In search of the best breakfast

By Pamela Brownstein


I’m not a breakfast snob.


The fact I even have to use that disclaimer means that I actually AM a breakfast snob. I’ll admit it. I’m a purveyor of pancakes, an expert on eggs, a champion for cereal, a sucker for sausage links.

Ever since I was little, this first meal of the day has always been my favorite. I thought weekends when my dad whipped up omelettes or French toast or Cream of Wheat were heaven. Now that I’m older, I’ve expanded my scope and discovered that the best breakfasts do not have to be confined to the morning: Roasted, diced sweet potatoes with a fried egg on an English muffin is one of my most-loved (and easy and inexpensive) dinners.

So with home improvement projects making our kitchen off limits, my husband and I ventured out on a lovely late Sunday morning to fill up on some good breakfast fixins. This was a big deal because Daniel rarely eats breakfast, in the morning at least. Usually all he has when he wakes up is a protein shake. Luckily, he likes breakfast food, just later in the day.

As breakfast snobs, we turn our nose at IHOP. It might be fine for families with children or those looking to save a buck, but we try to avoid places like IHOP and Waffle House and opt for a restaurant with a little more local flavor. (That is unless it is between 1-6 in the morning, in that case, either of those places is totally acceptable.)

This particular morning I had a restaurant in mind where we had never eaten breakfast. We were filled with possibilities on the ride there. I was craving pancakes, how would there’s stack up? Good coffee is always key to accompany a good breakfast: would we find that here? It was exciting not knowing.

Our visions were quickly dashed though once we realized the restaurant was CLOSED. “On a Sunday morning?” we asked each other. It seemed odd.

In the parking lot we assembled a new game plan on the fly. I suggested another place that was new to us; even though it was a little out of the way on Lady’s Island, it was worth a try.

The anticipation was building again, but on the ride to the second stop, I was just hungry. The place was deserted as we drove up: this time, the situation was becoming dire. Seriously, what restaurant that serves breakfast is closed on Sunday morning? We were baffled.

OK, we are persistent people. I mentioned another place along Boundary Street, “I’m sure it’s open,” I declared confidently.

On the drive over, I told Daniel about my favorite breakfast restaurant where I grew up in New Jersey. The Red Barn. (At one time, it actually was a barn.) The ceilings are low, and the sturdy wooden tables with long wooden benches still give it a rustic feel. Our family always went to The Red Barn on Sundays after church. The place was always packed, and we always saw people we knew. The servers were friendly and sassy, and the food was so freaking good. Say what you want about New Jersey, but with a local diner practically around every corner, the folks there know good breakfast.

So, back in Beaufort, we thought third time’s a charm. But we were wrong. Again, the restaurant was closed!

With our hopes sinking and our hunger pains rising, we realized we were close to Magnolia Cafe. As we drove around Bellamy Curve, we saw diners outside, so we knew it was definitely open.

We sat outside too, and the breeze blew pleasantly across the marsh as we ordered off their delicious menu and breathed a sigh of relief at having finally found the right place. My waffle was perfect, and Daniel’s iced vanilla latte was the best I’ve had in some time.

I still think Beaufort needs to step up its breakfast options.


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