Confessions of a Breadboard Addict - The Breadboard
I’ve been contemplating part of a conversation I overheard the other day while enjoying a delicious meal at the Breadboard. A younger nicely dressed and dignified woman was talking to these two businessman-looking guys and I kind of started eavesdropping in the middle of some story where she said “Once I was blading out a corral of replacement heifers – ” And then I was interrupted by a cheerful server who wanted to know if I was ready to order and I missed the point of the woman’s story because my attention was diverted back to my original dilemma of trying to decide between a sweet or a savory special because that’s something I love about the Breadboard – they change their specials daily and they always have something sweet like a yummy stuffed French toast or a crepe AND they always have something savory like a veggie frittata or a creative scramble so I’m always satisfied no matter what my mood is each day – and I can be moody – but anyway, I digress – about those replacement heifers – it’s not something I hear mentioned in Ashland often – well, never actually, and it sort of sounds a little dark and I don’t know what she was talking about but when I re-entered my eavesdropping mode she was saying that she had realized that if she did her own yard work for one hour a week she could save herself $30 a week and she can totally stuff herself for $15 at the Breadboard so she decided to eat at the Breadboard at least once a week and do her own yardwork and she felt like she was actually making $15 a week. The business guys were intrigued by her conversation and seemed a little confused and one of the guys was scribbling something on a yellow pad and then he mentioned if she went to the Breadboard twice a week it was a break even proposition and I jumped in and mentioned that that was a great idea because then could have something sweet one day and something savory the next but I realized they weren’t too cool with me being part of the conversation and she mumbled something about “blading out” and it was a little awkward but the frittata that day was amazing and then the server crashed in and started talking about the soup of the day and who needs more coffee etc. and everything was fine.
Few things are more exciting than raising a child – especially a really neat child… I was in the Breadboard the other day and I overheard one of the crew talking about having just passed one of the biggest milestones in life – high school graduation. Having been raised on Breadboard omelettes and Stuffed French Toast specials of every flavor and having bussed tables at the Breadboard since she was 8 or so – she seemed healthy, full of life and well-prepared for any challenge. I was sure her parents must have cherished every moment watching her grow and mature. I must say, they seemed to have done an excellent job – in my completely objective opinion. I asked her what her plans were and she mumbled something about Taiwan and then started speaking Chinese but all I really got was that she wanted to know if I wanted more delicious Goodbean coffee and then she was off to help a half-dozen other customers. Clearly, she was well-adjusted and she had navigated her youth masterfully. Now, she was off to adventures of another kind and I envied the possibilities that lie ahead. Having attended and pretty much aced Montessori, Helman, AMS and AHS, she was well-prepared for any circumstance. I could tell she was well-loved by many and that her parents must be so very proud of her. She done good and was off to a flying start. As I walked out the front door, completely satisfied from my scrumptious meal, I couldn’t help but share valuable wisdom… “The future lies ahead, and always remember the words of the immortal Buckaroo Banzai… ‘no matter where you go, there you are.’ “
The Classic Eggs Benedict served 7 days a week – put it on your bucket list and invite Jim Belushi to join you…
There’s a rumor that Jim Belushi was recently seen having dinner at Thai Pepper. Apparently, because the Breadboard doesn’t serve dinner or really anything Asian – fusion – like, Mr. Belushi must have decided that’s was really his only option. I think that’s just fine and I applaud his good judgement. The food there is great. But I’m getting off the point… What’s really interesting is that everyone knows Mr. Belushi for his role in “Hoodwinked” as the Woodsman, which sort of prophesied his move to a cabin on the Rogue River. Even more significantly, long before “Hoodwinked” set the world on fire, in 1995, he starred in the enduring classic “Canadian Bacon” with John Candy and Rip Torn. The movie was directed by Michael Moore and it has a Rotten Tomatoes score of 14% but everyone knows real cinematic art never panders to the populist approval of Rotten Tomatoes. This is where a closer study of the man becomes really intriguing. Apparently, there’s a rumor that Mr. Belushi has actually never tried the Eggs Benedict at the Breadboard and that’s intriguing because the “canadian” bacon is really good in the Breadboard Eggs Benedict and the whole dish is, well, a classic – in a Hollywood blockbuster kind of way while giving a tip of the hat to our gentle neighbors to the north. And here, even more synergy emerges because the Breadboard crew are actually kind of like Canadians because they are really friendly, peaceful and unpretentious (except none of them are really into hockey but this is a minor diversion from prophetic fulfillment). Now, I know I’m rambling here, but I think there is a natural pattern emerging, a conversion of energy in an Ashlandy new age gestalt that revolves around the undeniable allure of one of life’s bucket list must things to do – savoring every delicious creamy bite of the classic Breadboard Eggs Benedict… with Jim Belushi, if possible.
