Breakfast on Hilton Head Island

On balance I prefer having breakfast of my own making and on my own time. The imperturbability is one of those incalculable privileges of retirement and old age. The preparation naturally has to do with my select ingredients; the timing reflects the changeable stirrings of my hunger say between 8:00 am and noon depending on what I ate the night before and when I got out of bed next morning. There is also some tenor to maintenance of routine.  Overdoing it at breakfast; that is, too much or too late can ruin the evening meal by killing one’s appetite thus disrupting the otherwise thoroughly predictable soirée of the evening news and rewinds of late night talk shows. Not to mention the equally probable jolt to one’s cautious metabolism. Then you find yourself repeating those annoying words, “I knew I shouldn’t have“. Nonetheless on occasion the ceremony of going out for breakfast is a stimulating and rewarding entertainment. I recall for example our matutinal outings in Key West were accompanied by picturesque, balmy venues overlooking a placid green sea.

Wintering on Hilton Head Island for months at a time captures more our ritual domestic drill than the suggestive vacation vernacular. Our first instinct here is the grocery store not an exploration of local restaurants.  Over the years during which we have been coming here we have ventured beyond our home table infrequently.  The evening meals constitute our least dalliance; breakfast or midday meals are more common. I think it’s because we enjoy dining al fresco during the daylight hours.

This morning – on the heels of last evening’s resolve to do so – we went for breakfast at Palmetto Bay Sunrise Café “Local Favourite for 18 Years!“, 88 Helmsman Way nearby the Yacht Club of Hilton Head at Broad Creek Marina. Just driving there was mirth for me. Because we bicycle so extensively here, the cycling preoccupation has eaten into my more substantial driving custom in Canada where it is nothing for me to drive 100 kms each day for mere distraction and for what I conceive to be the pure pleasure of motoring in a fine American luxury car.

Normally I wouldn’t pretend to engage in any particular gastronomic acquaintance but I feel bound to mention at least the choice which each of us had as a “starter” this morning.  I speak of avocado toast. This breakfast selection is in my books a singular adventure. In fact I doubt very much that before I met His Lordship I had even heard of it; nor would I have considered it an option even if I had. Customarily my repetitive breakfast menu was nothing more indecent than bacon, eggs and sausage. But two years ago in Sarasota, Florida we frequented a quirky health food restaurant having a preposterous name – perhaps it was the Green Zebra Café, yes that was it – pointedly located in the “Trusted CBD Store” on Main Street. His Lordship ordered their avocado toast, one order for the two of us to share.  It is a mark of its success that today we once again ordered avocado toast, but this time one for each of us.  The two models – Sarasota and Hilton Head Island – were, apart obviously from the toast and avocado, remarkably different.  As His Lordship reminded me, the Sarasota template had drizzled honey; today’s version was imbued with oil and Balsamic vinegar.  Both had watercress (though I am uncertain about Sarasota). In sum, avocado toast enjoys the plausible singularity of choice when having breakfast away from one’s own kitchen; and, it fulfills every conceivable dimension of taste.

The restaurant opened for business at 6:00 am.  We arrived sometime around 7ish. In addition to the early morning humans at the trough there were several dogs in attendance – two were standard poodles (with their uncropped tails significantly).  Their owners sat on the outdoor patio (perhaps beneath heaters).  The dogs, when not craning for morsels from their masters’ table, reclined beneath or adjacent the chairs. We are dog lovers.  Regularly we remark upon the dogs we see on the bike paths or upon the beach. I overheard a woman talking today about how her dog is a good “therapy” dog and it made me consider for a brief moment whether I would once again consider having a dog. I will however bear the deprivation.  Not only because I might self-extinguish before the dog; but importantly because I question whether my mounting immobility poses a serious impediment to responsible parenthood. Meanwhile we content ourselves – as we do with breakfast out – with occasional encounters only.