German Breakfast

Today's breakfast consists of various cured meats, German loaf bread, preserves, butter, an assortment of cheese, musli, juice, and a soft boiled egg. Uhhhh . . . YUMMMM!

Joe Kwon

Local Eats: Sunny Point Cafe - Asheville, NC

Huevos Fucheros
It's so easy to talk about a restaurant like Sunny Point. It's all around friendly and inviting feel makes it a pleasure, even if you have to wait 45 minutes for a table.

The above dish is their Huevos Fucheros, a vegetarian version of their huevos rancheros (seen below), which was a finalist in Good Morning America's, "Best Breakfast" competition, and rightfully so. It's to die for, although if I were hard pressed to choose between this one and Over Easy's huevos rancheros, I'd have to give it to Over Easy by a hair.

Huevos Rancheros
It's really terrible to do these write-ups while I'm craving the dishes I must say. I just look at those perfectly cooked black bean cakes, the slightly sour and spicy salsa verde, the crumbly chorizo, and my mouth immediately starts to water.

I was just thinking and I realized that huevos rancheros has a really close place in my heart in terms of food memory. I can remember who I was with and where I was the first time I had my eyes opened to it's glory. The year was 1997 and I was attending Idyllwild Arts Academy and one of the teachers (Michael) at the school took me out to breakfast before a climbing trip. It's so vivid in my memory and it makes me remember why food can be so beautiful.

MGB - A Mighty Good Breakfast
The MGB is a great standby if you are hungry and want that traditional breakfast. It'll fill you up fast and keep you running on high the whole morning. As the name implies it's "Mighty Good." Just look at those perfectly crisp edges on the side of those sunny side up eggs. That right there is an art!

Omelette - w/ fresh garden salad
And for those of you who are health conscious the sides choices also include an incredibly fresh side salad. Omelette's may not be Sunny Point Cafe's strongest point. That being said, I should note I'm not a huge fan of omelettes to begin with.

If you're passing through beautiful Asheville, NC and you want to get away from the downtown area for some brekky, this may be the perfect spot for you. Just be warned...come early and expect to wait. It always seems to be busy.

--Joe Kwon

Lola - Seattle, WA

English pea, summer squash, feta omelette, bacon, toast
I had the pleasure of getting to eat at Lola the last time I was in Seattle, and I have to say it's a spot that I could find myself going back to over and over again. The food was all fresh, delicious, and portions, just right.

I'm a sucker for omelets. However, they can often be boring, overcooked, undercooked, etc. Lola, seems to have this one down. The english peas are so sweet and have a great texture that just pops when you bite into them. The squash adds a nice earthy flavor to the dish while the feta adds a nice savory bite. And then, I got to the fresh dill on top and there was an explosion of flavor in my mouth. If that was it I would have been a happy camper. But the dish comes with "Smashed Potatoes" as Lola calls them, which are potatoes that have been boiled, squashed, rolled in herbs and spices, and then fried to finish it off. They are delicious and worth going to Lola for.

House made granola, greek yogurt, fresh fruit
For the health nut, there are a couple dishes on the menu that fit your bill and are everything but boring. The greek yogurt and house made granola are delicious enough to make for a light meal before your arduous day, and you won't feel guilty about eating either. Although, I can't really say I've ever had much food guilt. I probably should sometimes!

Tom’s big breakfast: octopus,green beans, sweet corn, sumac yogurt, poached egg, bacon salt
When I was reading through the menu I was instantly pulled towards this dish. "Octopus for breakfast!?" you may ask. And yes, octopus for breakfast. I can't tell you all the flavors that are going on in this dish, from hints of lemon, sweetness from corn, bacon salt! It has it all and it all masks any trace of fishiness from the octopus. So don't be scared, give it a try. You'll love it!

Steel cut oats, flax seed, blueberry compote, sugared almond clusters
I don't really like oatmeal. I've tried to because how "good for you" everyone says it is. I just can't do it. It's just too healthy or something. I seem to have a hard time putting a bowl of it down unless I stick two pads of butter in it and some fresh cream. That being said, I think I could have eaten this whole bowl. It tasted like a lightly sweet blueberry dessert.

