Is there anyone that doesn’t love going out for breakfast? I don’t think it’s possible. There’s so many choices, and I don’t know about all of you, but for whatever reason, some things just taste better when someone else makes it. I know, I’m weird. But I like other people’s eggs better than mine. A peanut butter and jelly sandwich? Great the way it is, but when someone makes it for me, it tastes better. Are they putting extra love in it? I have no idea. And don’t even get me started on omelettes. I’m still working on making decent ones—my husband makes good ones! Mine? I definitely need practice.
Going out for breakfast has always been a special thing for us. It wasn’t for me until I met my husband. When we were dating, he took me to all kinds of great places (and luckily, he still does!), and breakfast was no exception. There was one place we loved so much, that we’d wait outside in rain, snow, sweltering heat, or freezing temps just to get in. And it was so busy, that this could sometimes take up to an hour, maybe more. Some of you local readers may remember it—Jakes, in Dover, NH. It was THE place to be on weekend mornings. Seriously.
It was so funny, because there were two little tables by the the windows, on either side of the door? And if you got a window table, you’d have starving people waiting in line, looking in your window and drooling over your food! And when you finally made it inside the vestibule (which could fit about 4 people, but often held 6 or 7 in bad weather, hehehe) you’d see the waitresses carrying trays full of the most delicious foods ever made for feasting on—right in front of your starving face. And everyone would say “I’m having that! And that! Oh, and that, too!” They had amazing omelettes, delicious muffins, pancakes, waffles—and nothing was average. I truly miss that place—it’s gone now. But I have some delicious/hilarious memories of it. Remind me to tell you all about Karl’s someday…Snotty Fries, anyone? ;-) (No, I didn’t go to UNH, but had friends that did, and got to enjoy Karl’s firsthand.)
We still judge being full by “Jakes Full.” As in, “I’m so full!”
“Really? But are you Jakes Full?”
Because you’d waited so damn long to get in, that when you finally did, you wanted everything. hehehe
Good times, gooooood times.
Look at the brown sugar melting into the sour cream…
But our current favorite is Betty’s Kitchen in Hampton, NH. Their food is great, and their menu is huge! They have about a million* omelettes, and a hundred** Benedicts (the lobster one is always a favorite), plus all of the expected breakfast fare. You can see a sample of the menu here. There’s way more! Look at the Specials! And they also serve a great lunch.
I’m stuck in a rut at Betty’s, though. And by no fault of theirs! I can’t go without ordering their Stuffed French Toast. It gets me every stinking time. It’s too good to pass up—I can’t help myself! It’s French Toast, layered with strawberries, blueberries, and bananas. And topped with a dollop of sour cream and brown sugar. And a side note here—if you’ve never tried fresh strawberries dunked in sour cream and then in brown sugar? You’re seriously missing out on one of life’s greatest simple pleasures.
There’s no set recipe for this. French Toast is pretty basic, right? Beaten eggs, a little cream, and extras like vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and we like to use agave instead of sugar. Use what you like and what you have on hand.
Stuffed French Toast
your favorite sliced bread
4-6 eggs (depending on how much you're making--I made 9 slices from this amount)
a splash of cream (I use half and half, because it's always in my fridge)
vanilla, a tsp or so
about 2-3 tsp agave (but you can use whatever sweetener you like)
cinnamon, about 1/2 tsp
nutmeg, about 1/4 tsp
Beat all ingredients in a bowl, then pour into something shallow, like a pie plate.
Soak a couple of pieces of bread, on both sides, until they're saturated with the egg mixture.
Heat a little butter and oil in a sauté pan, and when it's hot, add your soaked bread.
Cook for about 2-3 minutes on the first side, until golden brown, then cook the other side the same.
After you make the first two, you get the rhythm of how long it'll take to do each side to the doneness you want.
Remove to a plate and keep warm while you cook the rest. I soak the next two slices as two are cooking, so I always have some ready to go into the hot pan.
When you're done cooking, layer the French toast with sliced strawberries and bananas, and the blueberries.
Put a dollop of sour cream on the top, and sprinkle some brown sugar over that.
Serve with your favorite maple syrup.
And speaking of maple syrup! Has everyone seen the Agave Maple Syrup Blend at Trader Joe’s? It’s a perfect blend of real maple syrup with agave. Delicious!
I’m a potato snob and always judge a breakfast place by it’s potatoes. It’s pretty hard to screw those up, but so many places do. In fact, Betty’s potatoes could be a little crispier, but I love everything else there so much, that I’ll forgive them that.
So, what are your favorite things to get when you go out for breakfast? And what is your favorite breakfast place?