Champions of Breakfast

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, why not make the most of it? Here are five ways to do just that:

Peanut Butter French Toast, Highland Bakery, Atlanta, GA Remember the opening credits of The Flintstones? You know when the waitress sits those ginormous ribs on Fred’s car, tipping it over? That’s how I felt when this dish came out — I was waiting for the table to flip. Why? Because Highland Bakery serves up two gargantuan wedges of challah bread, stuffed with peanut butter, dipped in batter, rolled in bran flakes and finished off with caramelized bananas. It’s not just brunch-y in the traditional sense, it’s literally two meals. highlandbakery.com

Sweet Potato Pancakes, Tupelo Honey Cafe, Asheville, NC; Joseph’s Restaurant, Charleston, SC Many places are starting to do sweetly starchy flapjacks, but few do it as well as these two spots. Both somehow keep their pancakes from being as heavy as rocks. At Tupelo Honey, they top their surprisingly fluffy short stack with peach butter and spiced pecans. Joseph’s, on the other hand, goes with toasted pecan butter. Order either with some crisp bacon or spicy sausage for a deliciously unexpected take on meat and potatoes. tupelohoneycafe.com; josephsofcharleston.com

Fried Cheese Grits, OK Cafe, Atlanta, GA Grits by themselves are good. Cheese grits are even better. Cheese grits that are fried? Well, you just have to try them. Take note: this hearty appetizer is actually a dinner item, but it’s available mornings if you ask. And you should. Studded with jalapenos, coated in Japanese breadcrumbs and served with a peppery milk gravy, these aren’t your momma’s grits. Yes, the fat and cholesterol could possibly kill you, but what a way to go. okcafe.com

Just About Everything, Sublime Doughnuts, Atlanta, GA Four words: red velvet cake doughnut. It tastes exactly like you’d expect it to. And it’s OK to have it for breakfast because it’s a doughnut. Sure, I could say this is my Sublime favorite. But that’d be like picking my favorite child, especially when you consider everything else they offer. There’s the s’mores doughnut, the dulce du leche, the peanut butter cup and more. While other doughnut shops are better known for their coffee, here the java is truly (and rightfully) an afterthought. sublimedoughnuts.com

Bananas Foster French Toast, Stanley, New Orleans, LA If you’ve ever eaten in New Orleans, you know there’s hardly ever room for dessert (sorry, bread pudding). Fortunately, Stanley has co-opted another signature Nola dessert — Bananas Foster — for their daily breakfast menu. They start with thick-cut brioche, prepare it traditionally and then the fun begins, topping it with a rum sauce, caramelized bananas, crushed walnuts and — holy hell — a scoop of Tahitian vanilla ice cream. You expect evenings in the French Quarter to be all about excess, but who knew breakfast there could be the same? stanleyrestaurant.com

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About Chris Boyles

I eat. My words.
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