Breakfast in America

What goes on in America stays in America… eh? It seems not. A couple of weeks touring the diners of Chicago and New Orleans will certainly give any returning traveller a few extra pounds they didn’t originally take with them; and I’m not talking sterling currency here.

Breakfast in America is not just an album by the old UK rock band Supertramp. It’s an institution not to be taken lightly (as if ‘lightly’ could ever apply to food in the US); it demands time and effort… and an expectation that you might be beaten by the challenge on more than one occasion.

Yolk is a great starting point on South Michigan Avenue in Chicago. An unpresupposing exterior camouflages gastronomic morning mayhem. That’s why people are often queueing to get a table; but quintessential US counter culture (of the eating at the counter variety, not the return to flower power variety) gets me in immediately. The more than pleasant greeting of a young woman in a tee-shirt claiming to be ‘Handling your huevos since 2006’ provides a warm inner feeling long before the order arrives. It also leaves me lamenting… “who is going to handle my huevos when Duck One achieves his infantile wall building wish?” The ‘Works Omlet’ with a side of joyous noise eases me nicely into the lazy challenges of the day ahead. Marvellous!

Eggsperience, off the Michigan Avenue Magnificent Mile, keeps the theme of the hen going strong. Omelet or pancakes is the first decision of the day. Oh for such difficult decisions every day! A fleeting thought about a healthy orange juice and blueberry start to the day quickly succumbs to the need for sides of a pancake stack and bacon…

Eggsperience blueberry pancakes

But, a gaze over a shoulder also suggests another visit could be needed for that omelet option! Perhaps a vegetarian compromise could be made. Though perhaps all good vegetarians should be introduced to the necessity of a side of bacon!

Eggsperience vegetarian omlet

The famous Lou Mitchell’s, west of South Loop is an institution that should not be missed on any visit to Chicago. tired of blueberries? Why not add bananas to your pancake stack to bring some variety to the practice of indulgence? I think a side of raisin toast is also called for…

And, before leaving Chicago, get messy with a late morning Cubana sandwich at Xoco, a mere waddle from the aforementioned Eggsperience. A cucumber and lime drink might help balance the spicy fried pork and avocados wrap.

Not to be usurped in the breakfast challenge, New Orleans has its own crowds gathering to sample the delights of Ruby Slipper on Magazine Street. Again, the solo traveller gets to jump the queue with a stool at the counter. Time to try out the Louisianan Omlet of shrimp and grits, with a side of sourdough toast. A foundation fit to build any day upon.

Then there is the splendour of the Palace Cafe on Canal Street. A fine location to keep exploring the unique pleasures of a southern breakfast. This time the shrimp and grits are accompanied by a creole muniere ( don’t ask me, I’m just here to eat the stuff) for added spice to kickstart yet another day of challenging levels of relaxation!

Palace Cafe Canal Street [1]

Palace Cafe shrimp grits and creole muniere

Cafe Pontalba on Jackson Square is a place to trade the creole for a touch of the cajun in your culinary morning. A cajun omelet with side of cajun potatoes could just about provide sufficient ballast for a steamboat trip along the Mississippi…

Talking of Jackson Square; for those of us with an interest in cathedral architecture and the Louisiana State Museum, a corned beef hash at Stanley’s comes highly recommended while you gaze at the architectural heritage from the comfort of your diner counter stool.  If you like your eggs ‘sunny side’ let the yolks drain into the corned beef. Just don’t shout out ‘Stella’ in a Marlon Brando impersonation, lest you startle the staff and clientele alike.

Alas, it’s getting near the time to head for the airport. The hotel provides a last port of call, and quite possibly the last eggs I will want to see for, well at least a few days!

Hotel St Marie 2 eggs breakfast

Until we speak again, it is time to return to a good old UK diet. Next time you’re in America check out the title of an old Supertramp album for guidance, but drop any notion of three square meals a day being a good idea (unless square is the shape you are aspiring to achieve).

Zak Show dot Com

 

On a foggy day

As much as Juno would have a routine of waking me up far too early in the morning, I would usually manage to resist the so-called temptation to get into the world so ridiculously early in the day. But just recently I was drawn out from my cozy lair by the promise of fog coming from the soothing voice of the weatherman through my bedside radio. Yes… strange turn of events indeed; but I had this sudden urge to get out there and experience what goes on in the strange world of early morning fog.

Foggy day [4]

I know what you’re thinking… just a useless camera, a useless photographer, or both. Well you may be right, but I am going to just brush off your critique and offer you the true meaning of a foggy day. What really happens in the murky depths of the cold of the morning?Foggy day [2]

Foggy day [1]

 

 

 

 

 

As Queen said back in 1981 ‘that crazy little thing called love‘. Or, as Juno would have said… until we speak again I have a crazy little matter of breakfast to enjoy!

Chips with that?

What do you get for 50 years of experience? ‘Charged more’ is the quick conclusion that some short-sighted cats might rapidly reply. However, in a world where you generally get what you pay for, good quality will always take some beating. So there I was, drifting off to sleep in the business section of Cardiff Central Library, having failed to find my chosen text… ‘Business strategies for cats wishing to liquidate their servants‘. There could be many reasons for the unintended cat nap, but the rumbling stomach was giving me a clue. Gazing down on the entrance to the Wyndham Arcade I found myself plotting a journey to the centre of breakfast…

Wyndham Arcade Hayes entrance

… and even though the early afternoon alfresco diners were clearly absent I was drawn to a vision of what the arcade had to offer. Memory quickly came to the rescue, because many places claim to be able to make a good breakfast, but when it comes to specialising in the All Day Breakfast even us cool cats take our hats off to 50 years of family run experience and a long list of great reviews, even with veggie all day breakfasts (whatever that is!). Servini’s is the place to be…

Servini's [3]

The options available are all mouth-watering, but this was a cat in search of breakfast at 2.30 in the afternoon! The fresh ingredients are also freshly cooked to order, and presented as a tempting feast…

Servini's [4]

Who needs chips with everything?

Servini's [2]

 

 

Having said that even the chips here look fabulous.

 

Vantage point

 

Now it’s just back to that all-important task of plotting business strategies against my resident ‘entrepreneurial dabbler‘, or just another bout of gazing out of the window with designs on that sea-gull perched over the arcade… I wonder what Servini’s could do with that?

Until we speak again this is a sated Juno wishing you the best of breakfasts, all day.