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The End of the Road

Well, friends, we have finally reached the end of the Big Breakfast Adventure road.  It’s been a 58 week long escapade that turned into one of the funnest things I’ve done.  I’ve turned off down plenty of little side streets en route, otherwise I may have reached the end a lot sooner, but I wouldn’t have missed one single one of those side streets in return for speed, any day.

This road has taken me into neighborhoods I didn’t know existed, into restaurants I never knew were there & eating food concoctions I’d never even heard of before.  It’s inspired me to become more adventurous, more open, more courageous.  I’ve gone from eating Eggs Benedict at every turn to seeking out the weirdest thing on the menu & deliberately embracing that instead.  I’ve jumped cultural breakfast divides that I was clueless existed.  I’ve met people I would never have met otherwise {Natasha Reed & Jackie Baisa, I am looking at you…among others}.  I’ve forged fun friendships, deepened existing relationships & created bonds with people I never imagined I would.  I’ve even discovered that eating octopus before 8 am rocks.

Who knew breakfast could do all that to a girl?

And perhaps the biggest “one-eighty” is that I didn’t think there was much good grub in Seattle.  Now I know, for sure, that there is a lot of amazing food in Seattle…you just have to know where to go.  Hopefully, my crazy little food blog will help you with that.  My mouth has had an absolute blast the last year, right here in The Emerald City.

So while this all started with reading Seattle Magazine’s article “The 55 Best Breakfasts in Seattle”, I struggle when it comes to a “Best” list.  Best is so subjective.  Part of it is quality, yes, but part of it is as simple as whether you liked it or not.  And that’s where “best” goes out the window.  Plus, I haven’t eaten EVERY Eggs Benedict in Seattle, or EVERY Croque Monsieur, or even EVERY pancake & waffle.  And, unless you have eaten every one, how can you really say “Best”?

So here are my *favorite* breakfasts of the whole shenanigans…aka The Big Breakfast Adventure.

The breakfast I have eaten more often than any other this last year is Oeufs Plat et Jambon (Baked Eggs) @ Cafe Presse.  My go-to place for fantastic food at amazingly cheap prices & without a fanfare.  I. LOVE. THIS. PLACE.

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Café Presse on Urbanspoon

If I had to pick just one breakfast from the entire crazy undertaking, it would be Tom’s Big Breakfast @ Lola.  When people ask me for my #1 brunch plate, I’ll tell ’em I head to Lola for octopus.  Yes, octopus.  Try it before you trash it.  I am a {complete} convert.  I even put my job on the line by suggesting to my boss that we have our next 1:1 over a plate of this particular octopus.  Suffice it to say that I still work for him.

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Lola on Urbanspoon

I never knew crepes could be be turned into such a tasty array of breakfast options.  I had {several} amazing crepes @ Anita’s Crepes.  Now, if anyone mentions crepes, my mind goes straight to Fremont.

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Anita's Crêpes on Urbanspoon

The food @ Spring Hill {totally} blew my skirt up all 3 times I breakfasted there.   Their meat is amazing.  Their Spring Hole is delicious.  Their Corned Beef Hash = hash heaven.  I’d eat their gluten-free plate of Bone-In Ham Steak & Cheesy Grits over & over again.

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Spring Hill on Urbanspoon

I absolutely *loved* the French Toast @ Geraldine’s Kitchen.   I don’t even like French Toast.  And I didn’t believe that I could like French Toast until I ate this plateful.  Geraldine’s is unlike any other that I’ve eaten.

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Geraldine's Counter on Urbanspoon

That same French Toast can be found alongside a host of other yumminess @ Geraldine’s sister restaurant, Table 219, where I had a fantastic Grand Slam.  The bacon rocks.  The sausage rocks.  The eggs rock.  The French Toast knocks my socks off.

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Table 219 on Urbanspoon

One of the biggest surprises was eating fantastic Belgian Waffles @ Vietnamese restaurant, Monsoon.  Along with their swoon-worthy Nem nuong (sausage) this breakfast turned into one fantastically memorable start to my day.

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Monsoon on Urbanspoon

Another surprise was that a sports bar would have such delicious gourmet breakfast fare as well as fantastic Bloody Marys.  You can get both @ The Leary Traveler.  Their breakfast sandwich is a revelation.

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The Leary Traveler on Urbanspoon

Hands down, my favorite morning cuppa is the Chocolat Chaud @ Cafe Presse.  Nothing else like it outside of Paris.  I am glad it comes in a cup so I can call it a drink, even though it feels like dessert.

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Café Presse on Urbanspoon

Talking of Cafe Presse…you can also get my beloved Baked Eggs @ their sister restaurant, Le Pichet.  They are every bit as good, just a tad spendier.  The ambiance is like sitting in a Parisian sidewalk cafe.  Gorgeous.

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Le Pichet on Urbanspoon

So what’s the big deal about breakfast?  Breakfast is cheap, breakfast is fast & going out to breakfast gets you out of bed.  Breakfast is fun.  Breakfast is easier to do on your tod; and it’s quieter.  Oh, and breakfast is easier to find a parking spot for.  Plus, breakfast has always been my favorite meal to eat out.  Which is pretty odd considering that I grew up in England where you just don’t eat breakfast out.  That’s probably why I like it so much.  Ever the *anarchist*.

