The Best Breakfast In New York State?
Courtesy of Eater, Food Network Magazine has published a list of what they purport to be the best breakfast dishes from every state. Now, actually objectively assembling this information seems to be pretty much an impossibility, but that is missing the point, I suppose. As a note, the list does not include what cities these places are in, which seems like a pretty glaring omission to me, but I am too lazy to look them up.
The full list is available here, but a few entries are deserving of comment. First of all, my favorite entry is for Louisana, the “Got Boudin? Omelete” available at Cafe Des Amis. I imagine, however, that there is stiff competition in New Orleans alone for “best breakfast,” so take it with a grain of salt.
Apparently, if you live in Illinois, the best breakfast available is the “Vegetarian Scrapple” from Ina’s. This sounds horrible to me – is it tofu or some other meat substitute? Or is it just the left over scraps from vegetables? I have absolutely no doubt in my mind that Illinois can do better than this. If you are in Florida, however, the best breakfast is allegedly the “Philadelphia Scrapple” available at Skyway Jack’s. However, in Pennsylvania, the best breakfast is not scrapple at all, but “Strawberry Hot Cakes” at Pamela’s P&G Diner. Does this all make any sense at all? Well, no, it doesn’t.
D.C.’s purported best breakfast is “Fried Chicken, Eggs & Waffles” at Founding Farmer. This sounds pretty appealing to me, so good for D.C. Also, South Carolina’s best breakfast is “Fried Green Tomatoes & Shrimp With Grits” at Marina Variety Store Restaurant, which sounds pretty darn good too.
Which brings us to the best breakfast in New York state. According to Food Network Magazine the absolute best breakfast to be found in the entirety of the state of New York is………Poached Eggs with Curried Lentils, Yogurt & Cilantro at The Breslin.
Now – I have not tasted this particular dish at The Breslin. Nor have I tasted every other breakfast in New York state. However, I have to ask – is this honestly the best thing they could come up with? I like poached eggs just fine, and I like lentils. But if I were allowed one final breakfast before my execution, you better believe that I would not be ordering up poached eggs and lentils. In fact, I don’t think anybody would (including the authors of the Food Network list), and that is exactly the problem with this.
I know The Breslin is a hot spot right now and the food is probably very delicious. However, New York city alone is jam-packed with delicious restaurants that have expansive and exciting breakfast/brunch menus. Also, this is not breakfast food – it is fussy brunch food. Really, it is fussy French brunch food – not that there’s anything wrong with that. On top of all this, it reinforces all the stereotypes of New York – that we’re a bunch of whiny lentil-eating East Coast liberal wusses that wouldn’t know a good breakfast from a hole in the wall.
Of course, you and I know that available right now in New York restaurants are steak & eggs, waffles, pancakes, biscuits, french toast, donuts and omeletes (and combinations and variations thereof) to rival any of the top contributions from other states (and I’m sure this is also true in Buffalo, Rochester, Utica, Schenectady, etc. – right?). But to all others reading this, it looks like the best contribution we can make to breakfast foods is poached eggs with lentils. And that just seems wrong.
Finally, for those of you who have in fact tried this dish (or Illinois Veggie Scrapple), feel free to post a comment and criticize me harshly for jumping to conclusions – but only if you truly are convinced that poached eggs with lentils is the best breakfast in New York state. In the meantime, I will remain a skeptic.