Indianapolis is shaping up to be a breakfast battlefield. The latest entry slated for the metropolitan market is The Egg & I, a Colorado-based franchise created in 1987. The company’s first restaurant in Indiana is set to open in August in 3,900 square feet of space vacated by McAlister’s at the Merchants Pointe strip center in Carmel. The Egg & I has restaurants in 21 states—the closest is in the Chicago area—and serves both breakfast and lunch. Favorites include its benedicts, omelets, waffles and whole-wheat pancakes, according to the company’s website. The franchisee is Tom Ross, president of printing-products supplier Ross Gage Inc., whose daughter is an Egg & I corporate trainer. He plans to open five Egg & I restaurants within the next five years. “Other than Bob Evans, IHOP, and Cracker Barrel, we were underserved in the breakfast category,” said Steve Delaney, a restaurant expert at the locally based Sitehawk Retail Real Estate brokerage. “I think Indianapolis has finally been discovered as an underserved breakfast market in the last year.” Indeed, The Egg and I’s entrance into the Indianapolis area follows others such as Another Broken Egg and First Watch. Another Broken Egg, a breakfast and lunch chain based in Mandeville, La., opened its first Indiana restaurant earlier this month at 9435 N. Meridian St., and has plans for a second to open in downtown Indianapolis in August. Franchisee Kevin Armantrout, who also operates local Ruth’s Chris Steak House locations, said a lease should be finalized within the next week. Also, First Watch has three locations since opening last year: one downtown, another on East 86th Street, and one at Village Park Plaza in Carmel.