I love food. This is evident by my above-average waistline and the amount of time I spend thinking about whether a snack is an option at any given point in time. As a result, one of the aspects of my recent trip to Seattle that I was eagerly anticipating was American food. There are many American food brands in both South Africa and South Korea, and I was looking forward to trying as many of them as I could. Whilst most of the food we tried was delectable, there was one meal that I was surprised by enjoying the most: breakfast.
My fiancée Kris and I sampled as much of Seattle’s culinary landscape as we could. We ate eye-poppingly beautiful sushi arrangements. We devoured more burgers than I could count (seriously, I tried but I lost count of the number of burgers we ate). Inside Key Arena, we had a daily ritual of eating the overpriced yet surprisingly tasty bowl of cheese nachos. We even gorged ourselves at a fine Brazilian meat buffet that boasted over seventeen different kinds of meat.
And yet, from all of our food exploration, the meal that we long for the most now is a simple hot, greasy, American breakfast. It was something we never truly missed in Korea up until we could have it every day in Seattle. And we did have it almost every day. After getting up and dressed, we would walk to Corner Cafe, less than a block away from our superb Airbnb home, and bathe in the fried, syrupy glory of breakfast.
I was willing to experiment with new things, trying everything from the corned beef hashbrown (a strangely scrumptious dish introduced to me by my brother during his weekend with us there), breaded chicken steak, and various saucy sandwiches. All of these made me smile in a different way each morning.
Kris, on the other hand, stuck with a smaller number of regulars. Her favourite dish was a serving of two enormous chocolate chip pancakes, which she would top with butter, syrup, and fruit, for a sweet start to the day.
It may seem strange that breakfast food is what we remember most about American dining. But good, hot, greasy breakfast is something that is surprisingly difficult to get in Korea. Most of the time, we just have cereal before heading to work in the mornings. Most Koreans eat ramen or a rice dish for breakfast. It is rare to have bacon, eggs, and toast in the East. So, when we found it in Seattle, we ate it with relish every morning. We had an amazing time in Seattle. And pretty much every day was fueled by a wonderful, delicious, hot breakfast.