When Teri Downey opened Nina’s Breakfast & Brunch in O’Fallon, she wanted her cozy, 51-seat restaurant to be a place where customers would become friends and return time and again for breakfast, brunch and now lunch.
“I love to serve people, entertain and cook,” Teri explained. The food she’s putting on the table is turning first-time customers into regulars.
Her best-selling item is Nina’s Breakfast Platter, which is built around a scratch-made, buttermilk biscuit, well buttered and topped with an 8-ounce serving of homemade sausage gravy, crumbled bacon and cheddar cheese. Alongside are two eggs prepared any way the customer wants them. Teri prefers scrambled, which are nice and fluffy. She also loves the gravy, which is “loaded with sausage” and seasoned with her signature pepper blend.
“I call it Nina’s secret ingredient,” explained Teri, who was nicknamed Nina by her grandchildren. “We make everything possible from scratch here – our biscuits, waffles, pancakes, crêpes, French bread, our pepper blend. I’m probably leaving 10 things out. Oh, our taco seasoning!”
Nina’s signature tacos include “a Classic Beef, a Sriracha-Honey Chicken, a Shrimp Taco featuring five large shrimp, and a hot and spicy Chorizo Taco.”
Like her tacos, The Bridegroom Omelet – a creation first made by her dad, Bob – is full of good things, and if customers want, they can add more. “If we have it and they want it, I’m OK with that,” Teri said. “Bottom line, I want my customers to be happy.”
From 6 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 7 a.m.-2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday, Teri serves up happiness in the form of Nina’s breakfast, its decadent O’Fallon cheesecake, crêpes that customers say rival Quebec’s, phenomenal coffee and so much more.
3752 Monticello Plaza • O’Fallon