“All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast” –John Gunther
People are often strangely fascinated and oddly opinionated by the fact that I am almost 40 and not answering to anyone’s cries for “Mammy”, “Mum” or “Mam”. Personally, I hold no such strong opinions on the subject. Like all huge life events or decisions, “The Kids Issue” is jam-packed and often overflowing with pros and cons. Baby cuddles versus long lazy breakfasts being just one example. Personally, it seems I am very partial to those leisurely breakfasts, so much so I have decided to make them a regular feature on the blog, admittedly not so much that I based the entire having babies decision around them!!! And relax all you loving mums – I am not suggesting anyone trade in their precious bundle of joy for bottomless coffee refills, I am simply pointing out that if you don’t have the first you end up with a lot more time for the second!!! See, life is just swings and roundabouts.
So rambling intro aside, on the weekends I often like to go out to breakfast. Not brunch…because people suggest you “do brunch”, and seriously I know this rant is now on repeat but that phrase just grinds my gears – I mean really, is there any more Ross O’Carroll Kelly phrase than “let’s do brunch”? You EAT it people…. EAT it. Possibly GO TO it, maybe even GRAB it but you do not DO it!!!!!!!! And while on the subject I could happily live in the world without runny poached eggs or smashed avocado. My friend introduces solids to her babies using avocado sweetened with just a little kiwi – tasty with a hint of class – perfect for a discerning 7 month old!!! In another year, most babies would be able to smash their own avocado, mummy obviously having paid a little extra for the “ready to eat” one in Tesco – because let’s be honest those other ones are a total minefield!!! And so I refuse on principle to pay €10 for a meal that a smart toddler could both prepare and digest – so there will no AVO toast for me and it seems these days “brunch” revolves around little else!! But that is not my biggest issue with brunch…. my biggest issue is that it attempts to rob me of one whole meal. You won’t be catching me like that BRUNCH. I WANT BOTH. Greedy perhaps, but I have a whole weekend to fill, I can make time for my breakfast and my lunch – and have no fear still have plenty space for dinner.
So breakfast it is and in this little series – that may have six episodes or possibly just one – the plan is to give a little run-down on the breakfasts we linger over, mostly here in Athlone, but sometimes further afield. And so today we started by taking The Irish Times Weekend (yep, that’s one paper for two days…. the Healy Raes wouldn’t try and get away with that sort of skulduggery!!!!) and heading to one of my favourite local haunts, The Corner House bistro.
First plus – no avocado on toast – although the mushrooms on brioche come with a runny poached egg!!! What is it that people love so much about yellow goo leaking all over their food? Yuck!!!
Second plus – free refills of VERY GOOD coffee. Cheapskate?? No, but remember I plan to eat lunch AND dinner later – a girl has to economise where she can!!!
The next big plus is that the location is perfect – it just has the feel of a relaxed urban space where it is cool to spend an hour chatting and poring over the newspapers, and a further huge positive is the quality of the produce and the attempt to support local suppliers – all the breakfast meats come from the butcher across the street.
The Corner House also has a pretty tight but strong menu – porridge, pastries, full Irish, eggs any way you fancy, pancakes or scones. My breakfast buddy today (my husband obvs) opted for the full Irish breakfast with soda bread, while I had the granola with fruit and yoghurt. Healthy with a side of smug! Both were delicious – although a word of warning, the granola is really light on well, granola!!!! It is really a fruit salad topped with yoghurt and a sprinkle of granola. Now this doesn’t bother me because the fruit is delicious and plentiful… but just so you know. I stole some bacon – now bacon is a proper breakfast food – and it was delicious and I like the generous serving of tomato and mushroom with the cooked breakfast. Some would like a humble baked bean but they are just not on trend right now, soz!!! If you think about it – what have we done? Beans on toast OUT, slimy green stuff with very little actual taste (remember it’s a starter food for very on-trend babies) IN. Bloody hipsters to blame again.
Anyway I digress. Overall, breakfast in The Corner House is great. Not cheap but fairly priced. Presented beautifully and served with a smile. And don’t forget the free coffee!!! Is there better out there? I don’t know yet but stay tuned for episode 2 and we’ll try to work that out.
Have a great weekend – and don’t skip breakfast!!!! xo