Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Breakfast, the Civilized Meal

"Suzanne takes you down to a place by the river; you can’t hear the boats go by because it’s not really near the river, that’s just a rhetorical device; and you know she’s half-crazy, she wants to feed you tea and oranges – among other foods. Suzanne takes your hand and leads you into Cora’s; the sun does not pour down like honey because it’s winter and it’s so cold you don’t feel comfortable outside unless you’re wearing a special suit made of arctic sleeping bags and a fur-lined mask with plastic see-through globes to protect your eyeballs from freezing. You can’t hear the boats go by." (from The London Review of Breakfasts

A meal that I regularly mistreat and daily ignore is breakfast. Between the pull of my pillow and the yank of the front door, I minimize the mote of time between being fully asleep in bed and partially asleep in the car. A short glass of milk and I'm out the door from Monday through Friday.
Please don't get me wrong. I love breakfast with its civilization and slow spread of butter on bread. It's the time that I can't scoop together that gets in the way of its enjoyment. So, I wait for the weekend and its anticipated surprises of relaxation. I can always count on a solid multi-course endeavor at home or there's always the adventure of eating outside the house.
"One never knows does one?" is the synopsis of early morning fare. Most cooks like most folks are rather prickly early in the day, so quite a few of the former should not be entrusted with knives, eggs, onions, & heat. But, it's funny how a truly spectacular breakfast shares its top perch with the truly disasterous morning meal. Well, at least after one's stomach has settled.

I forgot how I came upon this older site, The London Review of Breakfasts. My apologies to the blogger out there who had originally linked to it form my lack of credit. Breakfast, like baseball, offers a keen-eyed writer the opportunity to make the description of the event as, or even more, interesting than the actual event.
This excerpt:

"For as long as I can remember Peckham has been considered “Up and Coming” – and Bellenden Rd is the embodiment of this warped ethos, having slowly removed the local smells and sounds and replaced them with coffee, yoga and higher house prices."

comes from this piece, "The Peckham Experiment", by Herby Banger.
This excerpt comes from an airport restaurant at Heathrow.

"Many breakfasts stand or fall on the quality of their egg. In this case however it was an egg masquerading as a trojan horse - a work of art behind which lurked a cowardly excuse for a breakfast. Even with the promise of exotic shores this breakfast was a disappointment, and today I learned the hard way that one should never trust a lady who sells prunes."

Most of the reviews here are from England but a few other places like Edmonton or Tokyo also pop up. Contributors include Poppy Tart, Egon Toast, Gracie Spoon, and Yolko Ono. The last review posted seems to be Feb of 2006, so I'm not sure how the reviews hold up to the fare. But it's lovely to read and reminisce of breakfasts not eaten.

Happily Corrected! on MAy 24th:
A comment by Mr. Malcolm Eggs on this posting helpfully pointed out that the most recent review was just a few days ago, May 21, 2007, on the Perfect Blend, Streatham. Not sure how I missed that one and a slew of others from 2007. The only thing left to do is to book a flight to the Merry Old Land and start gnoshing using this list. Here's the most recent review. Written by by Rhys Chris Peese, an excerpt:

"Don’t get me wrong. I’m all in favour of bringing café society to London. However, there should be a limit to the project, and that limit is somewhere just short of the A23. Nonetheless, dotted along the busy dual carriageway of Streatham High Road, each bar and coffee shop bravely puts out its tables, ready for breakfasters to enjoy the heady exhaust fumes with their bacon.

Perfect Blend is such a venue, although my flatmate and I decided to savour the monoxide from a comfy sofa by the open window, thus affording us the chance to enjoy the tangy aroma of disinfectant as we tucked into our breakfasts: by night this is a popular bar.


Ah, Noel, we knew you when...

I remember listening and listening to that darn song trying to learn all the lyrics. I thought it was so tragic and romantic.

The lyrics never made much sense, though. However, at age 12, I was convinced I knew exactly what they meant. pffftt.
I share your feelings about breakfast. Saturdays and Sundays it's often a full-on Polish feast, which means a wide selection of cheeses, meats, breads & spreads, smoked salmon and/or herring in any number of forms, yogurt and fruit and of course the lowly flakes of cereal.

M-F it's a cup of tea and the door.

Thanks for your support as my unofficial manager, by the way. Of course you know that you're invited for Unions and/or (but preferably 'or') Laškos anytime.
Dear Mr V,

thanks very much for posting about the LRB. Just wanted to protest that our most recent review was posted this Monday, not February 2006.

Best Wishes,

Malcolm Eggs
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