Thursday, October 05, 2006

A bit of Texas in Orlando

I'm staying at the Ritz-Carlton in Orlando right now for work, and I saw on the room service menu a dish called the Texas Breakfast. This is what you get: one fried egg on white bread, tater-tots and a piece of bacon. OK....that doesn't sound terribly Texan to me. And even though I'm on an expense account, before I spend $25 for this early morning treat, I decided to talk to the kitchen about what makes it Texan. The manager said, "Well, it's big." But it's only one egg, a bit of bacon and tater-tots." He replied, "There's also bread." Is it toasted? "No, but we can toast it if you like." Back to the size issue: He said, "It's big for kids. It is, afterall, on the kid's menu." Ah, I see.

Now, I'm not a big breakfast eater, but if I was eating a typical Texas breakfast, I think that it would either be migas with refried beans and lots of salsa, or breakfast burritos, or huevos rancheros, or even eggs, a pile of breakfast meats, buttery biscuits with white gravy and crispy, peppery hash browns. Not tater tots, untoasted white bread, a piece of bacon and a fried egg. But perhaps I'm missing something.

What's your favorite Texas breakfast? And, please, if anyone is familiar with Orlando and knows of a good place to eat let me know!

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Tuba Slim said...

I made my famous "Texas pesto" last night. There's nothing particularly Texan about it -- I just call it that for marketing purposes. But it is big. For adults, even. And bold. And I serve it with crude oil on the side, for dipping. Okay, seriously:

2 bunches basil from the green market
10 cloves garlic, minced
2 big handfuls of pine nuts, toasted
1 tub of powdered parmasean
Multiple jiggers of olive oil

Blend basil, olive oil and garlic. Fold in pine nuts and cheese.

For the pasta (I cut it into fetuccine):

3 eggs
2 cups all-purpose flour

Mix it up, knead it, let it sit awhile. Put it through the mill and hang it up for a half-hour. Boil no more than a few minutes -- until it starts to float. Voila! Texas-sized taste!

The County Clerk said...

This kind of thing kills me. Why the hell is the Orlando Ritz doing a Texas breakfast anyway? Dumb AND wrong. Typically Orlando.

Nice reporting from "the field." The Homesick Texan ON THE ROAD.

Also... you gotta love the moniker "Tuba Slim" don't you?

melissa mcgee said...

my all time FAVORITE breakfast (and since i've eaten nearly every breakfast in my entire life in texas, i guess it qualifies as a "texas breakfast" if not for myriad other reasons) is:

biscuits & gravy. homemade. my grandmother's gravy recipe with a smattering of black pepper, and begun with a bacon grease & toasted white flour roux. the more the better.

two biscuits, homemade, big as your head. split in half, still hot from the oven.

can be served with a generous side of bacon, pan-fried ham slices, or even jimmy dean sausage.

best enjoyed, by me, solo, with a tall glass of 2% or (dare i say it?) whole milk.

why paint the peacock?

anythingwithcheese said...

Shame on them for selling that as Texas breakfast! My favorite breakfast is a fried corn tortilla topped with a sunnyside up egg and covered in homemade salsa. Serve with a side of toast and refried black beans. Yummy!

vlb5757 said...

I wanted to tag you for a Meme that you inspired! I see you are out of time so take your time. Sorry that folks think that's a Texas breakfast. Someone in the kitchen has never been there I guess. Maybe they should ask you what a bonified "Texas" breakfast is!!

So here is a new Meme. What is your best home cooked comfort food and who inspired it? If you do this "Home Cooked Comfort Food" Meme, please put a link to my site when you do it! Thanks and I look forward to reading what everyone does!

Julie said...

I'd have expected them to at least throw a little salsa in there before they called it a Texas Breakfast.

But I guess calling it something like Arkansas Breakfast wouldn't have the appeal of a Texas Breakfast, and calling it what it actually is, Lame Hotel-Chain Breakfast, would have even less appeal.

christine (myplateoryours) said...

I had a similarly miserable experience at a conference in Orlando this summer. No Texas breakfast but nothing else worth eating either.

I guess I am not entitled to answer your breakfast question since not only am I am not a Texan but on my most recent trip last month I was into Austin and out the same day with no breakfast and only an Italian lunch to show for it (very disappointing from a food perspective.) But my all-time favorite breakfast seems to qualify -- crispy tortillas, creamy eggs, and some fiery chiles. Ummm, the best.

Lea said...

I've lived in and around Orlando for the better part of my life. =)

For BBQ... go to Bubbalou's.. the one off of Lee Road (East on I-4 from Downtown) is the original.. but they got so popular they sprung a couple of other spots, I still think the original is the best. Tijuana Flats is popular amongst college folk for some awesome "fresh-mex" and a HUGE salsa bar. Ruth Chris's for steak, or Del Frisco's. I dunno if youre into Asian cuisine, but Orlando has an incredibly diverse Asian community.. go to Vihns for a nice pho... go to Chans for some KICK ASS dim sum in the mornings. Lahm's Garden for Chinese dinner hours...

Don't diss Orlando! No matter what chain hotel you go to theyre gonna have wack stuff on their menu... especially at a tourist destination like O-town.

You can feel my pain when I first visited Mimi's cafe.. a "southern, New Orleans" style restaurant chain from California... with not a single biscuit or serving of grits on the menu.. but plenty of breakfast burritos, and Mexican inspired foods. O_O

Lea said...

btw... shoot me an email, if youre still in the area, you can tell me specifically what part of Orlando youre in (it is sprawling) and I can try to give some suggestions! =)

verily said...

Breakfast tacos all the way. Sometimes chorizo & egg, sometimes sausage/potato/cheese. Mmm mmm.

I never eat migas for breakfast--unless you count Kerbey Lane migas at 3am...

Homesick Texan said...

Tuba Slim: I've never made homemade pasta, I'll have to try this. And you know I'm always looking for Texas-sized taste!

County Clerk: I think it's less typical Orlando and more typical corporate hotel chain. Ever since Marriott bought the Ritz brand it's gone downhill.

Melissa: Ooooo...I'm hungry! Do you put sausage in your gravy?

Anything With Cheese: Yum! Anything's good with a fried corn tortilla (as with cheese, but you obviously know that!)

Vib5757: Thanks for thinking of me!

Julie: I like that--"Lame Hotel-Chain Breakfast" I should have suggested that name to the manager.

Christine: You poor thing--going to Austin and eating Italian food. Shame on those people!

Lea: I think you posted this after I left, but thank you so much for all the suggestions. I was working so much I didn't have a chance to leave the Grande Lakes resort, but if I ever return to Orlando, it looks I'm set.

Verily: I have a Kerbey Lane T-shirt with a drawing of a stack of pancakes on it. I haven't worn it in years, but when it used to be a regular part of my weekend wardrobe, at least one person would come up to and comment on how much they miss the place.

tbsamsel said...

If you are in Orlando go to Kissimmee to 507 W. Vine (the main E-W drag) to Puerto Rico Cafe..

buen provecho.

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