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The Empty Pockets stay in a lot of hotels these days as we travel hither and yon about this great big country of ours. One question seems to emerge at every hotel, big and small: "What time does breakfast close?" You see, most of the hotels we stay at offer a complimentary "breakfast buffet" that opens at some horridly early time in the morning and closes just slightly earlier than a reasonable musicians wake-up time. That being said, the breakfast buffet is often worth rising early for, as it can provide much needed energy for the day and be quite a boon on the old pocket book. But after awhile, you can become bored with the standard fair of fruits, grains, dairy, meats and juices offered by anything but the most modest hotel buffet and crave something more substantial. Well fear not, for the Empty Pockets have a sure-fire way to get the most out of your next hotel breakfast buffet experience. Read on, MacDuff!
A standard bit of morning deliciousness.
Beginners Tip: The Parfait
Everybody's got to start somewhere, so why not start somewhere delicious, like the breakfast buffet parfait? It's a healthy morning treat, super easy to make and nearly every hotel buffet, small to large, has the components to make a tasty parfait. Have you ever met a person, you say, "Let's get some parfait," they say, "Hell no, I don't like no parfait"? Parfaits are delicious!
Step 1) Get some yogurt. Often there will be a few flavors to choose from, my favorite is strawberry, but you can use whatever you would like.
Step 2) Get some fruit. The easiest to obtain and slice for parfait usage is the almighty banana, but you can use any fruit if you're willing to put in the effort to slice it up small enough with those silly plastic knives that are often the only utensils available.
Step 3) Get some granola or granola-type cereal. If the hotel doesn't offer a granola cereal, you can use corn-flakes. (Pro-Tip: Frosted Flakes may sound like a great idea.... because it is.)
Step 4) Combine all of the ingredients in a cereal bowl and enjoy! You've just created your first breakfast buffet parfait and hopefully not your last. Mangia!
"Parfait's gotta be the most delicious thing on the whole damn planet!"
Intermediate Tip: The Breakfast Sandwich
The breakfast sandwich is a delicious way to mix up the offerings of your hotel breakfast buffet into a new flavor sensation. It's a classic breakfast treat and is fairly easy to make. Most hotel breakfast buffets will offer more than one option as well, so customize to your heart's content!
Step 1) Get a bagel and slice it open. Alternately, you can also use an English Muffin, or if it's offered, a buttermilk biscuit. Toast to taste.
Step 2) Locate the eggs and add as many of those as you think you can handle to your sliced and possibly toasted grain base. Be careful, they're going to squish out the sides whilst you enjoy your tasty treat, so take less than you think you should. But only a little.
Step 3) Add your meat option to your burgeoning sandwich. Often, hotels will offer bacon and sausage and sometimes they offer both a sausage patty and sausage links. The sausage patty is basically designed for this use as a sandwich meat, but do what you feel. (Pro-Tip: Only sausage links available? Slice those suckers down the center for a no-roll meat-option.) Vegetable-tarians can skip this step, of course!
Step 4) Add cheese. Some breakfast buffets won't offer cheese at all, so this may not be an option. But if it is, may I recommend you exercise your right to dairy? You'll thank me for it. (Pro-Tip: Slap that sucker in the available microwave for 15 to 20 seconds to get the cheese melty.)
Step 5) Combine and enjoy! Delicious sandwich goodness is the spoils of your victory of over the boring breakfast buffet blahs. All alliteration aside, enjoy this tasty bit of breakfast heaven.
If you could have this, why wouldn't you?
Expert Tip: Improving Bad Sausage Gravy
Bad sausage gravy is a terrible thing, something I wouldn't wish upon my worst enemy. It's flavorless goop that only serves to make breakfast a sad state of affairs, especially if you were expecting deliciously good sausage gravy. Well fret-not, because here's an easy, sure-fire way to improve the quality of the sometimes lacking hotel breakfast buffet sausage gravy. (Side note: Not all buffets will offer sausage gravy and not all sausage gravy offered by breakfast buffets is bad. When in doubt, check the gravy. If it's white rather than grey and has no discernible bits of sausage in it, it could probably use some help.)
Step 1) Get your biscuits and place them on your plate or in a bowl, whatever your preference.
Step 2) Get your sausage gravy and place it in a separate bowl, as it's about to get modified. Grab a spoon for mixing and serving purposes.
Step 3) Get the local sausage offerings. Patties are easiest, but you can also make links work. Chop the sausage up into the smallest bits you can. (Pro-Tip: If links are the only offering, you can slice them down the center and scoop the ground sausage off the skin.)
Step 4) Add the chopped sausage into your sausage gravy and mix furiously. If everything is not pipping hot, place it in the microwave for 10 - 15 seconds and then mix again. Good sausage gravy is made with the pan leavings from cooking sausage, so you're goal is to get your chopped sausage as thoroughly integrated as possible. (Pro-Tip: For the Paula Deen method, add some butter while it's in the microwave. She's always adding butter to stuff.)
Step 5) Add your slapped-up sausage gravy to your biscuit and enjoy the luxury of not eating below-standard sausage gravy. Dee-lish!
The breakfast of champions.
The possibilities are limitless! Just use your imagination and the hotel breakfast buffet can be a gastronomic wonderland ready for your plucking. Hell, if you have any favorite breakfast buffet combinations or tips and tricks, send them our way. The Empty Pockets always appreciate a bump-up in the food department.
With visions of biscuits and gravy dancing in my head,