I sometimes wish I could live in Seattle or somewhere in the Pac-NW because there are so many great fresh food offerings. After all, there is a lot of growing going on in the area and it's so easy to find a restaurant that is getting their ingredients locally and supporting the community that way. It's not a bad thing at all.

Anyways, get out there and eat and hit up your local farmers' market.

Santé Charcuterie & Restaurant - Calgary, Alberta, Canada

Charcuterie Tasting
Sometime, in my travels, I stumble across some amazing jewels. Santé Charcuterie & Restaurant is one such place. I woke up a bit too late to get a sit down breakfast so I set out from the hotel (without my camera of course!) to find something that would be quick and delicious, knowing that I may strike out miserably. In fact I hit a home run!

Santé is the brain child of Jeremy Hansen who had the idea of opening a restaurant that would bring the food from farm to the table. He believes and loves food and wants to ". . .help people be mindful of their food." It's evident at first taste, how much care Jeremy puts into his food. And for that I thank you!

The above is a little sample plate the nice Amanda set up for me while I was marveling at the beautiful pastries and deserts. I decided to start off with the sopprasetta it had a nice clove flavor to it that went along so well with the mustards.

Amanda told me to hold off on the duck prociutto because of it's potent flavor, so taking her recommendation I tried the next logical step with the salami. It was hard, salty, and had a nice olive flavor and a nice kick in the back of the throat. This would be perfect with some red pepper aioli on a baguette or just with some nice gruyere cheese.

The chicken terrine and the mortadella are similar in their nice mild flavor, however, the terrine had a very nice herb flavor to it that was very memorable. The mortadella had a nice fat flavor. What you want in a slice of prepared meat!

It was finally time to try the duck prociutto and I was so glad I had saved the best for last. The prociutto was so moist and soft it melted in your mouth but still had the texture that you come to know in prociutto. The five spice flavor was prominent but not overwhelming. I fell in love again.

Assorted Mustards
Santé makes their own mustards and aioli's. The base mustard has a nice back of the nose bite to it and is a bit runnier than most mustards but is still beautiful. The red pepper aioli has some of the sweetness from the red peppers which adds a great deal of difference from the flavor of the regular mustard aioli. Each is great just on a piece of bread or with some of the meats above.

Guanciale Omlette w/ Black Trumpets
Guanciale is an un-smoked Italian bacon made from the jowl of the pig. It's delicious and light in flavor compared to bacon but still has nice fat. To put it in an omelette with risolé potatoes, manchego cheese, and top it with black trumpet mushrooms, is like eating the most decadent omelette you've ever tried. The mushrooms add a nice texture to the omelette while the manchego's richness is balanced by the potatoes.

Unfortunately, this was my least favorite of my pastries. It's very difficult to find the perfect mixture of chewiness and crisp in a macaron. This macaron was just too hard and had no chew. I'm sure there is good reason for this. So I can't discount Santé on this one yet. I'll have to go back the next time I'm in Spokane.

Rosewater Marshmallow
Homemade marshmallows are all the rage right now. I am starting to see them pop up all over the place, from blogs to restaurants. So there must be something special about them right? Well the beautiful thing about them is that they are a nice fluffy medium for delivering delicate flavors. Rosewater, to some, is a bit too floral when it's in a desert as just rose water. Put it in a marshmallow, and you've got a nice delicate flavor that is mellowed by the marshmallow. It's great, very unoffensive, and delicate.

Paté du Fruits
I had to get more than one just to make sure I had more left over and had full intention of sharing them with the band. But then I ate one, and I couldn't let them go. Each is a like a little scoop of preserve that is packed full of fruit flavor. And the beautiful thing is, they are made from real fruit. Now only if we could get these in the place of Fruit Roll-Ups in kids lunch boxes!

