Breakfast buffets? Get the yawns out.
Met my cousin for an early breakfast the other day, at a power spot in Northern Virginia with white tablecloths, mature waiters and a nice view.
Unfortunately, the buffet could have been in any hotel where breakfast is incl. with the price of a night's stay. You can recite what was there along with me: juices that don’t taste fresh-squeezed; one table with a few standard cereals and containers of yogurt; a platter of colorful “seasonal” fruit that has no taste; a platter of generic mini-danish; oatmeal that goes gloppy; an omelet station with de-packaged shredded cheddar, diced wan tomatoes and bell pepper; the conveyor-belt toaster with a tray of commercial bread and rolls; foil packs of cream cheese; scrambled eggs, shiny bacon and spongy triangles of french toast with a bowl of warmed maple syrup.
C’mon, buffet chefs of the weekday dawn. You can do better. About this time last year I was in Israel, where fresh vegetable salads, flavored spreads, cheeses, savory pastries and fresh, un-containered yogurt were standard fare. Here’s a challenge: Google images of hotel breakfast buffets – apart from brunches. I bet you’ll find the good-looking ones are not made in the U.S.A.
Time to start something. Let’s group-think a suggestion list, suitable for leaving at every disappointing morning table. Do’s, don’ts, whys and why nots. We’ll compile the ideas in an easy-to-print format.
Here are some of mine:
• Expand your egg universe. There are better ways to hold them than scrambled in a steam tray.
• Think ethnic/outside the box. Spice things up. What’s popular breakfast food in other cultures? Chances are, someone who’s doing prep in your kitchen knows how to make a dish that will surprise and satisfy.
Bonnie S. Benwick
| January 24, 2011; 12:20 PM ET
Tags: Bonnie S. Benwick
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