Sunday, August 12, 2012

Highland Morning: Breakfast of Champions

Ever since I won my battle with jet lag (this time around), I have been waking up around 8.30 everyday. Now this is a feat to accomplish, because I am certainly not a morning person. However, I have always been a huge fan of breakfast, and all breakfast food makes me endlessly happy. The weekends always involve at least one exaggerated brunch often completed with egg and pork product proteins, fresh fruit or some concoction of fruit, grains whipped into pancakes or wrapping up the goodness of a breakfast burrito, and the list goes on. I actually tried something fun this week and I made my favorite: Eggs in a Basket, but with a bagel! I know, I should have thought of that earlier...

Today we are going out for breakfast with the Louisville Lady Gourmet. This past week, a friend of mine and her mother came to visit Louisville for the first time-- I bet you can imagine my excitement. I was able to cover my favorite spots in the city, a few very important food destinations, and probably too many tidbits of information and history in just two days. Nonstop baby, nonstop. Well we stopped for food of course. Right before they left on their 10-hour leg back home, I had to squeeze in a visit to Highland Morning, my favorite spot for a substantial early breakfast in the Highlands.

We were lucky enough to have the best weather of the entire summer on their short visit. No, it wasn't a scorching 100+ degrees and 99% humidity, which normally requires us to grow a set of gills in order to breathe. In fact, it was in the 70s and low 80s (almost a miracle in August) with a sweet breeze and some sun. This serendipitous happening allowed us to grab a seat on the sidewalk to soak in the movement of the city and the morning sun, all while enjoying the tastes of Highland Morning.

If you have never been before, I would recommend going for the daily special menu. Right before I left for Spain, Highland Morning was just a budding restaurant, and I was so in love that I would go at least once a week. Their Grits of the Day are my mainstay (sun-dried tomato and basil grits?!...yes, you are a genius if you can make that happen), but I went for the french toast special this time. I knew I wouldn't be disappointed.

New Orleans French Toast: Breakfast of Champions
This time it was the New Orleans French Toast, which is a magical combination of bananas and apples cooked up in butter and brown sugar and mixed in with some cream cheese. That cream cheese mix is then spread between slices of perfectly cooked french toast, kissed with powdered sugar, garnished with strawberry, and subsequently drowned in maple syrup by me (it's been a while since I've had maple syrup guys, and I vow to never make that separation so long again). I was in love. It was the perfect start to my day, and a great way to prepare me for a visit to the Farmers Market...because we all know what I can do at the Farmers Market on an empty stomach >.>

If I recreated this New Orleans French Toast at home, I think I would fold in some crunchy granola (from Kizito!) and see what would happen. I just thought of that because the banana and apple mixture reminded me of a breakfast I used to prepare in Austria with my Swedish and Canadian roommates: fruits and granola pan fried in a little butter and brown sugar until happiness ensues. Gloriousness.

Loaded Baked Potato Omelet: Daily Special
My tablemates also made some delectible choices including: the Baked Potato Omelet (the other daily special), the Classic (bacon, eggs how you like, grits, and a biscuit), and the Classic Eggs Benedict. I weaseled my fork onto all of the plates, don't you worry, and everything tasted delicious. I must comment that the potatoes in the baked potato omelet could have been more cooked through--they were still edible, but not cooked to perfection as usual. I absolutely loved the hollandaise sauce because it didn't overdo it on the lemon juice...that's just embarrassing when that happens--but that day wasn't today, because Highland Morning knows what they're doing.
Eggs Bene: Hollandaise from Heaven

Along with breakfast they offer an array of breakfasty beverages (non-alcoholic and alcoholic) including an awesome mimosa, bloody marys with your choice of fire level, Highland Coffee coffee, tea, iced tea with different fruit flavors, fresh-squeezed orange juice (just like Spain, except without their oranges), and on and on. I had the Highland Coffee coffee, which came with free refills that assisted my expedited speech and twitching. Highland Coffee, for all you Louisville noobs, is an amazing coffee shop that is not far down the street from Highland Morning. You won't be able to look for their signs because Urban Outshitters has demaded all street advertisement with their new rental agreement, thus robbing Highland Morning and the Knit Nook of their street signage. If you are visiting, ask anyone on the street to point you in the right direction to Highland Coffee--then order the mocha with blackberry whipped cream (I know, right?!?!?!)

The Classic: You'll never go wrong with a side of grits!
Okay, back to Highland Morning. What I loved about this visit was that we could enjoy the outdoor patio, our food came out in a timely manner in all its quality deliciousness, and the service was prime. I specifically remember commenting to my fellow diners that the food runner was super pleasant--he was very happy and conversational, and you could tell he loved his job (please, former or present restaurant workers, when was the last time you met a gregarious food-runner?). I often see friendly service at restaurants in Louisville, but this kid and our very pleasant server were rockin' out, and thus made our experience all the more enjoyable. I'll be passing by soon for some grits of the day...always love a bit of soul in my food!

Highland Morning
1416 Bardstown Road
Louisville, KY 40204
Phone: (502) 365-3900

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