My happy place is defined as a place or space where I find comfort and contentment, apart from my own happy place that I call home.
I find that even if I have a few select favorite restaurants around the metro, it's those that serve breakfast that I seem to have a particular fondness for. And when paired with an ambiance that lets me experience morning bliss---a state of being I can only afford occasionally---it becomes my happy place.
Breakfast used to be a foreign concept to me. Leisurely breakfast, that is. My mornings were usually spent preparing for school when I was young, preparing for work when I got older, and preparing for my family's day when I became a mom and homemaker (not to mention work-at-home-mom, which kind of made things a bit more complicated than they already were). It's the meal that usually took a backseat; a defiance---albeit not by choice---to the ever popular belief that it's the most important one in one's day.
My big breakfast aha! moment came when I met up with some friends one morning at Wildflour. I was early, and as I slowly took in my surroundings, I basked in the solitary refuge that I didn't know I so desperately needed. Now, that's another story, one that I would share soon. But what I wanted to point out was that, on that fateful day, I began to appreciate and revere those sacred hours, and all that came with it -- breakfast food, a detachment from the daily grind, a time for myself---be it for meditation, reflection or whatnot---and peace.
No, I still don't take breakfast every day. If I had my way, I would (read: I don't know how to cook; hence, the current lack of household help leaves me not much of a choice). I, however, am on a constant look out for nice breakfast places out there. Somewhere I could run to, when the brouhaha of real life starts to take a toll on me.
Unfortunately, run is not something I could always do in a snap of a finger, not when a huge chunk of my mornings must be spent on my family, household and work. Ahh, the sacrifices of motherhood. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I love my life and all the idiosyncracies that come with it. But I do realize, or rather, have realized (if I'm to be honest with myself) the importance of unfastening yourself from your seemingly urgent activities in order to reprioritize what is important. And what better way to regain your focus than having a damn good meal--specifically, breakfast; and if I can't have it in the morning, then noon, afternoon or evening would have to suffice. So when I saw this beautiful haven that serves all-day breakfast dishes on a friend's Facebook newsfeed, I knew I had to visit it ASAP.
As soon as I stepped into the Early Bird Breakfast Club, I suddenly believed in love at first sight. The bright morning sun flooded through the picture windows as I stood transfixed, for a couple of seconds, by the huge blue-and-white mural to my right. Across were mirrors, making the place look brighter than it already was, and the high ceiling didn't hurt either.
I scouted out the place as I settled on the wooden table to my left. I was smitten! Definitely smitten. Splashes of vintage-like pastels of blue, salmon pink and yellow adorned the upholstery and interiors. I loved everything from the logo, to the colors and the theme, to the overall look of the place. I could literally stay here all day!
Even the typography and color scheme of the menu met my approval. Save for the waitstaff who could probably use a bit more dose of cheerfulness, I love the aura of this club, err, restaurant. Please let me be a member... pretty please?? Or better yet, please open a branch in the South---Alabang, to be more exact---pretty, pretty please??
I finally went for the Tenderloin Tapa.
"How would you like your eggs, Ma'am?" the waiter asked politely.
"Sunny-side up with a runny egg yolk," I answered with a smile.
And would you just look at that.
That is what perfect mornings are made of.
The beef tenderloin was bathed in a sweet marinade. They even made good on their promise to have it really tender. And oh, that yolk, that gorgeous golden orb just flowed silkily as I poked on its center with my fork, much like the break of dawn. I cut a piece with my knife and a soothing sensation enveloped me as my mouth closed in on it. I heard a trail of hushed whispers of all things good, and dreamy, cooing noises. Then I reverted back to reality as I realized that was me.
I can't believe that even their Fresh Orange Juice tasted great. I abhor those strong, acidic types, usually a staple in airline food, which just leaves a sour taste in the mouth. This, on the other hand, tasted as fresh as it gets. Which is what I prefer... and love. The heavens must be smiling down on me.
Their Viva Longganisa was a nice take on one of the popular local brekkie dishes. Four pieces lay hidden beneath the egg, their skin glistening against the sunlight. A bit of a kick takes you by surprise before a caress of sweetness takes over, and you suddenly wonder if you were just imagining it. So I say, a second or third bite is in order. Heck, take two pieces if you can get away with it, like I did when my mom wasn't looking.
I love French Toast. I adore French Toast. But anything with Nutella makes me think twice (as I've said quite a number of times before, I have a savory/salty tooth instead of a sweet one). My daughter is quite the opposite. She could eat a Nutella sandwich every day, and would, if it were up to her.
But still, it was French Toast. French Toast! How could I pass up on French Toast?!
Stubbornness took over and I got myself a bite. Mmmm... It wasn't sickeningly sweet as I feared. I liked the touch of blueberries, albeit the bananas were a bit lost on me. Then I got another, splashed it up with an abundance of cream, then took another bite. And another. And the rest was history (in more ways than one).
It was a bittersweet ending as I pondered on when my next meal here would be. There are a lot more dishes and drinks I'm excited to try. Let's see... there's the Ultimate Grilled Cheese Sandwich (have I mentioned that I'm a sucker for grilled cheese sandwich as much as I am for french toast?), the Early Bird Croque Madame and Eggs Benedict are on my bucket list as well. And let's not forget the Yin and Yang Champorado which sounds pretty cool, and the Chocolate and Whisky Torte that really piques my curiosity. I haven't even begun to mention the drinks; maybe I will try that Nutella Hot Chocolate and steal a sip of the Babycino if my baby gets one. I really do hope they open a branch down South soon.
Early Bird Breakfast Club
Spot: Unit C Ground Floor, Fort Pointe 2 Bldg., The Fort Complex, 28th St., Bonifacio Global City
Contact No.: 470.8847 (When I went there, though, they said this is not yet in use. At least not in the store.)
Operating Hours: Sunday to Thursday 7 AM - 10 PM and Friday to Saturday Open 24 Hours