Monday, October 26, 2009

pet peeves - breakfast

I caught a little of Cam Smith waxing lyrical about breakfasts yesterday on “Eat It” on 3RRRFM. Being on the road I had to restrain myself from phoning in to add to the list of pet peeves about breakfast dining. But it got me thinking…

The Food Nazi’s top 10 breakfast peeves

1. Waiting. I don’t mind being turned away at the door if a café/restaurant is full but I do mind sitting ignored at a table or waiting forever to place or receive an order in an establishment that has more seats than it’s floor or kitchen staff can handle. Though I’d pass in some circles as a morning person, not everyone is at their best til they’ve had their first shot of caffeine or got their blood sugar levels up. Twenty minutes twiddling your thumbs, waiting to give or get an order is way too long.

2. Shit coffee. This is Melbourne – stale beans, burnt coffee or weak espresso just doesn’t make the grade.

3. Frozen bricks pretending to be hash browns. These greasy pieces of crap might be acceptable at the golden arches but we expect better than a drive-through when we eat out.

4. Fried dollops of leftover mashed potato pretending to be hash browns. Slightly less greasy than the maccas variety they tend to be sloppy and dairy ridden. Call them something else and serve them but they aint hash browns either.

5. Non-disclosure of meat in a vegetarian breakfast. Enough said. *shudders*

6. Minimalist servings. This is breakfast. We’re eating out. If we wanted 1 piece of toast and a single mushroom, we’d have stayed at home.

7. Imperfect avocado. Brown, stringy, over-ripe or plain bad fruit and vegetables should not be part of any dining experience, regardless of the time of day.

8. Poached eggs that are too raw, over cooked or dripping with water and make your toast go soggy. If my father can learn to poach a half-decent egg at the age of 82, you’d think a cook could do it right each time.

9. And while we are on the subject of eggs, in this country the term “free range” doesn’t really mean anything at the best of times. If you want to justify charging patrons more for their eggs invest in organic.

10. Supermarket bread, boring menus, tinned baked beans…

I could go on all day but I’d prefer to know what your breakfast peeves are.

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Anonymous Jenny (@jayjaycee1 on twitter) said...

1. If I am paying for brekky I don't expect to be served yesterday's bulk-cooked, microwaved to a jerky, piece of bacon.
2. Agree on the watery poached eggs. Worse - watery yolks - they cannot be fresh. Take it from me...I have chickens at home.
3. Yes, agree on the crappy stupidmarket toast. And extend that to fruit/raisin toast. Put some effort into your choices, cook!
4. That goes the same with soy milks. A little research will show that not all soy milks are equal, and some go better in coffee than others.

4:43 pm  
Blogger steve said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

10:08 pm  
Blogger Johanna said...

I will join you in brickbats to sawdust bread - really brings down a breakfast.

My other pet peeve is charging $3 per extra and getting a half tomato or sliver of avocado for the extra charge. If extras cost a lot then they should be value for money

And I don't drink hot drinks in the morning but tea bags lack the elegance and satisfaction of loose tea leaves - especially when only herbal teas are in tea bags and others are loose

10:54 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Darnit Steve, why did you delete your comment. It was a good one about customer service. Was going to add that I've had the other extreme at times, when a waiter crosses the line and gets a little too friendly, informal or intrusive with their thoughts. Harder to stomach at breakfast time more than any other meal I reckon.

Jenny, glad we had some input from a carnivore. I reckon there is a whole world of horror when it comes to bacon and other meaty bits :) Oh boy, don't get me started on soy. I think some restaurants choose the nastiest ones as a subtle way of punishing their dairy-allergic punters.

Johanna - I find that odd too, to give caffeine-fiends loose leaf, yet herbal folk get third grade floor sweepings in a dusty old tea bag. Needless to say, being the queen of organic, herbal things I rarely order a cup anywhere outside of home or work!

9:19 am  
Blogger KittyMeow said...

Great post :-) Out of all the mealtimes during the day, breakfast is the one where we eat out most frequently.

I'm really with you on the disappointing coffee.

And another one is where you aren't kept informed....A few weekends ago we tried out a cafe in Nth Melb we had high hopes for - but waiting 45 minutes for ricotta hotcakes that were decidedly UN-ricotta-y was rather disappointing. Made worse by the fact that we were not told they would take so long (and why should they?), as well as seeing other diners who arrived later than us get their meals first.

