The Big Breakfast Adventure | George’s & Belle Pastry

(In case you missed how the Big Breakfast Adventure got started, you can read it  here:  How it all began)

I started a new tradition with one of my favorite people.  Every third Saturday of the month we’re going to abscond together for a Big Breakfast Adventure.  Just the two of us.  No husband, no children, no cats.  I think third Saturdays may become my most-looked-forward-to Saturdays.  She’s a friend who ‘gets’ me.  You know, really gets me.  I can be me with her & it’s just fine.  I can swear like a trooper, be totally irreverent, rant & otherwise behave ungraciously & she just laughs at me.  And just loves me.  Isn’t it awesome just to be heard?

Today inadvertently turned into a two course breakfast.  Or breakfast & brunch.  Or breakfast & a snack.  Oh I don’t know what to call it.  We went to two places, with a little stroll in the middle.  Call it whatever you will…I think you’re tracking with me now.

Part I:  We started off at George’s in Kirkland to eat Omelettes.  Honestly?  I am getting a bit omeletted out.  I think maybe it was the 6-egger behemoth at Beth’s that started the decline.  It’s not like there have been a bunch of omelettes on the Big Breakfast Adventure.  I guess Beth’s was really like eating 3 omelettes and then yesterday I had a Dan-Dee’s Bomber at Randy’s.  So while it might be all in my mind, I still wasn’t really excited for {what seemed like} yet another omelette today.  But a commitment is a commitment.  The Olympic Omelette I would have, since it made it’s way into Seattle Magazine for the Best Home-style Omelette.  I am not sure I know what a home-style omelette is.  It looked the same as every other omelette I’ve eaten in the past, oh I don’t know, 30 years.  Anyway, I need to get through this quick so we can get to Part II.  Part II is way exciting.

My Olympic Omelette – gyro (lamb) meat, peperonicini, tomatoes, onions & feta – with a side of tzatziki & fresh tomatoes was a very nice omelette.  It was a tiny bit on the hot (spicy) side for me but the tzatziki swiftly took care of that.  The gyro meat was delicious.  The tomatoes were a splendid alternative to hash browns.  My sourdough bread was your typical diner sourdough bread with half a scrape of butter & dry all around the edges.  I ate all the middle bits.  Well, I’m sorry, but I do like my bread to be buttered all over.

The staff at George’s all appeared to be Greek, so I kinda assume that they are all somehow related or at least know each other really well.  The service was swift, pleasant but rather perfunctory.  Come early if you don’t want to wait on the weekend.  The place was packed.  Today there were a lot of rather rowdy groups in; not rowdy as in drunken, but certainly loud & having a lot of fun.

 BFF chose the Athina Omelette – mushrooms, parmiggiano, mozzarella cheese – with hash browns and toast.  She reported that while she wanted something relatively plain, her omelette was actually bordering on the bland.  She had hot chocolate (I didn’t dare ask how it was) & I had mint tea.  It was a fine breakfast.  To be honest, since BFF was there the food played second fiddle to the hanging out.

It was sunny (hurrah!) & we went for a stroll down to the Kirkland waterfront where we discovered at least 1.72 million children in baseball kit waiting on the grass at the waters edge.  We have no clue why.

Part II:  We drove to Bellevue to find pastries.  Destination – Belle Pastry.  In a cute little corner store in Old Bellevue we found a line of pastry cases filled with the most beautiful looking wares.  I started to get a little excited at the thought of what they might taste like.  It looked like a real, live French Patisserie.  Could it really be?  It really could.  We sat at a little marble cafe table with cups of hot chocolate & our glistening treats.

Perfect pastries

Hot chocolate made with…real chocolate & real cream

The Opera – almond sponge cake, mocha butter-cream, coffee syrup, ganache filling, chocolate glaze – was extraordinary.  Glorious silky-smooth dense butter-cream, intense but not over-powering flavors, perfectly layered.  This is how a piece of Opera cake should be.  Exactly.

Fruit Tartlet.  Fresher-than-fresh fruit, incredibly fine, crisp, evenly baked pastry & smooth, lightly flavored Crème pâtissière (pastry cream).  This is how a Fruit Tartlet should be.  Exactly.

BFF also had a Pain au Chocolat and declared herself to be on a chocolate high.  In a good way.  So different from a sugar high.  I acquired a Pain au Chocolat & an Almond Croissant for later.

It was blissful sitting there in Belle Pastry supping on {real} hot chocolate & eating {very} fine French pastries.  Every Saturday morning should start this way.  I have found my go-to pastry place on the Eastside.  Exquisite.  Thank you.

BFF and I went for a wander around Crate & Barrel.  It’s a lot safer when someone is with me.  In my mind I bought an $8000 leather couch, a beautiful marble kitchen table and 4 chairs, a cosy reading chair for the Beach House, a breakfast tray & every white porcelain baking dish in the place.  In reality I bought nothing.  Thank heavens for my BFF.

We took Dottie for a wash & vacuum and then headed home, mouths sighing and tummies satiated.

And then it happened.  Disaster struck.  For the first time (in my life) I did not finish eating a Pain au Chocolat.  Quelle horreur!  Sacre Bleu!  I think Jean-Claude (yes, Belle Pastry is owned by a real French pastry Chef) had a bad day in the viennoiserie department.  I simply cannot believe, given how incredible his pastries are, that he normally makes bad croissants.

My Pain au Chocolat was frankly like chewing on shoe leather, indicating that it had been {considerably} over-handled.  It looked a bit suspect from the start: blistered outside, uneven coloration, dark edges.  And to eat, it was just plain tough.  I forgive Jean-Claude’s crew for having a bad day.  We all do.  I do not forgive him for selling them anyway.  Oh, I can be so hard.

The Almond Croissant was an altogether better experience, yet once again I struggled to taste any almond although I knew it was there because I could see it.  While Belle Pastry’s Almond Croissant was the one I have most enjoyed eating in Seattle it’s appearance was the least attractive.

All in all though, one {very} happy, happy Saturday morning.

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