarella sticks or onion rings, or an Egyptian appetizer like hummus or falafel.

Through its menu, Bigger Bite lives up to its name. It features some of the most popular American dishes to satisfy the hungriest of eaters, while also offering some of the most popular Egyptian dishes for those who want to try traditional Halal food.

The $3.99 breakfast special is perfect for those on a budget, and students get a 15 percent discount with their student ID. Breakfast is served from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. during the week and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the weekends.

After your meal, don't think your stay is done. Check out the enormous dessert menu filled with sundaes, ice cream, frappes, sodas and cake.

Whether you want breakfast, lunch, dinner or dessert - American food or Egyptian food - this local find can satisfy many hunger cravings in just one big bite.

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