There is also no excuse for supermarket bread! And I really hate sourdough with crust so hard it is like stone.

11:06 am  
Blogger steve said...

Hiya AOF- felt like I was ranting I guess?!

11:59 am  
Blogger Cindy said...

As neither a coffee drinker nor an egg fan, I'm immune to a few of these issues (though I'm always disappointed if I see frozen processed hash browns).

My pet peeve is miserly fruit servings accompanying pancakes, French toast and the like. When a seasonal compote is promised, a quartered under-ripe strawberry does not suffice!

2:11 pm  
Anonymous kitchen hand said...

Other customers.

I used to be a regular at a place in the city where a man would come in and eat slowly with loud clicking of his teeth with every bite of each mouthful, which he must have chewed forty times each.

I tried not to take notice but it was the waiting for the clicking to start that did it. It was like water torture. I had to leave.

7:07 pm  
Blogger Stickman said...

1. Getting a single slice of toast with eggs.
2. Getting toast that is too thinly sliced.
3. 'Scrambled' eggs that are more like a sliced up omelette.
4. Tomatoes that don't have the core cut out.

9:57 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Kitty - waiting 45 minutes for breakfast is just not acceptable anywhere! I gave up a long time favourite eatery when the average bum-on-seat-to-food-in-mouth time crept up to an hour. Not just once but repeatedly. Just call me a grumpy, hypoglycaemic!

Cindy - oh boy I think we could write an entire top 10 on fruit alone...fruit salads composed almost entirely of melons, over-reliance on tasteless out of season strawberries rather than braving seasonal fruits...

Kitchenhand - welcome back, haven't seen you round for a while :) Loved your story!

Stickman - I am so with you on the lonely bit of toast thing. Especially in an order laden with sides. 2 eggs, avo, mushroom and tomatoes surely need a couple of slices to mop them up.

8:39 am  
Blogger Conor @ HoldtheBeef said...

Oh yes you've hit the grumpy morning nail bang on the head! Agree with everything so far (including the 'other customers', haha)

I'd also like to add:

- serving up sandwich ham as part of eggs benedict. This does not count. You should called it eggs packetdict instead.
- hordes of cylists wearing lycra or exercisers wearing Skins.
- bringing out the food about 5 years after the coffees have come out.
- having the only pepper grinder in the restaurant hidden away in some obscure spot.
- assuming, incorrectly, that I like my long mac topped up with a gallon of milk.

Yegads I'd better stop there as my hyperbole is getting out of control.

1:57 am  
Blogger Agnes said...

I agree with your peeves, - particularly the one about boring menu! If I wanted eggs, toast or porridge I could stay home and it would most likely be tastier and better cooked. I find myself so underwhelmed with most cafes for breakfast that we tend to eat it at home nowadays.

11:31 pm  
Blogger marshmellows&merlot said...

1. Poached eggs that taste like the vinegar water they have been cooked in.
2. Butter on the side, however your full breakfast has already been piled onto your toast (and the vinegar water is making it soggy) so you have to rearrange your plate before you can butter you toast, by then, toast is cold and your egg yolks broken and running all over your plate.
3. Another carnivore's point.. small beef "chipolatas" from Coles are not breakfast sausages! Have they never heard of a good pork sausage? If I wanted sausage in bread for breakfast I would head down to Bunnings on saturday morning to get one from the Scouts!

2:29 pm  
Anonymous Cookie said...

Hey there, I'm new at this gig, but loving the blog and posts. One from the other side (me being a cheffee) customers who dont know what they want or remember what they ordered gets my goat.

2:55 pm  
Blogger Another Outspoken Female said...

Welcome Cookie - always good to hear the view from the other side. Bet you have a whole heap more customer peeves than that :)

M&M - oh yeah the butter think, the waiter should ask whether you'd like the toast buttered I reckon or assume everyone wants butter unless they've specifically asked for none.

Conor or worse - ask for the pepper and it takes 5 years to arrive.

Agnes - I know but it's so nice when you hit a restaurant breakfast that ticks all the boxes. I haven't given up searching yet!

3:07 pm  

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