Confessions of a Breadboard Addict - Page 4 of 7 - The Breadboard
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.
A lot of people have a big party on the December 31st. I’m not so much into that kind of thing. For one reason, I like to get to bed around 9:30. Also, mid-winter I’m usually hunkered down working my way through dark, cold mornings and grey, wet weather – starting to count the days to spring. You know, kind of hibernation mode. But September is a different deal. To me, that’s the start of a new year. Kids are going back to school. The weather is cooling down. Also, the smoke usually starts to clear. (Except this year was pretty good!) Fortunately, it’s not over. The Breadboard deck is open until October 31st. The trees are starting to change color. The kids are busy and everyone knows that Mommy and Daddy are too. Oh yes. They are having important “business” conversations many mornings. They are finding time in their busy busy schedules to “network” and talk “business”. But, oh, they miss the kids – they really miss the little munchkins – but somehow they are finding a way to get through a boring, intense “business” breakfast while the kids are at school and they recognize it is a sacrifice but Mommy and Daddy are willing to put in whatever time and effort it takes to provide a secure future for their children. Whatever it takes – even if it takes getting together a couple times a week at the Breadboard and eating Cinnamon Roll French Toast and California Omelettes and Marionberry Muffins and Frittatas and Pancakes and Huevos Rancheros, etc… That’s what parents do. They don’t throw themselves in front of the bus or under the bus for the sake of the family. That doesn’t accomplish anything. No – they put the kids ON the bus. Then, they sacrifice. They make that call to two or three of their friends and they “network” for the sake of the family. It’s hard being a parent. It’s a big responsibility. That’s why the Breadboard serves amazing food and the deck is open on beautiful fall mornings – it’s for the kids – it’s all about sacrifice…for the children. I love fall.
It’s getting into election season now. I guess. To me, it’s felt like election season is more like a couple of years long anymore. I was enjoying a latte on the deck at the Breadboard the other day and I was telling one of the servers that I was getting kind of tired of hearing about it and I started to get kind of political and then she did the strangest thing… She put her hand on my shoulder, looked me in the eye and just started singing “millions of peaches, peaches for me, millions of peaches, peaches for free.” Then, she winked and walked off. Two minutes later, she put a cup of fresh local sliced peaches on my table and said, “compliments of the presidents of the United States.” Ok. Then a hipster 30 something – “keep Portland weird” – type person at the table leaned over and explained that there was a hit song about peaches a while back and their group name was the Presidents of the United States and I thought everything was still a little odd but then I started to eat the peaches and there was juice running down my chin and I called the server over and asked what the deal was and she told me that the Rogue Valley has the best peaches in the whole world and the Breadboard gets ’em and you can have ’em in a cup or on your pancakes or on your waffle or whatever you want and that’s why people from all over the world come to Breadboard in August. And I started singing that peaches in a can come from a man in a factory but these peaches come from a tree and that’s as awesome as that can be! I say peach season trumps any other season. Punny, right?
It’s amazing that only a few hours drive from the Breadboard you can easily find yourself deep in the Trinity Alps. That’s what they are called. Alps. Stunning jagged peaks with huge granite cirques and deep clear lakes teeming with trout. I was on the deck the other morning trying to decide what to order, as usual I was looking out at the view waiting for inspiration. There are so many good things on the menu and the specials change daily and they are creative and always yummy and I didn’t know what to do. As I looked up at Grizzly Peak, I remembered a recent backpacking trip to the Trinity Alps – the clear mountain streams, the climb into the higher elevations and the huge granite boulders and deep pools of cool crisp water – the fresh air, the deep blue sky – and that’s when it hit me… I was in the mood for a Mountain Man. It’s been on the menu for 20 years – a classic. A simple dish of fresh baked buttermilk biscuits and homemade country gravy and eggs and cheese with a side of homefries. Simple basic ingredients all combined into a glorious comforting delicious masterpiece. And this morning – I just wanted coffee – black, bold, better not bitter Goodbean coffee. This morning was about the basics – the simple things in life – pure goodness. And that was that. Cool summer morning. Great views. Great service. Great food.
