Breakfast al fresco

While resting our bones at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort we have the advantage of taking our breakfast in the hotel at the appropriately named Sunrise Café on a third-floor terrace overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. Seasoned al fresco diners such as we know enough to wear sunglasses to endure the experience en plein air without annoyance; the dazzling morning sunshine is otherwise blinding.  The seating is a series of three rows of spaciously situated tables and chairs extending from a line parallel to the outer balcony to the wall of the interior restaurant. The furnishings are attractive, durable and comfortable, certainly what I imagine would be suitable even on a windy day. Our immediate view is upon a highly manicured green of the golf course, then upon the white sand dunes, beach and vast open Ocean.


Most patrons of the restaurant choose to have the buffet not only because it is so extensive but also because the price difference between the same items à la carte or on the buffet is negligible.  Besides it is a well-known tradition among us Colonials that a gentleman serves himself at breakfast.  We are assisted in the pleasure of our dalliance by having collected the morning newspaper which was delivered to our room before we awoke.

I make a point of having the buffet because I have a passion for bacon and I am admittedly rather greedy when going to the trough.  I begin my breakfast however with a bowl of fresh fruit, an assortment of slices of orange, Honeydew melon, Cantaloupe melon, watermelon, pineapple and exceptional strawberries.  This I have with a small glass of Florida orange juice and a cup of very strong black coffee.  Between pieces of fruit, sips of juice and gulps of coffee I distract myself by idle glances at cloud formations, beach walkers and the relentless wave patterns.  This introductory course of my breakfast is one which I particularly relish for its simplicity and purity.  Whether one is health conscious or a vegetarian there can be little objection to such a kickoff.  And the robust coffee provides an ample jolt to one’s surfacing sensibilities.

After an appropriately polite breather I disturb my maritime focus to wander once again to the festive board.  It has taken me a mere two days to refine my habits and agenda so I am well acquainted with what was initially a confusing array of chow.  I make my way directly to the “egg lady”, the Chef who prepares omelettes to order.  There I request what is by comparison to most a singularly plain omelette which I instruct to be “gooey”.  Once plated I carry my omelette to the pan of bacon which I generously load onto the small plate. I then add two wedges of Brie cheese and my second round is ready!

The artery-clogging interlude is unquestionably the height of my morning banquet.  Once again I compliment myself upon the judicious simplicity of the dish. I have for example deliberately not contaminated it with sausage links or patties, harsh browns, grits or any number of other distortions which apparently appeal to many.  Except for the extraordinary amount of bacon, balance would unreservedly be the defining term.

On the heels of such classic restraint I feel compelled to reward myself with a further indulgence.  This final round is one which required some ingenuity upon my part as it is foreign to my customary morning choices.  I speak of the world renowned flaky croissant which I round off with whipped butter and homemade strawberry jam.  Oddly I consume this course with a knife and fork as otherwise it would be an unseemly mess, my fingers dripping in jam and bits of pastry.  It also affords a more delicate system for construction of its combined ingredients.  A final cup of black coffee completes the cycle for another day!