Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Brekkie

As I explained in my previous post, the Handsome Australian loves his food and he takes great excitement in seeking out the good food of the world. His most recent obsession has been finding the best breakfast in Melbourne. So each weekend we gather up our brood and head out to a different restaurant to see what they've got to offer. It's become a weekend ritual of late. All of these breakfast outings have led me to observe that Australians do breakfast quite differently than we do in the USA.

First of all, most cafes have a specific breakfast menu. Unlike the USA where there are specific breakfast restaurants like IHOP, LePeep, Village Inn, Waffle House, and a myriad of others, Australia doesn't have a particular chain restaurant you identify with breakfast. (In fact, while we are on the subject, Australia doesn't have that many chain restaurants period.) This makes choosing a place to go for breakfast slightly harder as there are many, many cafes and restaurants here and a large number of them have breakfast offerings.

Since each restaurant sets it's own breakfast menu, the items you'll find on offer vary from place to place, but there are some recurring themes. Eggs are always on the menu and are offered in a variety of ways: fried, poached, scrambled or in omelet form. From my experience, Australians seem to prefer their eggs poached (this of course is a wild generalisation, but that's what I've observed so we'll run with it) and they will eat them with a variety of accompaniments. Each restaurant usually offers a list of breakfast accompaniments and the most common are: grilled tomatoes, grilled spinach, baked beans, bacon, sausage, grilled mushrooms, smoked salmon, ham, or hash browns. Some cafes will have a set menu item that includes eggs your way plus a set selection of accompaniments for a set price or they may just have the eggs your way and allow you to choose the accompaniments and charge you for each selection separately.

Besides eggs, you might commonly find a toast offering. Generally it seems to be raisin toast that is on offer. Another popular item is a toasted sandwich or croissant with ham and cheese.There may also be a muesli with yogurt and fresh fruit and for the naughty among you--pancakes. Only the Australians seem to find it appropriate to serve ice cream on pancakes for breakfast. As you can imagine, our four year old LOVES pancakes for breakfast and orders that each time we go out. They may also be served with fresh fruit or with maple syrup.

You can guarantee there will be espresso coffee so you can get a Latte, Cappuccino, Machiato or whatever your little heart desires. If the place is really good, they'll have freshly squeezed juices--orange, apple, carrot, pineapple, etc, etc, etc.

Are you getting hungry reading this? I'm getting hungry just writing it...enough about my descriptions though, a picture is worth a thousand words...


This is known as 'The Big Breakfast' and at this particular restaurant it included: 2 eggs your way (the Handsome Australian has them poached), 2 sausages, grilled mushrooms, bacon rashers, grilled tomatoes, grilled mushrooms, two pieces of thick toast (this isn't Wonder Bread y'all) and a little bit of tomato chutney on top. (There was also an unimpressive hash brown in that empty spot next to the toast, but the Handsome Australian quickly passed along this substandard morsel to fellow diners with less discerning tastes--our children) The Handsome Australian calls this 'heaven'.

What do you think? Would you give it a go? I do every weekend!

Learn the Lingo

brekkie = breakfast

3 comments:

kristin said...

Breakfast outings are a favorite activity of mine, too... I've exhausted all of Juneau's brekkie offerings, but every time I go visit one of my friends in Portland we have gone to a different place for our morning meal on the weekend -- no chains, great atmosphere, interesting neighborhoods. Good stuff!

Sindhu said...

Love the entry. It definitely made me crave brunch though. Hahah.

Your blog's a good read! It taught me a lot about aussies that I never knew... and to think one of my best friends is Australian!

I'm tempted to link you at my blog, if you're cool with it. :)

suzinoz said...

Thanks for your positive comments sindhu! Please feel free to link to me from your blog--I'm cool with it. :)