It is commonly accepted that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but how often does your breakfast consist of Cajun shrimp and crawfish? Along with Andouille sausage, ham, rice and scrambled eggs; this unique Southern-style dish is appropriately named the Forrest Gumbo.

“Breakfast here is a lot of fun,” says Keith Gurley, co-owner of the Southern-inspired restaurant Fork and Cork. “I try to go with more of a Southern flare with breakfast. You can go other places and get your typical eggs and bacon. You can get those here as well, but I do like to put a twist on some things.”

Gurley began his restaurant endeavor in 2005 when he purchased French-themed Bon Femme from the original owner. Last October, he decided to move the restaurant in a different direction. “I wanted to change it to more of my background of food, since I am a Southern boy.” Going in a different direction from the French cuisine served at Bon Femme, Gurley began the process of finding a new name. “I was having some drinks with some friends and we were mulling over some names. There were a lot of names shot out there, but I remember Fork and Cork being one of the names that stuck.”

Although most of the dishes you find at Fork and Cork are inspired from recipes while growing up in the south, some of Gurley’s own creations have actually been created in his dreams. “I’ll go to sleep at night and wake up at 3 in the morning. I’ll have this crazy recipe in my head and I’ll make it the next day just to see if it works.” One such dream-inspired dish is a breakfast lasagna that was recently added to the Fork and Cork menu. “The bottom layer is hash browns, then you take cheddar cheese, and then it gets a mixture of roasted red peppers spinach, bacon sautéed all together. Then it gets more cheddar, sliced fresh tomato and fresh mozzarella, then we pour scrambled eggs on top of that. After it’s done baking and sliced into a lasagna piece, it gets sausage gravy over the top of it.”

With the holidays right around the corner, Valparaiso will be hosting events such as Holly Days and Winter Dazzle. Gurley says that Fork and Cork also participates in these various events. “For Halloween, we do something outside for the kids. For Winter Dazzle, I will go out front and I will give away turkey chili. I also do the same thing for Holly Days. We also play host to private events as well.”

Along with breakfast, Fork and Cork is also open for lunch and dinner Wednesday through Sunday. As the word “Cork” in the name suggests, they have a great number of different wines and spirits from which to choose. They are located at 66 W. Lincolnway, directly across the street from Central Park Plaza in downtown Valparaiso. For more information, including their full menu, you may visit their website at http://forkandcorkvalpo.com/cafe/

You can also like their Facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/ForkCorkValpo/