Breakfast is one of the best meals in the world.  Sunday breakfast is one of the best meals in the world times two.

Professionally, I’ve cooked or otherwise worked more breakfasts than most people in the world.  I cooked eggs to order on a 6′ grill on an aircraft carrier – maybe 75 eggs at a time – in the Gulf of Tonkin. (Happy Veteran’s Day to me.)  Sunday Brunch at the Riviera Dinner House where I closed the bar as bartender at 2am and then was back in at 7am to cook.  Sweet youth.

Flipping eggs at The Old Post Office in Carnelian Bay.  The tiniest kitchen in the world and busybusybusy.  Sunday Brunch at the Hyatt Lake Tahoe or cooking omelettes to order in the dining room at the Old Hyatt House in Burlingame.  And then the spectacular Sunday Brunch at the Hyatt Regency Cambridge.

I worked in a lot of hotels and they all had their Sunday Brunches, but Hyatt really did go the extravagant route back in the day – and Cambridge took it even further.  Presentation was always over the top. It was great  fun. A lot of work, but great fun.

And we won’t even bother with the tens of thousands of hospital breakfasts over the course of 14 years…

One of my most favorite outings for Brunch was with a little old lady I knew in San Francisco in my youth. Her name was Alice Dean LaCroix. She was a customer at Pirro’s when I worked there and for years called her my “sensuous grandmother.” She was a little roly-poly white woman originally from Tarrytown, New York who drove a 1957 Volkswagen bug and wrote black poetry.  She was also a graphoanalyst who was often called to be an expert witness  in criminal cases. Interesting doesn’t even begin to describe her.   Breakfast was one of her favorite meals and one year for her birthday I gave her a year of breakfasts with me.  The first one was the Champagne Brunch at the Garden Court of the Palace Hotel.  The Garden Court is still one of the most spectacular public spaces in San Francisco, although brunch has gone from a then-outrageous $25.00 per person to $75.00 today.

But the breakfasts I cherish the most are the ones my father cooked.  Fried ham and french bread toast will always be a favorite of mine, but it is his fried eggs in bacon grease that will go down in gastronomic history.  He would fry eggs in so much bacon grease they were almost deep-fried.  They would get crispy around the edges but still have runny yolks.  The man was a genius.  I couldn’t fry an egg like that if my life depended upon it.  Damn, they were good.

I planned on having a nice breakfast this morning and Victor started everything – bacon in the oven, pancake batter with cranberries and pecans –  but when I suggested a fried egg on top of the pancakes Victor let me finish.  A perfect team effort. And a perfect morning to travel down Memory Lane.