My toddler, Owen, and I agree on most things when we go out for breakfast. We prefer booth seats over chairs, sharing is always encouraged at the table, and we always go for crayons and coloring books when they're offered.
The one difference? He, being two years old, prizes consistency in his breakfasts - the more similar they are to the last breakfast outing, the better. In fact, he doesn't use the word "breakfast" for these trips - "I wanna go out for pancakes," he says.
Me, I prefer variety. Not that I don't love pancakes, but unless the place has a really unique take on the old favorite, I'm probably going to look elsewhere on the menu. (Also: two year olds rarely finish giant restaurant pancakes, so there's no need for me to order something I'm probably going to eat later anyway.)
Trouble is, most breakfast places seem to cater to diners more like Owen than like me. Sure, there's variety of a kind, but usually only to a certain extent. You can, say, choose your own fillings for your omelet, but you're still selecting from the usual array of breakfast choices. What if you want something really out of the ordinary to start the day?
I was in Washington, DC a few months ago, and got to try an Eritrean-style breakfast: fuul is a dish built on mashed fava beans, with sauce, chopped vegetables and, in this case, a scrambled egg. In New York City I found every kind of meal under the sun, available every hour of the day. And it made me wonder: how much variety does New Hampshire have when it comes to breakfast?
I found a partial answer on this Sunday's trip to Manchester, and one that gave me something new to try and a familiar choice for Owen. Julien's Corner Kitchen had something I hadn't seen on a breakfast menu in this state before: a "Florentine Benedict." Two poached eggs with spinach and tomato on top of what tasted like a whole wheat English muffin. For my pancake-loving companion, a "special kids pancake" with a smiley face: banana slices for eyes, chocolate chips for eyeballs, a strawberry nose, and a line of extra batter for the mouth.
I'm still looking for a fuul place in New Hampshire (and if you know of one, help a guy out and send me in the info), but maybe there's a little more variety here than I thought.
There's one last item Owen and I agree on when it comes to breakfast: running around afterwards, to work off the calories. Julien's Corner Kitchen is across the street from Manchester's Pulaski Park, so we got that part of our routine in too.
Where do you come down on the breakfast continuum, variety or consistency? What kind of breakfast do you want in New Hampshire that we don't have? Share your breakfast thoughts any time of day in the comments.