Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Breakfast, Brunch and Brinner (Uncle Bills, Tart, and Nutella Stuffed French Toast)

Breakfast is the meal I could eat ANY time of the day. I've been collecting a few pics from a couple of my favorite places for breakfast, and also wanted to give you one my own recipes that is a tummy-pleaser!
Yeah, I know, this is not something to eat everyday, but what a way to start a day every now and then. If you make the serving sizes small, like shown above, they make great brunch additions to your table. At full size, they are a fabulous weekend kick-start.

Is there any meal more fun to go out for than Breakfast? Except for having it served to me in bed, my absolute favorite breakfast meal is at Uncle Bill's Pancake House in Manhattan Beach, California.
This cottage started as a residence in the early 1900's, then styled as a hometown breakfast cafe in the 70's, revamped again in the 90's and further expanded in 2000 to include a breathtaking Pacific Ocean view with umbrella coverings for shade.
I've been hanging out at Bill's for years. When I first started ordering my eggs and pancakes from one of their quaint booths, I was eating for two (pregnant with my son, who is 15, now.)

Matt, one of the family owners, is truly one of those "greet you, shake your hand with sincere warmth" kind of guys. He knows, or gets to know, everyone. It's the kind of place you might think is reserved for small towns in the mid-west, but here it is in gorgeous, sunny California with the most beautiful strand (to walk off your pancake gluttony) you'll ever want to see.
I used to bring my baby boy, carrier right beside me, to grab a breakfast wrap and coffee before errands.
As time passed, my husband and growing school-age son used to have a regular weekly breakfast tradition before work and school on Thursday mornings. And now, my High School boy meets his own friends there on the weekends.
One of my favorite folks there, Maria, remembers my son when he was shorter than her and gives him friendly grief for growing way, way past her, now. Another favorite, Greg, still brings my son a muffin and juice before we even get to the table. Great folks, and homey, tasty food keeps Uncle Bill's the "go-to" place for Breakfast or Lunch. I know people who have driven 2 hours on the weekend just to start their day at Bill's, then mosey down to the Pier and enjoy the beach, surf and sun.

I'm sure you've heard or know that Los Angeles is a sprawling city that seems to go on and on and on - mostly by car - and more cars - and more cars. So, if you live in the South Bay and want to meet friends from the Valley it's only fair to pick a middle ground. Often the middle ground will get you to the Original Farmer's Market area. The Grove is very well known and has many fine restaurants and the Farmer's Market holds plenty of choices, but one of my fave breakfast places actually lives just across the street on Fairfax Blvd and it's called: TART
From the outside, TART, doesn't give you a clue just how "cool" it looks inside. The eclectic styled main room includes a full glass view to the outside courtyard (my favorite area) that links to the Farmer's Daughter Hotel.
The courtyard includes small tables with umbrellas and views of sprawling cacti, and also lounge worthy cushioned corner seating with larger tables and shade chasing umbrellas.
This is the kind of place friends meet, families spread out, and couples make future plans, like Khali and Potsch (a couple planning their wedding.)
Now the food...oh, it's good! Chef Lauren Kyles has mixed soul, whimsy and classic all together to give you farm fresh and innovative choices.

Romain Lescaon keeps the whole place classy without feeling too "that-n-that" to laugh out loud with your buddies, and our server, Derek was attentive and charming.
TART serves breakfast, lunch and dinner; they even do special events and what a great place this would be for any meeting or party.
Check back for more recommendations for Breakfast places, because that gives me a great excuse for visiting them, Mmmmm.

Recipe: Nutella Stuffed French Toast
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 3 Thick slices of Bread (Brioche/French/other Whole Loaf)
  • 3-6 tablespoons Nutella
  • 4-6 tablespoons butter
  • Confectionary Sugar for topping
  • Strawberries, Bananas, Raspberries (optional for garnish)
  1. Choose the size you want for your French Toasts: Cut your bread in half or quarters
  2. Make a slit in each piece of bread and fill with a Tablespoon of Nutella; seal the edges as much as possible. (Optionally - add a slice of banana, also)
  3. In a bowl, beat the eggs, milk, cinnamon and sugar til frothy.
  4. Place each piece of Nutella filled bread into the egg mixture and soak for about 30 seconds on each side. (Drain on a rack over parchment paper for easy clean-up.)
  5. In a large skillet: heat the butter on med. til very hot, but be careful not to over brown.
  6. Cook each piece of egg soaked bread in the butter (about 2-3 minutes on each side) until browned and crisped. Be sure to cook on the edges also.
  7. Remove to your serving plate, sprinkle with powdered sugar and garnish with fruit. Serve immediately.


Khali//Bandit and the Scene Stealers said...

Are you joking me? what is your address? i am coming over to eat this amazing heaven right now!!!! Oh warm gooey goodness please come and wrap me up in you.
PS- I went to tart cause of you! so yummy. great midday cocktails too.

Anonymous said...

Seriously? I stumble upon this the one night I am fasting for a blood test?!! And I thought I was hungry before I salivated over all of the photos...