Friday, April 27, 2007

California Breakfast [CCR]

After spending a very busy week in California I looked forward to the trip back to Ohio, especially since spring has finally arrived in Ohio. But the airline schedules didn’t exactly work for a perfect flight schedule. I couldn’t leave Orange County until noon. This slight delay meant I could work from my hotel room after partaking of a leisurely breakfast in the hotel restaurant. Up until the final day my host had provided meals and I would be making my first breakfast visit to the hotel restaurant.

Most people would agree food is an important part of Southern culture if not all humanity. I have pointed out many times that we Southerners understand the importance of breakfast in preparation for a busy day. So with that thought I found the restaurant and hoped something would be attractive on the menu. I opt for the oatmeal on most of my trips as it is often filling and healthy. But once I saw the menu something caught my attention. They offered oatmeal, but they also had a “South Coast” special. That special included two eggs, an offering of meat, potatoes, and toast.

The bowl of oatmeal was $6.00, more than I could imagine. The “South Coast” special was $15.00, beyond reason. A glass of orange juice to quench the thirst was $5.00, no refills included. Even though I was on an expense account my nature meant I had to be reasonable. So first I scratched off the orange juice and ordered water. But, if I am going to pay more than expected I might as well splurge a little. I decided to sin and order the “South Coast” special. I slowly sipped on my ice water while I read the newspaper anticipating my copious breakfast.

Soon the waiter arrived with a silver cover over my plate, furthering my anticipation. Anticipation soon turned to interesting disclosure when he removed the cover. It seems I ordered a portion of scrambled eggs that looked a lot less than what I remember for two eggs. Maybe the portion looked less because it was slightly undercooked or maybe it was some kind of powdered egg. I’m not sure. Beside the egg lay two strips of slightly undercooked and very soggy bacon. Maybe these folks haven’t heard of using paper towels to soak up the grease. The egg and bacon were joined by half a small potato cut into quarter sections and “lightly” broiled. Two slices of dry wheat toast with no additional toppings and a single thin slice of orange topped off the meal. Is it too late to choose the oatmeal?

It seems I forfeited my healthy choice only to learn that somebody needs to show these fancy talking folks how to cook. Yes, I ate the meal. But if you are going to sacrifice the health benefits you expect a little flavor. I simply settled my mind that I would choose my next meal with a little more wisdom than greed.

Finishing my meal on time for the flight was not a problem. I took my bags and dropped by the desk to correct the mistake on my bill, a $3.00 error. At $200.00 per night and high dollar meals I think I deserve my $3.00. It makes one yearn for the days I spent with Dad on hunting trips when Dad cooked our eggs and bacon over the camp stove while we enjoyed the predawn air anticipating the hunt.