So Hot Right Now

Why I'm Bored of Hearing About Breakfast

June  1, 2016

Hark! Early birds and lovers of the 3 P.M. brunch, today's the day: Extra Crispy, a website devoted entirely to breakfast and outfitted with a yolk-colored banner, is live. (And they're hiring a bacon critic—could it be you? It could be!)

The content is diverse: a recipe from Suzanne Goin for Oven-Baked Eggs with White Beans, Roasted Tomatoes, and Olives; a guide to the seven people you'll find "brunching"; a story from John Devore "about a young, dumb, broke bro living off knishes" (spoiler alert: it's him); an explanation of why we're still eating Pop-Tarts, despite all evidence that we should not be; and—my personal favorite—a series of articles under the category Is it Gross? and subtitled ¯\(ツ)/¯.

And the truth is, I need Extra Crispy right now—because I'm bored with breakfast, and I'm bored with breakfast content.

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Once upon a time, when I was 11 and scarfed down Rice Krispies at 6:30 A.M. every morning, not understanding what it meant to wake up tired—too tired to think about getting dressed, let alone cooking something—hot breakfast was a desirable luxury, weekend pancakes a welcome reprieve.

But today, breakfast is something I like to not think about. I eat the same thing every morning and I'm grateful for its blandness, for the ho-humness of my not-at-all-cute routine. When someone offers to make me eggs or, golly, waffles, I'm overwhelmed. I look to the ground and quietly decline. I'd prefer Puffins—even on the weekends. Maybe that makes me boring. Maybe that makes me a hypocrite. I don't really care.

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Top Comment:
“If I'm not into sweet stuff on one day I just rub some ripped tomato, put some good olive oil and it's works for me too (typical catalan breakfast option) I pair the toasts with fresh orange juice and a good cup of coffee. Not a big fan over prepared b-fast myself. I like to keep it simple but different just by having different bread and preserve flavours to choose ;-)”
— Susanna

Because where dinner requires meal-planning and grocery shopping and recipe sifting, the beauty of breakfast is its simplicity: a cereal box and a milk carton. The quickest two-ingredient meal, simple and spoonable enough that I can focus on the newspaper (or emails). As delicious as that Suzanne Goin recipe sounds, I don't want to cook beans from scratch for breakfast. Is this such a sin? It's already shameful (albeit, in a funny way) to eat cereal for dinner. Must it now be considered embarrassing to eat cereal for breakfast, too? I hope I don't see that day.

But maybe this is also the root of our country's newfound breakfast obsession: Whereas lunch and dinner seem like necessities, breakfast—a meal that so many skip, and hey, that might not be as bad as we've thought all along!—is still fantasy-land. It's fun to dream up the fried egg sandwiches we'll create, the doughnuts we'll scour the city for, the cinnamon rolls we'll get into the oven at 6 A.M.—you know, when we get our lives together. When we have 3 extra hours in the morning, and when we don't value the morning as a time not to think too much. If those plans don't come to fruition, it's okay: It's just breakfast. And if we do end up with a hot, extra crispy breakfast, it feels like a bonus meal. Dinner is an obligation; breakfast is fun.

So I'm counting on Extra Crispy to give me a reason to care about breakfast. I'll probably skip any technique-y pieces, and I'll look at the recipes—but I won't make them. Instead, I'm excited to laugh about cereal Frankensteining and to learn about the origin of the "brinner" phenomenon. I'll read all about it over my bowl of Puffins.

People who eat hot breakfast every morning: Are you out there? Reveal yourself—and explain how you do it—in the comments below.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • Adriane Shankles
    Adriane Shankles
  • Noreen Fish
    Noreen Fish
  • Susanna
  • lilroseglow
  • Diane Leach
    Diane Leach
I used to work at Food52. I'm probably the person who picked all of the cookie dough out of the cookie dough ice cream.


Adriane S. June 17, 2016
This is a wonderful site! Thanks for sharing!
Noreen F. June 2, 2016
If I'm roasting or sauteing veggies for dinner, I just do a little extra, then use it the next morning as a topping for a fried egg or a filling for a frittata.
Susanna June 2, 2016
I like to have toasts of my own homemade whole wheat and seeds sandwhich bread which I bake once a week, usually on Friday evenings. I freeze it sliced and have them ready to go every morning. Just put them in the toaster and they are as good as as just baked! On top of toast I like cream cheese, or unsalted Kerrygold butter with all kind of fruit preserves and jams. I usually have several flavours in stock (also home made on weekends).
Have I said I love my kitchen-time during weekends?
If I'm not into sweet stuff on one day I just rub some ripped tomato, put some good olive oil and it's works for me too (typical catalan breakfast option)
I pair the toasts with fresh orange juice and a good cup of coffee.
Not a big fan over prepared b-fast myself. I like to keep it simple but different just by having different bread and preserve flavours to choose ;-)
lilroseglow June 1, 2016
Baked eggs for weekday breakfast:
1) on the weekend, prep additions (e.g dice canadian bacon, saute mushrooms, steam asparagus bits, saute bell peppers&onions, etc.)

2) the night before: grease a small gratin dish, and add in pre-prepped ingredients; set oven to preheat at 6:15am to 400 degrees; set out 2 eggs and salt and pepper by the gratin dish

3) in the morning around 6:30am, break eggs over the ingredients in the gratin dish; add salt and pepper to taste; slide into the pre-warmed oven

4) shower quickly; dress in bathrobe

5) remove eggs from oven; pour juice or milk; eat.

We do this throughout wrestling season in my house; I prep, my son wakes up and adds the eggs, slides into the oven, and then returns after showering to hot eggs; Variations are endless, but favorites include smoked salmon w/ asparagus, canadian bacon with peppers&onions, spinach and diced tomato, mushrooms and onions.
Diane L. June 1, 2016
Does toast or english muffin with cream cheese count as hot breakfast? With coffee? here's why: I have to help my disabled spouse shower, dress, and get into his wheelchair. Without that breakfast, I'd die on my feet from low blood sugar. This requires rising at 4:45 am. Loathesome but necessary.
Kat K. June 1, 2016
We are here for you and I will do my goshdarndest not to disappoint!
Allyn June 1, 2016
We either eat a hot breakfast or something like a smoothie bowl (so still plenty of moving parts) every day. I try to keep things pretty simple, since I'm cooking pre-coffee, and rotate between 2 choices each week. Sometimes the next week is the same two choices, sometimes it's different, but we just seem happier with a good breakfast, and it's one more daily meal that I know we're getting fruits/vegetables, which I consider a win.
Also, if I'm being honest, the only breakfast cereals that appeal to me are Golden Grahams, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and other ones that were a super special treat as a kid, reserved for holidays and vacation. I know that I shouldn't eat them every day, but most other cereal is a massive disappointment by comparison.
M June 1, 2016
I eat the same thing almost every morning - bagel with cream cheese, fresh tomato, and coffee - but I find it a delight rather than monotony because I put my own embellishments on it. I pick extra-flavourful fresh beans, and flavour the cream cheese and tomatoes exactly to my taste. I get something a bit fancier, but I never have to think about it because it's a well-worn habit now.