Every now and then something historic happens in Ashland. Once a star from Portlandia had breakfast at the Breadboard. Another time Johnny Depp had 5 Irish coffees in the now defunct Dragon Fly. Then, of course, there was the time that Reese Witherspoon had a turkey burger on the deck of the Breadboard and they basically made a huge Hollywood blockbuster based on her experience. So, I felt like this little town had seen more excitement than could ever be expected. Well, little did I know how wrong I was. You see, last week, I was eating a turkey burger on the deck at the Breadboard, enjoying the view, thinking about Reese and wondering if she ever thought about me – but then she’s never met me or heard of me and I think she’s actually kind of short and sort of angry – but I digress – anyway, I looked over about two tables away and basking in the sun and chowing down on a mammoth killer chicken sandwich with avocado and bacon and jalapeños and pepper jack cheese on a freshly baked French roll was none other than – well – I don’t know who it was actually, but with the sun on her face and the view of Grizzly Peak displayed in the background and the obvious tastiness of the sandwich, I knew this was an important moment. I knew it couldn’t be Oprah because she looked entirely different than her. She was more like a Charlize Theron or almost like an Audrey Hepburn type but more with a Woody Allen kind of vibe. I don’t know, it’s hard to explain. Then I realized nothing was really making any sense. I was in a food euphoria and I was enjoying my burger so much and she was enjoying her sandwich so much and the ambiance was so amazing that I knew this was a famous moment for Ashland. A moment of unparalleled bliss. I knew this experience needed to be documented and cherished for the good of all those in Ashlandia. And then, out of nowhere I heard a soft, sweet voice…”Sir, sir…excuse me – sir – would you like more iced tea?” I sheepishly asked, “Is it freshly brewed – I mean, it’s delicious – it must be.” “Well, of course,” she replied. And I had more tea. And I thought – and I’m still thinking…
Nightmares last night. Cold sweat. Shaking. The works. When spring rolls around in Ashland, it’s hard to imagine you could worry about anything. I mean the deck at the Breadboard is open and you can eat great yummy food and the servers and bussers and cooks are cheerfully slaving away catering to your every whim and the views are breathtaking. I mean, the view from the deck alone is worth paying for – I mean, you could buy an $800,000 dollar house in Ashland and get the same view but no one would make you breakfast and lunch and do the dishes for you and you don’t have pay property tax. But getting back to my problem, my revelation, the source of my agonizing dread … There is a conspiracy in Ashland, and I’m afraid it might involve the highest levels of our local government. I’m just saying – I mean if I don’t say it… I just – I just can’t ignore it. We each have a responsibility to stand up for each other. Ok, here goes… I was walking above Lithia Park last evening and I saw what “appeared to be” one of our top elected public servants engaged in what “appeared to be” a verbal exchange with several deer. And now, if you feed a deer, there just “happens” to be a fine of $435… Something’s up. Paranoid? I say where there’s smoke there is most definitely fire. I mean, we all knew the deer were pretty much taking over Ashland. But now – with what certainly appears to be a steady source of significant financing – I just – I just don’t know. If they have funding it’s GAME OVER FOLKS! No overtime. It’s hard to believe I’m the only one who’s put it together. I gotta eat. I need another delicious big ole’ Marionberry muffin.
I was enjoying my Lemon Poppyseed pancakes at the Breadboard the other day – so yummy – and I overheard one of the strangest conversations I had ever heard. You see, the Breadboard has this amazing, thick-cut bacon. It’s not just bacon – it is something special and really quite addictive. For sure, I am not the only one who thinks so. So, I’m sitting there and these two guys are eating eggs and homefries and side after side of bacon and then this one guy says he just got back from China and on the Yangtze River near Lijiang there lives this Chinese minority people called the Moso and they are known for their “Boneless Pig”. They slaughter a big pig, debone it and salt it. Then they use the pig as a “mattress” for up to a dozen years – really – and then they eat it. This is really true. The Breadboard has free wi-fi and I googled it and everyone at our table was kind of horrified. But both guys were SO enthusiastic about this… To them, it was like a dream come true, a fantasy. One of the guys was saying he wanted to move to a little hill town near Lijiang and sleep on a boneless pig, and he keeps munching bite after bite of bacon… I’m not sure what was weirder to me, the Moso custom or their reaction. I mean, bacon is good – the “gateway meat” and all that – and the Breadboard bacon is almost mystical in its power of goodness but things were just too strange and for the first time, I opted for a fresh fruit cup instead of a side of bacon. I’m not saying I’m not still addicted to Breadboard bacon. But just on that day, at this particular time, I thought someone needed to show just a little restraint. Well, I did get a side of sausage patties, but they are peppery and delicious and one can only show so much restraint…