There's only one problem with Tavern on the Hill (900 Cathedral St., tavernonthehillmtvernon.com): What do you call the place for shorthand? Tavern on the Hill is too long. If you say "The Tavern," people will meet you at Mount Royal Tavern. And if you say "On the Hill," they'll head over to Bolton Hill. We go with "New Howard's" because it was called Howard's before, but they probably don't really like that.
Whatever you call it, this is the culinarily global Mount Vernon's only all-day breakfast joint. And really, a neighborhood isn't really even a neighborhood without one of those places that ensures, no matter how late you stay out on a weeknight or how long it takes you to drag your unemployed ass out of bed, you can crawl in, grab a table (on the out-back patio in warmer months), and break your fast or help your hangover.
Back when they first opened, we were digging on the omelets and they are still great. We can't think of anywhere in town that cooks them as well, with a big ol' heap of cheese perfectly melted in the middle along with whatever else you want (they range between $5.99 and $8.49). It feels twice as hearty as other omelets. We almost always get an omelets, served with toast, but almost everything else is just as good. The Tavern Deluxe ($6.99) comes with two eggs, bacon, and toast, which you can substitute for a Belgian waffle for $1.49. Very similar is the Hangover Helper, which is two eggs, bacon, and home fries for $6.99 (it's good, but not so good that it prompted us to use the same name for this column. Complete coincidence, for the record).
The buttermilk pancakes ($5.99) will bust your gut, they're so filling, and the breakfast sandwiches are also solid.
All of it tastes a lot better with a bloody mary, served nice and spicy with Old Bay around the rim and sometimes, when they have them, with pickled green beans, which are the best. Ask for them.
The thing about Tavern on the Hill is that it ain't fancy. It's solid. It's everyday. It's a neighborhood place. And it's where you go, whatever you call it, when you really have a hangover and you can't take all of that pretentious brunch crap some other places serve up or the churchgoers and their cheery smiles.