Friday, December 3, 2010

Big City Bread Cafe, Athens GA

  I got on the road about 6:30 to make the breakfast date with my daughter Ashley at 9:00 sharp. She was not pleased about the early start, but rising early is good for her I think. I plodded though the Atlanta traffic driving west on I-20 into the brake lit early dawn. It actually was a pleasant drive with very few issues. To those not from Atlanta that last sentence is a rarity. I turned left at Conyers and passed about twenty country stores, some offering "homemade biscuits", and soon passed through Monroe, and then onto Hwy 78, and then Atlanta Hwy.

   My heater, which was recently fixed by the experts at Firestone, was not working at maximum efficiency; this will require taking it back to have them fix it again. New should work better than that. This coolness would linger with me though out most of the day unfortunately. Finding a warm place to hang out was an issue all morning. The Big City Bread Cafe was not our first choice for dining as Weaver D's Delicious Fine Foods Automatic For The People was unfortunately closed. Yeah, I don't know what the hell is up with that name either, but we will just have to find out that information later. My feet were now at the lowest temperature all morning; I needed coffee ASAP.

  Ashley had an excellent Plan B. I was amazed that a Plan B could be as good as a Plan A, but euphoria soon dimmed as her lack of specific directions about the locations of these restaurants enveloped the breakfast event. Thank goodness for Google Latitude. Love you Ashley, mean it. She redeemed herself from Plan A by directing me (generally) to the Big City Bread Cafe. Parking was almost an issue but we squeezed in behind another SUV, and I pretended not to see the faded stripped lines that seemed to call out "No Parking Here". That was going to be my defense for a obvious parking violation, and I was going to stick with it.

  This was an odd red bricked square building with multiple doors and a cool ramp thing toward the back of the building. I felt as though there were secret doors leading into a mysterious inner realm of food production. When we were leaving, a nice smiling lady disappeared into one of these doors that was covered with hand cut out arrows, that was draped with burlap, and looked real artsy. She smiled at us with a "I know something you don't know" smile as she scuttled into the back of the building. We walked onto the patio that had Rosemary bushes surrounding odd birch looking trees that had Christmas lights on them. Nice patio furniture was placed throughout the patio. As we passed by yet another door which had "use other door" sign on it we saw the chalk boards.

  Chalk boards are an important sign of goodness. I think that if there are chalk boards being used in a restaurant or cafe everything is right as rain. I really did not read the chalk board, but that is besides the point. Chalk boards mean fresh food, usually. Sometimes it means food that is about to go out of date, but it mostly means that whoever is in charge is involved with the food and menu on a daily basis. It also means that someone is really good at writing on a chalk board, which is an art.

We entered, and I smelled the coffee. I was instantly happier. Somewhat distracted by the blue and white Christmas tree ornaments hanging from the ceiling, I smiled as I looked over this cafe. This was not somewhere where I had been before, and it did not remind me of anywhere I had been before. What a great feeling of originality, well, more or less. There was a red espresso machine which was nice as I don't really think I have seen such a bright red espresso machine before. The young lady that was running the counter was not annoyed by my overall annoying personality. She was very nice answering and smiling to all my questions. There was a helper running food who reminded me of a kind elf. Not the Santa type but rather the Lord of the Rings type. She was also smiling and obviously enjoying her job.

Being located in Athens GA there were the poster things posted everywhere under the counter. This is a standard operating procedure here. If you eat in Athens or in any college town and to not see these poster things, leave immediately. We were greeted by two nasty calorie filled display cases. I was going into a sugar high already. Cakes, cookies, and chocolate covered mice, and coconut polar bear cup cakes. We grabbed up a menu and started looking for breakfast. We both ordered french toast which was going to be allegedly dredged in a batter and grilled. Then we went about drooling over the goodies in the display cases. I bought a mouse and took him to our table which was marked with a tall skinny chrome marker with a number 7 attached to the top.

We settled into a booth and started enjoying our hot beverages. I glanced at the thermostat; it was set at a disappointing 65 degrees. Still trying to get warm I sipped my coffee and took great pleasure in the black painted heat and air ducts (not so much heat, mostly air), and the black burlap squares dotting the ceiling to reduce the noise echo in this old building. Simple light fixtures and simple tables made this dining room actually pleasurable. I ate my mouse.

Soon our breakfast arrived delivered by the Elvin Princess. We were both shocked at the French Toast as it did not seem as dredged as the description. I was pleased that it looked so simple. It came with two ounces of Maple syrup which was portioned out into a souffle cup. Decorated with one lone strawberry this was a perfect breakfast. The bread was cut on a long bias, and stacked on top of each other, with a slight dusting of powdered sugar. Not too sweet, not over sugared. That in and of it self was amazing to me. There are a lot  places that muck up French Toast. These folks have it figured out. Even though it was a bit pricey ($7), I did not care one iota.

Well, I was nosy and snapped a few pictures of my neighbors breakfast when it was delivered. They were quite pleased that I took a picture of their eggs and biscuits. It looked delicious as well. I did think about asking for a bite, but I restrained myself. On the way out I had to purchase another mouse, a mini cheese cake, and a coconut Polar Bear for my wife. The mouse was the best.

Big City Bread Cafe on Urbanspoon

You should check out this place when in Athens.  gf


Ashley said...

L.A. Times articles about Weaver D's and the name "Automatic for the people":

Ashley said...

...and you said that you weren't leaving until 7 a.m.!!! ...stalker!

Gregory said...

Thanks for the article Ashley! I will post the link in the blog.