DINING: Strong start for Nokomis Breakfast House
Published May 2, 2012
Published: Monday, April 2, 2012 at 1:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Tuesday, May 1, 2012 at 1:42 p.m.
It's Wednesday morning and Eating Companion (EC) and I are sitting outside of the new Nokomis Breakfast House, the South County companion to Fruitville Road's restaurant of the same name. The Nokomis Breakfast House (NBH) opened something like two months ago, at the absolute height of season, and most mornings the parking lot has been packed.
Nokomis Breakfast House
2301 N. Tamiami Trail, Nokomis
In keeping with the northern location, NBH is decorated in what has come to be known as Key West Style, with bright chairs and napkins and tablecloths of bright oranges and yellows, vibrant purples.
The outside patio is generously shaded by a gnarled, sprawling old oak tree that actually has a palm tree sort of growing out of its center, a pretty cool phenomenon I've never seen before.
It's gorgeous out today, the sky cloudless, the sun still low in the eastern sky, a soft sea breeze coming off the nearby Intracoastal Waterway. The place is packed. Our neighboring diners, a four-top of high-spirited retirees, have a table loaded with stacks of very fluffy looking pancakes.
EC and I are meeting an old friend, who has texted us his order as he is taking his sweet time getting here. He wants "anything without mayo" which really narrows things down on a breakfast menu. We just wing it: an order of biscuits and gravy with potatoes ($6.95), banana nut pancakes ($7.50), crepés a la fruit ($6.95), country eggs Benedict with potatoes ($10.50), and today's breakfast special, a frittata with turkey, bacon, sausage, ham, Jack cheese, salsa and sour cream, which sounds kind of dreamy.
We also order coffee, which is strong and dark and perfect. The waiters and waitresses seem really on the ball, at your elbow with a refill the second your coffee mug flirts with empty.
The food ends up being more than our little table can handle. Able-bodied men that we are, we drag another table over, make room. Our friend is still nowhere to be seen, which you can imagine makes us look kind of silly, what with all this food at the table and just the two of us with forks in hand.
We start in on the eggs Bene and the biscuits and gravy. The Bene is zesty and rich, with American bacon, which EC and I prefer, in place of the traditional Canadian. To say the portions are generous would be an understatement, especially the biscuits and gravy, which is chock-full of sausage and seasoned perfectly.
The frittata is stuffed with turkey, sausage, bacon and ham, smothered in cheese and salsa and sour cream. It's a savory spectacle. On the other hand, the crepes are sweet, delicate little affairs, with a sort of raspberry jam and a dusting of powdered sugar.
EC complains that since I ordered the banana nut pancakes, he can't stop mentally humming the melody to that stupid Jack Johnson song, "Banana Pancakes," which was a favorite song of every girl either of us dated in college and gives us the howlers each time it comes on our Pandora stations.
But the pancakes are delicious, served with -- wait for it -- actual maple syrup! As in, Real Maple Syrup. From maple trees. We're overjoyed. The pancakes are fluffy, cloud-like, full of walnuts and sliced bananas.
Our friend finally shows up, only to find us half-finished with all of the dishes, EC and I looking a little embarrassed, caught in the act.
He sits down, asks, "What's good?" We say, in unison, "Everything."
This story appeared in print on page E12
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