I can't remember the last time I was so thrilled about a restaurant. And, to just stumble upon one in a desparate attempt to find breakfast, only made me love this place more. Happy eating!

Oh yeah don't forget to check out the nice bookstore next door!

--Joe Kwon

Navigate to Santé's website.

Executive Chef Jeremy Hansen
Pastry Chef Lynette Pfleuger

Local Eats: Bon Appetit - Wilmington, NC

French Toast, 2 over easy eggs, and bacon
Dear Bon Appetit, Why do you have to be so far away from me. Your french toast combo is the perfect. Please bring it to my mouth immediately.

Spanish Omelet (Vegetarian)
Your omelets are so lofty and filled with such fresh and tasty ingredients. Your grits are the best grits I've ever had in my life.

Shrimp Omelet
Why would you persist to be so far away from me. The shrimp you put in your omelets are cooked to perfection and just the right texture and seasoning. Please Bon Appetit come be with me.

Yours Always,
--Joe Kwon

For more info on Bon Appetit visit their website here.

Local Eats: Guglhupf Bakery, Pâtisserie & Café

This is a quick post for a restaurant that needs no introduction. Guglhupf has been a staple for those seeking fine pastries and breads in the RTP area for years. Let your eyes do the tasting for you.

Cream Puff
This is kinda a signature piece of theirs. The cream puffs here are so good and perfectly sweet you really will have a hard time eating just one.

German Potato Salad
If you've noticed the deserts were first on this post. That's a pure Em-ism. She likes to get to her sweets before anything else gets to the table. I don't blame her. They're just too scrumptious to sit and look at.

The German potato salad here is pretty amazing. Not like you'd find in a German household with bacon chunks in them, but they are made with rich beef broth. I enjoy them thoroughly the next day with just a baguette.

Potato and Leek Torte
I ordered this item on a whim. I usually don't like entrees that are triangular. (jk) I did find that this was my favorite dish of the whole meal. It had all that I wanted. Still crisp potatoes and fresh leeks. That flavors along with the emmental cheese on top made this a beautiful dish.

--Joe Kwon

For more info on Guglhupf check out their website.

Cup Cafe - Tucson, AZ

I love this little shop hotel restaurant in the historic Hotel Congress. Every time we've come to Tucson to play at the Rialto Theater we've made it a point to eat at Cup Cafe. The staff is kind, the food is fresh, and you can feel the history around you.

Huevos Rancheros
These aren't my favorite huevos rancheros and after seeing what Scott ordered I got kind of jealous I didn't order what he got. That being said I ate every last bit of my dish and couldn't have been happier. I guess I'm a bit spoiled by the huevos rancheros at Over Easy in Asheville, but, if you're thinking more of a traditional fare, this may be your choice.

This dish was amazing! I can't stress enough what a great breakfast dish this is. It's whip cream on top of granola and agave honey on top of yogurt all served with fresh fruit. It tastes like love in a cup! Get it!

A very special gift!
We were brought these amazing cookies from the pastry chef of Cup Cafe and we thank you so much for these amazing deserts! They hit the spot after the big show!

--Joe Kwon

For more info click here.

The Point - Ballina, NSW, Australia

Today I woke up at 04:10 and fully awake decided to work on the blog rather than lay in bed and try to go back to sleep. This was the breakfast and lunch that followed. Not a bad way to start the day.

I'm all about trying out different styles of breakfast. I figured I'd try the Moroccan breakfast while I was in Australia. Makes total sense right?? Anyways, these are lamb meatballs in a tomato based sauce, beautiful and such a great way to start my jet-lagged morning off.

Some bread
The multigrain bread was amazing!

Fries or Chips
I'm a sucker for some good fries.

King Prawn with Green Papaya and Apple
The biggest difference between fresh seafood and seafood that's been shipped before it hits your table is the taste of the ocean. These king prawn had a salt water flavor to them making them so delicious with the flavor of the "bar-b." All of that paired with the slight sweet and sour from the apple and green papaya made this dish a perfect light lunch.

--Joe Kwon

For more info about The Point click here.