Bokeh & The Breakfast Happy Hour

Today was so exciting on so many levels I am just not even sure where to start.

I got a new toy {105mm f/2.8G ED-IF AF-S VR Macro} this week.  You may well not know why that is so exciting.  Or, in fact, how it could be even the slightest bit exciting.  I don’t blame you.  However, I would love it if you would be excited for me anyway, while I have my geeky moment.  Here’s my first shots with it.  I played while Ms. Connie and I were waiting for our breakfast to show up at Toulouse Petit.  Ms. Connie read the menu.  Probably 17 times.  It’s a really exciting menu

It’s almost like you could reach out & pick up that glass.  I know you want to.

Ms. Connie reading the menu for the 14th time.  Entranced.

Oh will you just look at that DOF.  Magical.  And the word “Duck”.  At breakfast.  Magical.

Up close & personal with a Toulouse Beignet.  It must be a girl, no stubble on that one.

Breakfast Happy Hour.  Ever heard of one?  I hadn’t.  But let me tell you – Toulouse Petit have really got it going on.  Now bear in mind it’s Friday.  This wasn’t no weekend brunch and yet there was a line outside the door at 9 am.  I am glad we were in that line.  15 minutes after we sat down the entire place was packed to the gills, and Toulouse Petit is not a small space.  The buzz was palpable.  In fact, I’d go as far as to say that I’ve never experienced such an excitable breakfast crowd.  The ambiance felt like a Friday night 6 pm Happy Hour.  But no, this was breakfast.  The menu is simply enormous.  I have at least 23 more Friday Happy Hour Breakfasts at TP in my future.  At least.

Ms. Connie ordered us Beignets to share, along with coffee for her (it came in a French press – she was so excited) & mint tea for me.  Kudos to our adorable {I swear she is a Dance major} server for being so darned up-front about the hot chocolate situation.  Swiss Miss.  Er, yeah.  I’ll give that a miss.  The Beignets were also a miss for me, but I certainly enjoyed them more than some I have had.  I like the French beignets, not the New Orleans beignets which are essentially deep fried cake.  Ms. Connie also commented that they were a little denser than she likes them.

I just realized that I omitted to tell you what Breakfast Happy Hour means at Toulouse Petit.  It means that most items on the menu are $7.  The few pricier items are drastically reduced.  My normally $16 plate of nosh was $9.  Ms. Connie’s was $7 instead of $12.  Hello.  It sure was a Happy Hour for us.

It took us forever to decide what to order.  So many dishes, most of them unique.  Ms. Connie finally landed on the Cured Pork Cheeks Confit Hash.  Last Fall it was featured on Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate”.  The pork was delicious.  I stole some.  The full report from Ms. Connie was that the whole thing was rather fabulous, or, to use her favorite word, “phenomenal”.

I simply could not get past the  Eggs Charcutieres with Rustic Duck Terrine and Veal Shallot Pan Sauce.  The reason for that is that recently, lovely reader from the South of France who charmed us with his Big Breakfast Adventure the other week…well, he sent me pics of jar upon jar upon jar of hand-crafted Pâté.  Quite made me crazy with lust.  Since then I’ve been craving pâté.  Any pâté would have done.  So when I saw the Rustic Duck Terrine I was, simply, a goner.  If you are a pâté lover you, you would have been too.

As Ms. Connie pointed out, “That’s a big old slab of duck you got there.”  It was.  More over, each of those big ol’ slabs of duck was wrapped in bacon.  Oh, what a {terrible} shame.

The potatoes were pretty “Meh.”  The Eggs Charcutieres were absolutely scrumptious.  Very reminiscent of the Oeufs en Meurette at Cafe Campagne.  In fact, Toulouse Petit was very reminiscent of Cafe Campagne although I don’t really know why.  The decor & ambiance are entirely different.  Thinking about it, it was nothing like it.  It must just be the food that made the connection for me.

I can’t even begin to explain how exciting Toulouse Petit’s breakfast turned out to be for my mouth.  I could not get over how good the food was, how packed the joint was at 9:15 on a weekday morning or how terribly excited everyone in there was.  I didn’t want to leave.  In all honesty we left because there was a line.  We also wanted to go to Bellevue and eat pastries.  I am going back though.  I think I might just make it what I do on Fridays.  At least until I’ve eaten my way through the menu.

We drove to Belle Pastry.  We ate pastries.  They were good.  They always are.  I just wish the servers didn’t think they were a higher life form than the rest of us.

Toulouse Petit, you are my new love.  I will visit often.  I will slowly work my way through every tasty morsel that you tease me with.  I can see this leading to a passionate, lasting relationship.  I’ll miss you this next week.

Au revoir, mon amour, au revoir.

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