Ham and Egg Breakfast Sandwich
There’s something deeply satisfying about breakfast at The Zookeeper’s Bistro.
I’ve written before about my aversion to sitting down for breakfast – a recognition that I’m reluctant to haul myself out of bed 20 minutes early to make time for this most basic of rituals. How embarrassing is that for an adult to admit to?
And of course, with that admission comes guilt over my willful denial of all those lessons from Fifth Grade Health Class about how breakfast is the most important meal of the day and how the good folks at Kellogg’s had formulated Cocoa Puffs into the perfect fuel for my growing body and mind.
You’ve got to admit that launching your day with a slight pang of hunger and a bowl of free-floating guilt is a lousy way to accomplish anything worthwhile.
So right off the bat, Zookeeper earns a star for allowing me to feel self-righteous and grown-up and undeniably responsible. In addition, since I was in public I elected not to pull out my tablet and begin my day with the atrocities and disappointments and tragic waste of the human spirit that constitute my morning newsfeed.
Hallelujah! Score one for hope and humanity.
Then there’s the atmosphere of the place itself. The Zookeeper’s Bistro is a gathering spot for the entire Cashiers community, making it the 21st century equivalent of the late, lamented Tommy’s. While we were there, a klatch of EMT’s from Glenville-Cashiers Rescue were engaged in an animated conversation that pinballed from one topic to another.
A family of weekenders sat behind us, dressed in catalog finery and looking for snow.
This subtle energy was enhanced by the ebullience of our server Nina. She greeted us with a cheerful competence that seemed to belie the early hour. The place offers that small-town warmth that’s all but vanished from many towns.
But The Zookeeper’s Bistro shines when it comes to the menu. I ordered the Banana Pancakes, a dish that seemed far removed from the cold, dim morning that was taking shape outside.
You know how the refrain from a half-remembered song can transport you to a golden moment from 20 years’ past? These were transcendent pancakes. I was in the tropics and life was good and sweet. They were fluffy with just a hint of chewiness and the banana slices were the precise, perfect complement. When they’re done right, you can’t help but enjoy a better day.
My sweetie launched into a regal Quiche with Feta Cheese, a marvelous way to launch the morning. She added a cup of Green Tea, a comfortable, gentle choice that complemented a quiche without the overpowering bouquet that you’d get from Earl Grey or English Breakfast. True to her nature, her balanced breakfast reflected a careful attention
to the details.
If you’re looking for a site to launch your day with a measure of warmth and a satisfied stomach, visit The Zookeeper’s Bistro at 45 Slabtown Road in Cashiers.