I discovered Zak's on my first visit to Ottawa, back in 2008. And by "discovered" I mean, tried a couple of other places for breakfast and then returned here every. single. day.
Naturally, visiting Ottawa for a second time with Andy in tow, I wanted to take him there, too. (Every day.)
I think my obsession can be traced to the amount of choice available on the Zak's menu. In the UK, if a cafe has a "vegetarian breakfast" option, you're doing well; as often as not, you have to negotiate something special from the available ingredients. Two or more distinct items on the menu, and you're probably at a veggie cafe. Whereas at Zak's I felt like half of the choices could easily be made veggie because everything came with "bacon or sausage or fruit". Fruit as an alternative to meat should be an option in more places!
Omlettes, eggs florentine, pancakes, waffles... this is the stuff breakfast dreams are made of, even if you do have to loosen your belt. Zak's isn't cheap but the portions are huge (I don't need lunch after eating here) and the "blue plate" specials offer some serious deals. The idea of putting (say) chocolate chip pancakes and eggs on the same plate is still a bit foreign to me, as a Brit, but the plates are big enough that I could separate the sweet from the savoury and basically treat it as a two-course meal.
On our recent trip to Ottawa, as well as returning to my favourite breakfast haunt, we also returned to the hotel I'd used before, Les Suites. It's a nice luxury to have a suite with a separate living room, and especially a kitchen (even though we only used the oven once - Ottawa has so many amazing places to eat!), but Les Suites is reasonably priced compared to other hotels in the city, so it's worth going there just for the extra space.