Perkins, CalgaryIn honour of our larger-than-life American cousins, we hit up Perkins Family Restaurant for a Fourth of July breakfast. Perkins is a chain that started as a pancake house in Ohio, and now has 400 restaurants across the U.S. and Canada.

To be honest, we didn’t really wake up and say, “Hey, it’s July 4th, let’s go to Perkins.” We got a flyer in the mail a long time ago that highlighted some dish with a lot of country gravy poured over it. Jason has been thinking about it ever since.

Far be it for me to deny him country gravy — which Perkins calls “cream gravy” — we joined the crowd at Perkins in northeast Calgary just before noon. It was busy! Lots of families and seniors, but very few of the hungover crowd we usually see at Denny’s.

Getting seated and served was very efficient. I love that coffee ($2.49) — and a pretty decent cup of joe at that — comes with your own carafe for your table, so there’s no need to flag anyone down for refills.

Perkins, CalgaryPerkins’ all-day breakfast menu is quite similar to Denny’s with egg and bacon combos, omelettes, waffles, pancakes and scramblers, as well as a full back page of specials for seniors. Like any respectable U.S. chain, portions are gigantic, coming with sides of shredded or chunky hash browns, and fruit, toast, pancakes or their Mammoth Muffin.

Jason got a southern fried chicken scrambler ($12.29), a baking dish of scrambled eggs, cut-up chicken fingers, hash browns, melted cheddar cheese and country gravy. Perkins’ Mammoth Muffin was a surprisingly fresh, cakey pastry. They like to boast of their bakery counter that does these muffins and an array of pies.

My country fried steak and eggs ($13.69) were basically what you’d expect. The side fruit was the kind that’s scooped out of a wholesale bucket. The shredded hash browns were not drowning in oil, which was kinda nice, considering my breakfast filled half of my daily requirement of calories and more than 85% of recommended daily levels of fat, sodium, cholesterol.

Don’t worry, I didn’t — couldn’t — eat the whole thing!

Perkins, 3022-23rd St. N.E., Calgary, (403) 219-0900. Perkins Family Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Perkins, Calgary