The American breakfast chronicles
A two week trip to the east coast of the United States featured plenty of history, culture and politics as we travelled from Boston down to Washington D.C. and finishing up in the New York.
These cities each have their individual charms. Boston is historic, compact and young thanks to the multiple colleges in the near vicinity (including my old stomping ground, Wellesley College). Washington D.C. is grand, well-planned and fascinatingly interesting thanks to the Smithsonian Institute (who knew Mr Smithson was British though, eh?!) and of course the seat of power for the vast American political machine. And New York truly is the city that never sleeps – it’s loud and brash and filthy busy, but has everything you could ever possibly dream of wanting.
But one thing these cities all have in common is their exceptional food. On our trip we didn’t have a bad meal, but the highlights for me have to be the breakfasts. I made a point of ensuring we ate breakfast out at least once in each city, and was not disappointed.
The Trident Cafe on Newbury Street in Back Bay is a popular bookstore and brunch destination for Bostonians. Give your name to the staff at the till when you first walk into the cafe, and then have a browse around the bookstore whilst you wait for your table.
The potato chuckwagon: shredded potatoes with cheddar cheese and chorizo, mushrooms and tomatoes, topped with scrambled eggs
This place has one of the most extensive breakfast menus I have ever seen, including some eclectic egg dishes that I simply couldn’t resist. I went for the potato chuckwagon because I’d never seen anything like it before… luckily we walked several miles of the Freedom Trail that day to burn this beast of a breakfast off!
If you’re looking for something even more low key, give Paramount in Beacon Hill a try (recommended to me by my friend who lives in Boston and is the biggest foodie I know). This tiny little restaurant operates a system whereby you queue up and order your food, and it’s cooked in front of you. Once ready, you are then shown to a table by one of the hosts.
Paramount’s blueberry pancakes
It’s noisy, it’s busy and extremely popular with locals and tourists alike. I went for the blueberry pancakes because I couldn’t come to to the USA and not have pancakes!
We only had two full days in Washington D.C. and had to pack in a hell of a lot of sightseeing, but we made time to go to one of the oldest restaurants in the city, the Old Ebbitt Grill, for breakfast.
French toast with peach compote, honey pecan butter, Vermont maple syrup and bacon
Just steps from the White House, this spot is a favourite for politicians and tourists alike, and had a suitably grand interior with real old American charm. I went for the French toast which was enormous and so delicious – it was my first ever French toast experience and now I’m a devoted convert.
Just because people don’t sleep in New York doesn’t mean there’s no need for breakfast! Check out Cosmopolondon’s full review of Ruby’s Cafe in New York.
Thank you USA!