Thursday, June 12, 2003

The Most Important Meal of the Day

I love breakfast.

I frigging love it. I can't understand why anyone wouldn't.

Sure, on a workday, it's less fancy, more meager. My mainstay is old-fashioned Quaker Oats. But I bring my 1/2 cup to work in a tupperware, and I flavor them with walnuts and berries. (Well, and sugar too...) Mmm...yummy.

What's not to love about breakfast? At what other meal is it considered appropriate to consume, as your main dish no less, a cakey substance smothered in sugary syrups and whipped cream and powdered sugar?

And such a variety of offerings on one plate! If you select the correct greasy spoon for your dining pleasure, you can look forward to an array of: vegetable and meat stuffed omelettes oozing with melted cheese; shredded, fried potato products; a salty, greasy, tasty breakfast meat; 2 pieces of crunchy toast dripping with butter (not margerine!); and a stack of sweet, crispy-on-the-outside pancakes or french toast slices. AND you can wash it down with a cup of rich, dark, life-giving coffee.

Ooh yeah, baby. Now, I concede that the above listing is far more food than anyone should or needs to consume in a single sitting.

Who gives a fuck? I will lay aside my health-conscious-anti-greedy-American soapbox and embrace all that breakfast has to offer. (What? You can't eat the whole thing, so you'd rather just have coffee and toast? Get the fuck out of here! These breakfasts are meant to be carelessly tossed out, only half-consumed!)

My roommate looked at me quizzically once upon a time and commented: "Boy, you sure like breakfast."

Fool. She's never lived the life where "breakfast" was consumed at 3:30 am on the way home, where 2 eggs over-easy was manna from heaven to combat the horrid rumbling of the 6 gin and tonics in your stomach. Oh, those were the days.

When I try to remember where we always went to eat in Cleveland, I mostly tend to remember breakfast joints. Our almost-daily haunt was Hylander, which was usually full of blueheads who lived in the nearby assisted living complex. Everyone knew us there, and they knew we tipped MUCH better than the blueheads, so we always got "taken care of". And for $3.85, you could get a kick-ass Greek (tomato, onion, and feta cheese) omelette with hash browns and toast. Ahh, Hylander. Or "Hylander?", as in, the way we informed each other that we should go there.

The best 24-hour joints were Dianna's and My Friends', nearly identical places practically across the street from each other. At Dianna's, they sometimes had this special omelette with spaghetti sauce and tons of veggies. And they had wicked good skillet breakfasts. Mmmm. My Friends', conversely, had better omelettes all-around. And towering tortes at all hours of the night.

When we lived downtown, we'd often make an excursion to "Ghetto Gyro" (I have no idea what it was ACTUALLY called...) for omelettes. They advertised "Open 365 days a year!", but since I was never in Cleveland for Christmas or Thanksgiving, I can't vouch for that.

On my way to work, I stopped by Einstein Brother's Bagels more than once for an Asiago cheese bagel with sun-dried tomato cream cheese. Although when I lived and worked downtown, I had to settle for Dunkin Donuts. That is, if one of the kitchen guys didn't make me an omelette.

In recent times, Sean and I have been big proponents of Bickford's. I LOVE when they have the pumpkin pancakes, and I'm a fan of the Dutch Country Omelette. We hit Lino's some Saturdays for the infamous "Big Breakfast". We do make the occasional excursion to IHOP.
But we made the best discoveries in the last 2 weeks--2 awesome breakfast places, both in nearby Ball Square. Sound Bites and Kelly's Diner are THE places to be. Just last Sunday, I enjoyed an artichoke and tomato omelette with white cheddar cheese at Kelly's. And the weekend before, I had strawberry and cream cheese stuffed French toast at Sound Bites. Yum-my!

Is it Sunday yet???

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