I freely admit that Sunday breakfast at home growing up was my favorite meal of the week.  Sunday was the only day of the week we had cooked breakfast.  It was always a plateful of hot, cooked goodness.  Bacon, eggs, sausages…sometimes with fried bread, sometimes tomatoes & sometimes mushrooms.  Sometimes all of the above.  Then there were Sundays we had Baked Eggs with bacon pieces on top.  Those & the Fried Bread Days were my favorites.  Breakfast was at 8 am.  You were *never* late.  And in 21 years of Sundays, I never missed one.  So I guess, really, when you think about it, this whole Big Breakfast Adventure was just bound to be.  Breakfast is in my blood, my heart, my soul.

Up until now, for me, eating out has always been mainly about the food – the taste, the quality, the appearance, the flavors, the combinations, the freshness, the textures.  My Big Breakfast Adventure – eating where & what I was told – lead me to discover that eating out is a much more holistic experience – it’s not just all about the food.  I’ve been to places that people just *love* to go to, even though the food is pretty blah.  I’ve been to places where the food is fantastic but most of the tables are empty.  Places with average food where I would absolutely go back again.  And places whose doorstep I will never darken in spite of their great food (although I do have a propensity to be able to overlook a lot of things in the name of a great plate of grub).  This year has been an eye-opener.

I’ve eaten more pastries @ Honore Artisan Bakery than anywhere else.  There is nowhere I would rather go for pastry deliciousness.  Their pastries are perfect; and that’s a really hard thing to get me to say.  They also have the nicest servers anywhere.

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Honore Artisan Bakery on Urbanspoon

I ate a fair amount of pancakes this last year.  I am not a pancake fan, but, in the line of duty, I devoured several platefuls of them.  The incredible Chestnut & Buckwheat pancakes @ Volterra totally stand out for me as my favorite.  By far.

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Volterra on Urbanspoon

I like granola, but in my little world it doesn’t constitute breakfast, mainly because it is cold.  So I was not expecting to fall in love with the Granola @ Andaluca.  But fell I did.  Heavily.  Delicious granola if ever there was.

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Andaluca on Urbanspoon

Biscuits & Gravy are a most curious dish to a Brit.  I’ve eaten quite a few variations now, but my favorite, without question were @ the fabulous & certified organic Tilth.

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Tilth on Urbanspoon

Talking of biscuits…I never imagined that Chicken & Biscuits could possibly taste as good as the ones @ Taste (SAM).  This dish was divine, as was everything else that I ate at Taste that day.  Fantastic spot for a group brunch.

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TASTE Restaurant on Urbanspoon

And from biscuits to waffles.  The Gingerbread Waffles that made my heart skip a beat from the fantastic flavors, I ate @ Coastal Kitchen.  Like Christmas on a plate, except I’d eat these any weekend of the year & be ecstatically happy.

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Coastal Kitchen on Urbanspoon

The Oeufs en Meurette @ Cafe Campagne are one of my favorite dishes of the entire year.  Foie Gras for breakfast?  Yes, please!  Very French, very good.  Cafe Campagne did not disappoint either time I went there.

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Cafe Campagne on Urbanspoon

I now know that a veggie breakfast can be spectacular.  Not to mention super tasty & super filling.  For a fabulous veggie moment I’d head straight to Ballard to eat The Tower of Power @ Wild Mountain Cafe.

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Wild Mountain Cafe on Urbanspoon

On days that I need to consume the most scrumptious quiche on planet earth, you’ll find me @ Honore Artisan Bakery.  Ridiculously good pastry.  Ridiculously scrumptious fillings.

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Honore Artisan Bakery on Urbanspoon

And finally, in a return to my roots, on the days I just need to transport myself back to the place of my birth, I head straight for Capitol Hill to get a full monte, real deal, super tasty English breakfast @ Smith.  Fried Bread and everything.  Outstanding.

 Big Breakfast Adventure postSmith on Urbanspoon

I had other great breakfasts along the way…I am thinking Hudson, Bastille, Chinooks & Tilikum Place Cafe…and just because they are not included here doesn’t mean that they were somehow not worthy.  I just decided that highlighting 20 was a nice round number.  Not too overwhelming, but enough choice to suit all tastes.

Another thing that I discovered, along the way, is that writing blog posts takes an amazing amount of time.  Not that I mind that, one shred.  I am a very black and white thinker – just ask my Therapist.  If I am going to do something, I’ll either give it 120% or not do it at all.  Doing 120% blog posts takes time.  And effort.  Concentration.  Editing.  Lots of editing.  Even though I didn’t think that anyone would ever read it.  That has been the biggest surprise of all.  That my words have been eaten up by so many.  And that I’ve been cheered on from all sides.  I didn’t embark on this little project with any expectation that anyone would follow.  But, it’s been brilliant having you all come along for the ride.  Thank you.  No, seriously, THANK YOU.

Honestly, I didn’t even know that Urbanspoon existed when I started all this.  I was several months into the Adventure before I realized that there were special places where food adventures could be shared.  At yet, despite not knowing about Urbanspoon, and despite having no goal or thought of ever making into onto their Food Blog Leader-board, I find myself today sitting in the #2 spot.  Yes.  The #2 most read food blog in Seattle.


I am still completely stunned about that.  And humbled.  And grateful.  But it proves to me what I’ve always believed:  Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.  Turns out it is for me, anyway.

Bon Appetit!

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