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Friday, October 2, 2009

Up For Breakfast

Breakfast as a freelancer tastes different than being a full-time newspaper employee. When you're honed on a diet of granola and Mr. Goodbar every day for three straight years, you develop a yearning for eggs. Particularly the ones that come from chickens with large talons raised in the Northeast.

A few days ago, I decided to drive to Vermont for breakfast with my father. Not just because his mother just died, but also because Vermont is rife with great breakfast options and a flair for local products. If I learned anything from Michigan, it's not just that Pabst Blue Ribbon is still consumed in mass quantities; it's to appreciate local products. Growing up in Upstate New York, I didn't see any local products except the illegal stuff smoked by thrash metal fans standing next to bike racks.

After a few hours on the road, my father and I stopped in Manchester, Vermont, an oasis in the middle of the rugged Green Mountains and throngs of moose crossing signs. My girlfriend and I have developed a fondness for anything with a moose on it from shirts to mugs and snow globes. We once drove to Vergennes to buy socks with moose on them. Hey, we're dedicated.

In Manchester, there's a place called Up For Breakfast, serving up the best in local fare with some of the best coffee I've ever had. Driving three hours is worth it when you can munch on a Brie omelet with fresh apples and bacon. Every week during my former life, I reviewed a different restaurant, but I never experienced a place with food so fresh and diverse. I’ve never seen my father eat more food in one sitting, even during Christmas Eve of ’89, when he was pumped because the Browns made the playoffs.

I should have taken a video with my phone and put it on Youtube and used tags like “eating clinic,” “eggs” and “pancake demolition.” It might not have turned up on many searches, but true seekers with a penchant for savory pancakes and syrup sweeter than a cherry Lifesaver dipped in sugar would understand.

Our trip lasted nine hours as we drove up the left “coast” of the Green Mountain State. We basically ate our way up and down Vermont, munching on huge chocolate chip cookies and donuts culled from small shops along the way. And on the way out, we stopped for a Moose postcard and sent it to my girlfriend. It said simply, “we wish you were here. We wish we were here too!”

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