Monday, June 26, 2006

The Simple Life

I noticed as I was walking around Clearwater Beach yesterday that there was a little cafe not too far from our hotel, a cafe that specialized in down home breakfasts. Since we were both up early this morning, I suggested a walk to the cafe rather than risking the hotel food. Plus the fresh air and exercise would do us good.

It was the right choice. The Sunrise Cafe had a breakfast that was absolute Southern heaven for a fraction of the hotel costs. A waitress whose "Mornin', Honey"' greeted you as soon as you walked in, good fresh coffee without any frou-frou venti nonsense about it, and a deft hand with the basics: eggs, biscuits, grits and home fries. I have no doubt their locally cured ham and bacon was every bit as good as everything else.

Now, all that sounds like simple food, but sometimes simple is the hardest to get right. For instance, about a month ago I was in Atlanta--Atlanta, by all that's holy--and I had the worst grits I'd ever been served. Watery and lumpy. Sure, if it had been Boston or Minneapolis I would have understood, but what kind of self respecting Southron restaurant doesn't get grits right? And their biscuits were half raw!

Not at the Sunrise Cafe. My over easy eggs arrived without flaw, the fluffy biscuits were accompanied by homemade strawberry wine jam and homemade apple butter, and the grits were exactly the right texture.

Good food done right. Just the way I like it.

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