There is something different and wonderful about the Breadboard. Yeah, the food is yummy. The bacon is amazing. Everyone pretty much notices that stuff right away… But the thing that is really special is the crew. A lot of times customers aren’t really sure who the owners are – that’s because the people that work there all treat the place like they are the owner. Each “employee” feels like the Breadboard is “their” place and each one is personally committed to making everyone feel happy and at home. Combined, the staff has worked there for well over a century. Sounds like an exaggeration, but when you consider that Kerri has been there for 23 years, Jim for 15, Maria for 11 and many others approaching the decade mark – you begin to feel like there’s a reason people feel like family – because they are. One server who is approaching the 11 year mark is Patrick. He’s dealing with cancer right now. He’s going to beat it – but not alone – the whole Breadboard family is pulling for him. Here’s to Patrick. Please keep him in your prayers and thoughts. Go Team Patrick!
Great Food. Speedy Quick Service. No Ties Required (but if you do wear one, remember: #correct tie length balances the ensemble)
Normally, I try not to think too much about politics – just feels to divisive and messy and emotional and disturbing. But the other day I overheard a conversation in the Breadboard while I was eating an amazing omelette that was delivered to me in record time and I feel like enough is enough and I must come to terms with this sort of “elephant in the room” as they say. Someone needs to take a stand and speak up. I was listening to a conversation between two millennials or gen x’ers or whatever they’re called and they were stylishly dressed – I guess – if that’s the thing right now – but anyway, they were discussing a really important issue. Things just don’t add up. Something is really mysterious and messed up and must be addressed. To continue to sit back and do nothing is irresponsible, to say the least. Here’s the thing: Melania Trump is supposedly some fashionista big deal and the Trumps come from fashion and the New York scene and big money and years of the public spotlight and his tie is ridiculously long. I mean, really. What is the deal? He’s been criticized all over the media. You can even google “tie-length” and figure this one out. He’s making a huge fashion faux pas, si’l vous plait… It’s obvious that when a tie is worn at the proper length it helps balance out your legs and torso – the Trumps must own a full-length mirror. Wearing a tie at an incorrect length throws the balance of the ensemble off. When worn too long it can make the whole look look frumpy and sloppy. When worn too short the look can look clownish. Everyone should know this – especially #POTUS. There, I’ve said it. I feel much better.
So I was in the Breadboard last Sunday morning enjoying a most satisfyingly scrumptious serving of Magic Mushroom Omelet when I noticed a man in the booth across from me furiously writing in his journal. He seemed familiar to me, and as I thoroughly thought through the thing, I realized he had been at the Breadboard every time I had ever been there. In fact, I had seen him there so often that I wondered if he ate there every day. This guy must be a Breadboard addict, I thought. Pondering what it was that drew him back to the restaurant repeatedly, I took in the Ashland scene and was immediately struck by the cold, colorless canvas of the winter sky outside the window. I picked up my hot coffee in its cheery cherry colored cup, and sipped the smooth brew slowly as I took in the wonderfully warm, welcoming sounds, appetite-arousing aromas and appealing atmosphere of this colorfully casual café. So inspired, like The Addict I too started documenting my Breadboard experience on a slightly soiled napkin. Perhaps there may be another journal entry ‘Ode to a Muffin’…by an anonymous Breadboard appassionato… of which there are many…
I was in the Breadboard the other day. It was important that I get there on the first day of the year at 7 am – right when they opened because I always need to get the first Eggs Benedict of the year because I’m a busy person and I have priorities. And there were some people next to me (that arrived shortly after I did because they are not as motivated as I am) and they were talking about the late musician Prince and what an interesting person he was. I’ve never really been into Prince but as I was eavesdropping I thought their conversation was poignant so I didn’t feel that creepy. They were talking about how he thought that time was a trick and he wasn’t really into the artificial boundaries of time and he used to sort of half-seriously joke that deadlines were stupid because what happens if he didn’t make a deadline then when he crossed the line would he be dead? So just chill. Do the best you can but be real about things too…etc. and I thought that was just like the Breadboard because other than opening at 7 am and closing at 2 pm every day, the idea of time doesn’t really matter because you can stay as long as you want and if you’re in a hurry, then they are in a hurry for you and the main thing isn’t the timing of the food – it’s that the food gets there when you need it. It just happens that you are satifisfied when you sit down. You get coffee or soda or whatever you need, right when you need it. You get the attention you need when you need it and the food comes when you need satisfaction. If that means right away then it’s right away. It’s about satisfaction and realities rather than perceived priorities. I’ve never really had to “wait” at the Breadboard. But I’ve always been given the space for the proper amount of anticipation. They help me to adjust my focus so that I am always being organically, holistically, and gently nurtured into a healthier mindset. It’s never about the time, so to speak, it’s about the ultimate satisfaction. And I thought as the year starts off and I’m thinking about goals and accomplishments and new beginnings…yadda, yadda, yadda… the time isn’t the important thing. It’s that I am here. Now. Scarfing down an awesome, creamy, Eggs Benny. Listening in on a weird and interesting Ashlandy conversation and this is MY time and any time at the Breadboard is the right time.
