The Big Breakfast Adventure | Honoré

(In case you missed how the Big Breakfast Adventure got started, you can read it  here:  How it all began)

May, June & July will sort the men from the boys in the world of landscape photography.  You gotta really love what you do to keep up with Mother Nature’s lighting schedule.  There simply is not enough time between sunset & sunrise to get enough sleep in.  Last night I was out shooting until 8:45.  Then there was the hour drive home.  Once I’d arrived there were images to download, batteries to charge, cats to feed, a shower to take & re-packing the gear for the sunrise.  I plopped into bed at 11:15 pm.   Unsurprisingly, 4:15 am was a bit of a struggle this morning.  In fact, everything was a bit of a struggle early this morning.  I just couldn’t make the calculations for hyperfocal distance, f-stop, depth of field & subject distance make sense.  There are times when point-and-shoot cameras seem like the best invention since sliced bread.  This morning was one of those days.  But once I had seated myself by the side of Lake Washington & was gently stroked by the first rays of sunshine peeking over the top of the distant Cascades, I started to feel rather better.  Little did I know how much better my day was going to get.

There’s a surprising number of people up and about at 5 am on a Saturday morning in Seattle.  The freeway was certainly not empty & those diligent traffic cops were definitely out doing their thing.  I love my radar detector.  By 7 am it is almost buzzing (Seattle neighborhoods, not the radar detector).  If you happen to be near any water the biggest hazard will be dodging all the lycra-clad joggers out enjoying the tranquility of it all & working up a sweat before breakfast.  I was perfectly content with just enjoying the tranquility of it all & pressing the shutter release for my pre-breakfast exercise. 

I got to Honoré at 7 am (without getting lost, which was a surprise because Honoré is tucked down a tiny residential street in a short strip mall of eclectic businesses) & was amazed at the volume of cars & bodies that stopped outside Honoré’s doors before slowly moving off again, clearly disappointed that they were not going to open their doors until 8 am.  I was really glad that I had got there early & snagged one of the few parking spots on the tiny, narrow street.

My quiche-loving breakfast buddy (& Big Breakfast Adventure First-Timer) called me yesterday to let me know that I was in serious trouble because while zooming around the web had discovered that Honoré was famous not only for their quiche but also for their macaroons, which are apparently a bit of a weak spot for my friend.  I didn’t quite see how that meant that I was in trouble – but after our first bite of the Ham & Cheese Croissant & the Cheddar Chive Scone we both knew that we were both in trouble.

The first time we entered Honoré’s doors was with the gathered throng at 8 am.  The line snaked out of the door & down the sidewalk. As there was no quiche in sight so we decided to have dessert first.  We gathered up coffee, hot chocolate (almost large enough to swim in), a Ham & Cheese Croissant, a Pain au Chocolat & a Cheddar & Chive Scone & headed for the bar stools facing out onto the street.

It was rather like attending a jolly neighborhood block party.  The adorable pastry server clearly knew anyone who had ever been there before & had a gift for remembering what they had last time they were in & how they liked their morning cuppa.  Nobody seemed to care how long the line was or how long it would take for them to reach the front of it.  They were clearly just all happy to be in the line, knowing that at some point, one of those incredible goodies was going to hit their taste-buds.

Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate & Pastries

Ham & Cheese Croissant / Cheddar Chive Scone

 

 

We cut all our goodies in half so we would both get to try as many pastries as possible while still having enough room for the eagerly awaited quiche.

 

 

 

 

The Cheddar & Chive Scone was the best scone I’ve had this side of “the pond” (Atlantic Ocean).  I wanted to eat both halves.  The Ham & Cheese Croissant was outrageous.  I wanted to eat both halves.  The Pain au Chocolat was divine.  I wanted to eat both halves.  We lingered.  We oooh’d & ahhh’d.  We watched the happy {endless} line of neighbors come & go.  Still no quiche.  So we decided that we would go for a morning stroll around the neighborhood & then come back for the quiche.

It was a completely glorious day.  The Honoré neighborhood is a very pretty one to wander around while waiting for quiche.  They have the prettiest mini roundabouts (traffic circles) ever – filled with swathes of bearded irises (the ones with frilly, floppy petals) of every hue.  Actually, turns out this part of Ballard is iris central.  Every yard had some & none were the same.  We strolled, we chatted, we soaked up the sunshine.

Back at Honoré for the second time (yes, the adorable pastry server not only remembered us but also what we had ordered earlier) & still no quiche.  Seemed like the perfect opportunity to have another cuppa & try out some more pastries :-)  We were assured that the quiche would be out of the oven in 20 minutes.  We gathered up more drinks & a couple more pastries & this time headed for the secluded patio out back.

Caramelized Canalés: amazingly good

Cheddar Chive Scone / Ham & Cheese Croissant

 

I cannot think of many more enjoyable ways to spend a few hours on a Saturday morning than we did yesterday.

Simply sublime. 

 

 

 

 

 Who eats quiche for breakfast?  English people don’t.  We eat quiche for lunch with a lovely green salad, we eat it at social gatherings – weddings, parties, luncheons – and we especially like to eat it when we are sitting on a lawn somewhere enjoying a summer picnic.  But breakfast, never.  This morning that changed for this Brit forever.  

Bacon, Fennel & Goat

Bacon, Fennel & Goats Cheese Quiche

Leek & Gruyère Quiche

Unbelievable Quiche Crust

 

Honoré’s quiche isn’t just the best in Seattle: it is the best quiche I have ever had in my life, anywhere. Honoré’s quiche is extraordinary. I urge you to get up to Ballard & eat some.

Really soon.

 

 

 

By the time every last crumb of quiche had been inhaled from our plates, I was beyond content.  We made one third & final stop at the pastry counter on the way out so my friend could assemble a box of goodies to distribute amongst other fellow foodaphiles.  Several pastel-colored Macarons (Salted Caramel was a favorite), Cornmeal Lime Cookies, a fantastic-looking Chocolate Thingy…all so beautifully placed in the box I didn’t have the heart to unpack it all to photograph.  Apart from the fact that I am certain my photographs couldn’t possibly do justice to the astonishment that will fill your brain the first time you bite into one of them.

Head on over to Honoré & create your own weekend nirvana.  Oh, & don’t try to jump the line – the neighbors will tackle you.

 

Quiche-loving Breakfast Buddy:  “It was, a perfect morning.”

 Honore Artisan Bakery on Urbanspoon

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