Grade-schoolers start the day with omelettes and hash browns at Liberty Ridge Elementary in Bonney Lake. TNT photo by Drew Perine.
My family had some lean years when I was a kid. I remember "reduced-priced" lunches in elementary school. I delivered mid-day milk snacks to classrooms, and got mine free in return. I think it's a really cool thing what the state is doing: providing free breakfasts to kids from low-income families.
As TNT reporter Tara M. Manthey notes, the number of Washington children eating school breakfast has soared 39 percent since the state became the first in the nation to provide free morning meals to all low-income children. Child nutrition advocates say that's proof that the former 30-cent meal price for some low-income children was too high a barrier.
I applaud the state's effort. I hope it continues. I'm not one of those "breakfast is the most important meal of the day" advocates (or debunkers), nor am I a nutritionist. I do believe there's some truth to that "important meal" sentiment, especially as a ritual, and certainly as fuel. Here's how one of my favorite gourmands, the late author Hunter S. Thompson, championed breakfast:
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Breakfast is the only meal of the day that I tend to view with the same kind of traditionalized reverence that most people associate with Lunch and Dinner. ... I like to eat breakfast alone, and almost never before noon; anybody with a terminally jangled lifestyle needs at least one psychic anchor every 24 hours, and mine is breakfast. In Hong Kong, Dallas or at home -– and regardless of whether or not I have been to bed –- breakfast is a personal ritual that can only be properly observed alone, and in a spirit of genuine excess. The food factor should always be massive: four Bloody Marys, two grapefruits, a pot of coffee, Rangoon crepes, a half-pound of either sausage, bacon or corned beef hash with diced chiles, a Spanish omelette or eggs Benedict, a quart of milk, a chopped lemon for random seasoning and something like a slice of key lime pie ...
Thompson consumed much more than that before he paid his final tab; I don't want to have to defend my blog before the local school board, so let us let the illicit lie in peace. The point is, when it comes to breakfast, I say we should all ask ourselves, "What Would Hunter Do?"
Here are some breakfasts I could enjoy to excess:
Sunday vegan buffet at Quickie Too in Tacoma.
Biscuits and gravy and hash browns at Wallaby's Delicatessen on South Tacoma Way.
Biscuits and gravy at The Parkway Tavern in Tacoma.
Steak omelet and hash browns at Marcia's Silver Spoon on South Tacoma Way.
Eggs Benedict at The Rose in Puyallup.
Eggs Benedict at The Bair in Steilacoom.
Pecan-bacon waffles at Fife City Bar & Grill.
Solitude and a view at The Tacoma Club.
Beer at The Harmon.
There are more, but I'll share my homemade chorizo crepes later.
Right now, I want to pick your breakfast brains. A reader suggested I write a breakfast round-up. I've done such tour de cuisine stories on casinos, pubs, soul food and Philly cheesesteaks. Breakfast is long overdue. Tell me what you want from breakfast and where to get it.