As everyone knows, incorrect grammar can mean the difference between life and death. I was reminded of this the other day when I was treating myself to a delicious breakfast at the Breadboard. The kids were so excited at the table next to me and they were pounding their little paws on the table singing “Let’s eat, Mom!” And I thought if they were texting each other – because this could really happen because most kids seem to have phones now – and anyway if they were really making a plan and they left out the comma then they would be telling each other to eat Mom (“Let’s eat Mom!”) and if one of them was a little crazy and very literal, the grammar mistake could have dire consequences. English grammar is difficult. The thing is, at the Breadboard no one really cares how you ask for your food. Run on sentences are fine. You can point and grunt and they get it. “Me want MOUNTAIN MAN!” works. They get the point. “Me want Pumpkin Pancakes FAST and BIG” is perfectly acceptable usage of the English language at the Breadboard especially now when the weather requires comfort food and they ain’t no better momma on the plate-type grub then yummy Breadboard food – oh yeah, me LOVIN’ Breadboard so let’s eat everybody! ‘Nuff said.
I was amazed the other day when I drove up to the Breadboard – there were people waiting outside and the place looked slammed. I panicked, but just as I pulled into one of the parking lots, another car pulled out and I got a space. As my friends and I sheepishly walked to the front door, muscling our way through the hordes of ravenous wanna-be diners, I was greeted by a chipper little host who welcomed me and I felt a calmness amidst the chaos – a pleasant feeling of peace and hope – an anticipation of satisfaction. It was weird. There was a waiting list so you might think people would be freaking out, but that wasn’t the case – people were happy – almost euphoric as they talked about what they were going to eat. In the end, the wait didn’t seem to be that long. It was kind of like waiting for the next Star Wars – you think you can’t handle it, then when it comes out, you feel like it wasn’t that long and it was totally worth the anticipation. We waited just long enough that our mouths were watering and we were ready to savor every bite – then, when it started to feel like almost too much to handle, we were seated and surrounded by peaceful bliss. The food came – it was well worth waiting for and my adventure at the Breadboard ended happily ever after. No sunset – just driving off feeling satisfied and pampered…
was having breakfast at the Breadboard the other day and a couple of people who were sitting next to me were talking about the upcoming election and they were debating about whether or not they even wanted to vote. One of them said they had just had four wisdom teeth pulled and when under anesthesia this person claimed to have had a vision of hiking on the Great Wall in China on a beautiful fall morning and had encountered Mr. Trump and Ms. Clinton arrayed in typical Terra Cotta Warrior garb and they were engaged in a kind of Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon contest. Then the other person claimed that it could come to that because things have gotten so weird, anything wouldn’t be surprising and anyone who eats 1000 year old eggs might be able to sort of skip-fly but after a big Breadboard breakfast the food is so good it makes you feel like dancing rather than skip-flying. Then, I realized I was really eavesdropping and my fluffy fresh egg omelette was only minutes old and how could an egg be a thousand years old and I realized the service was so fast at the Breadboard that the servers were sort of skip-flying about and I was happy that the Breadboard consistently serves up wholesome, fresh, home style yummy food. As for the election, I think a ancient Chinese sort of duel might be kind of cool.