The Big Breakfast Adventure | Geraldine’s Counter

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

Wheeeeeeeeeeeeee!  The first Big Breakfast Adventure of 2011.  I seriously thought I would be through all 55 Best Breakfasts in Seattle by the time 2010 drew to a close.  I guess I’ve been gone a lot since March when this whole breakfast shenanigans started.  And then there were those times when I just snuck off to double dip favorite past Big Breakfast Adventures instead of working on down the list.  Oooops!

Today was particularly exciting since it was in a whole new neighborhood to me:  Columbia City.  Getting there:  c’est très facile – over the I-90 bridge and turn left.  There were absolutely, definitely no mountains out today.  Anywhere.  You’d have been forgiven for thinking that Seattle was on a perfectly flat lump of land.  It was pretty quiet out there at 7:15 am, but not so quiet that I didn’t have to check out a few parking spots before I found one that didn’t have a 1 hour limit on it.  Breakfast in under an hour?  Not a chance.  I was in the mood to loll.  My ultimate destination in Columbia City was Geraldine’s Counter.  The breakfast on the menu was the Best French Toast in Seattle.  Now I’m not usually one for a plate of carbs for breakfast, but I’d had a sneak preview of what it was likely to be like so I was pretty excited about this particular plate of carbs.  Geraldine’s Counter has a sister restaurant up on Capitol Hill - Table 219 – where I had the extreme pleasure of downing their Grand Slam.  And that particular breakfast made it on to the list of my favorites for 2010.  So I was reasonably sure that I was in for a treat.

I had no clue Columbia City was such a happenin’ little ‘hood.  Columbia City Bakery was already bristling with early-morning-coffee-and-croissant-munchers.  Must swing by there sometime & check out their bakery wares.

I was there early, before Geraldine had fired up the coffee pot on her counter.  I had planned to meet a gal-pal at 8 am when the doors swung open.  The doors swung.  No gal-pal.  It’s all good.  I am perfectly comfortable eating on my tod.  The adorable shorts-sporting Richard welcomed me in with a huge smile & happily honored my request to put me in the corner where I promptly curled up with a steaming pot of chamomile tea & my little black book.  Nothing like a good scribble over a nice cup of {herbal} char.  Kudos to Richard who, when asked about the Hot Chocolate ‘fessed up that it was just your average warm & wet stuff.  He must have got a gander at the look on my face & realized I get {very} serious about my Hot Chocolate.  The only tea they had was chamomile.  Not my favorite.  Oh well.  I’ll get some anyway.

The pot arrived.  Oh yay!  You really do mean *real* chamomile!  Go Geraldine’s!

 Geraldine’s has the funnest array of tableware.  Everything matched and yet nothing was the same color.  Eclectic yet classy.  Much like the decor & the ambiance.  One of those places where you just feel right at home right away.  Richard helped with that part too.  I mentioned I was supposed to have a companion joining me.  I also mentioned that I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t.  Not everyone gets quite as excited as I do about venturing off early on the weekends to discover great food in new places.

I read the menu up & down (several times – it’s worth the read), sipped my tea, scribbled in my notebook & tweeted & face-booked until it was 8:30.  OK, that’s it.  Hungry.  Time to eat.  I knew that the plate of French Toast was to be mine, but also being sensitive to my need to eat protein at breakfast time I ordered a side of bacon.  But only because I knew that they had the same bacon as Table 219 & I remembered how good that was.  Richard had given me the memo about the French Toast being served up with Honeyed Peaches today.  Peaches are not my favorite fruit, so I was a touch disappointed at the news.  I shouldn’t have worried.  The French Toast was outrageously good; and the peaches were spectacular.

Yeah, just look at that peach.  All that fresh, juicy, peachy goodness.  I just know you want to eat it.  I bet you can almost taste it, and feel that juice slipping out the corner of your mouth as you bite into it.  Uh-huh.  Like that.  The peaches were amazing:  tinged with pink in the middle & bursting with sweet, intense flavor.

The French Toast – I don’t know how they do it.  Thick as Texas Toast but lighter than air.  Deliciously crunchy around the edges but softer than a cloud in the middle.  Impossibly buttery.  Ridiculously creamy.  I have never been a French Toast fan, but Geraldine’s is enough to change my mind about the whole matter.  It’s not a big thing in England, and as Bob the (British) Potter so indignantly asked (all the way from France) over Facebook while I was dreamily devouring my last few bites,  ”Can’t you just call it Eggy Bread like everyone else?”  Well, Bob, where’s the fun in that? :-)  In France, oddly enough, it’s called Pain Perdu and they don’t eat it for breakfast.  Funny old world.

I ate every last little bite.  It was entirely scrumptious.  Probably my favorite plate of breakfast carbs.  Well, it would be a toss-up between them and the Gingerbread Waffles at Coastal Kitchen or the Chestnut Pancakes at Volterra.

Richard allowed me a lovely leisurely breakfast curled up in my corner with the Best French Toast in Seattle.   Thank you!  There were a few other things on their menu that have been tucked away in my “when I’ve finished the Big Breakfast Adventure” food notebook.  It may be a while before I get back there, but if you’ve never been I thoroughly recommend it.  Thoroughly.

Phew.  Stuffed (very pleasantly).  Off to PCC to find some Carob Chips.  I am going to make Mr. Nyheim’s Carob Ice Cream (recipe coming soon!) if it is the last thing that I do.  I love PCC, although I almost never go there…it is just so expensive.  Which reminds me of Miss Connie’s oh-so-eloquent musings from yesterday:  “It’s like a museum.  I love to go there & look at all the wonderful things, but I know that I can’t touch anything.”

Good job I was so filled up with French Toast from Geraldine’s.  Happy Saturday!

 Geraldine

*SANE™, inSANE, SANEity – terms used in Jonathan Bailor’s books, The Smarter Science of Slim (out of print) and The Calorie Myth.

What does SANE mean? Click here.Want more scrumptious recipes? Click here to check out my SANE Cookbooks!

Geraldine Arts & Plants Festival - [...] The Big Breakfast Adventure | Geraldine’s Counter » Foodie Footnotes [...]

Alissa - Lighting and composition is awesome.

N - So jealous of your discipline in getting up early for breakfast! I’ve tried so few in Seattle. I’m not exactly a morning person. :)

cb - That’s funny…because I often get frustrated because some of the breakfast places open so LATE! The 10 o’clock openers make me nuts – I am starving by then!!! :-) You should come on a BBA with me sometime….(we’ll pick a 10 am one :-) )

The Big Breakfast Adventure | Pete’s Egg Nest » Foodie Footnotes - [...] Scramble in Seattle, I have to agree.  Their French Toast?  Not so much.  And not a patch on Geraldine’s Counter’s French Toast.  Ah, but what about the bacon??  The bacon was good.  Was it the Best in [...]

Simply, Because It Wasn’t Raining » Foodie Footnotes - [...] I had to make Taylor eat some.  The toast was all soft & squidgy, and completely different to Geraldine’s famed version.  The cherry compote was tart & delicious.  The whipped cream cheese?  Well, [...]

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