Rise & Dine

Ahh, breakfast. The smell of sizzling bacon alone brings back the Saturday mornings of childhood. And while the meal was ignored for too long by serious restaurants, that’s no longer true. Here, our favorite 64 spots for morning eats.

March 2011


Uncomfortable Luxury

Breakfast in bed can be awkward—but it’s always worth it.

A few weeks ago, my husband and I spent a night away from the dog, the laundry, and the alarm clock. We packed a duffle bag and drove five miles from our home in Wash Park to the new Four Seasons hotel downtown. We enjoyed a splendid dinner, ordered a nightcap, and then fell into the pristine-white bed linens, pleased with our mini vacation. Before we dozed off, a giddy smile spread across my husband’s face as he said, “In the morning, we’re totally ordering breakfast in bed.”

I wasn’t nearly as excited about taking my tea and toast between the sheets. Don’t get me wrong, I dig the eating part. Eggs, hash browns, a cup of coffee, some jelly-slathered toast—now that’s the way to start the day, especially if you don’t have to cook it yourself.

It’s the delivery of these tasty morning eats that puts me ill at ease. The five minutes from the time a stranger knocks at the door and then invades what has, at least temporarily, become my bedroom is brutally embarrassing. Watching the server maneuver around my overflowing suitcase or a towel crumpled on the floor makes me feel self-conscious. Making small talk about how we’re liking our stay while still in pajamas is humiliating. And feeling like I should’ve actually made the bed before someone came to visit defeats the point of breakfast in bed.

But I have to admit that, at the Four Seasons, the decadence was worth the discomfort. There, breakfast came on a nifty cart that folded out into a white linen–covered two-top with a discreet food warmer stowed underneath. Jams, cream, sugar, hot sauce, salt and pepper, butter at room temperature—everything was at our fingertips. And the food. Ah, the food. The eggs Benedict had a thick slice of salty ham in place of the typical Canadian bacon and a tangy hollandaise that was plate-licking good. The egg-white omelet with roasted tomatoes, mushrooms, and goat cheese was so rich I didn’t even miss the yolks. Yes, I cringed a little when our friendly server tried to fill the silence, but by the time I took my first bite—all while leaning up against the crisp pillow—I’d forgotten all about it. —Lindsey B. Koehler