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Food and Drink Features
 

Gimme a break


Breakfast items vary from country to country but have one thing in common: they are delicious.

Angela Botzer December 18th, 2013

You know you need breakfast before you go on an all-day holiday shopping trip, but all you currently have in your kitchen is ketchup, a can of tuna and some okra because there’s no time to shop for groceries. Bored to tears of the traditional American breakfast of eggs, bacon and toast? Take a trip around the world, treat yourself before noon and get your holiday shopping on.

The Oklahoma City area is home to a rich variety of ethnicities and cuisines, as well as a fair number of international grocery stores. Try some of these international breakfasts at home; incorporate them into your regular weekly menus; and escape the monotony of eggs, sausage and toast! Bon appétit, n ngon mi ng, guten appetit!

German
Ingrid’s Kitchen, 3701 N. Youngs Blvd., is the first stop on your international breakfast tour. This venerable German establishment serves up a traditional German breakfast: a Brötchen (a white, round breakfast roll) filled with ham, salami and butter cheese. Served hot or cold (go for the hot!) the custom-made roasted potatoes are a wonderful accompaniment. Try the wiener schnitzel — just plain fun to pronounce — which is a breaded pork cutlet served with eggs, potatoes and toast.

Mexican
It’s difficult to select which absolutely gorgeous Mexican pastry to order in the expansive pastry case at La Oaxaqueña Bakery, 741 SW 29th St. That said, you must order the concha, a seashell-shaped pastry with a lightly sweet top crust.

“Customers order it with our Mexican hot chocolate most often,” said staffer Eder Poblano.

La Oaxaqueña’s Mexican hot chocolate is divine, with cinnamon, nutmeg and a kiss of cayenne. While you eat your pastry, eye the lunch and dinner menu for a return visit later in the day. With all-Mexican cuisine — you’ll find no Tex-Mex here — this is refreshingly the real deal.

Greek
Say “Opa!” at Sweis’ Greek Café, 201 S. Western Ave. This café offers up a Greek Delight Omelette, which is filled with lamb and beef gyro meat, peppers, onions and creamy feta cheese. Add a more traditional side of freshly made hummus, olives and pita bread, and you have an authentic Greek breakfast.

“Our pita bread is homemade at our very own bakery,” says owner Amir Sweis.

The bread is puffy and delightfully fragrant. Make sure to order extra pita and hummus to take home.

Guatemalan
This place fills up quickly on weekends, so get to Cafe Kacao, 3325 N. Classen Blvd., promptly at 8 a.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 9 a.m. Sundays. Order your first cup of freshly ground Guatemalan coffee. You will want a second because the coffee is worth the price of admission alone.

The Tikal breakfast is scrumptious with scrambled eggs, sliced grilled flank steak (carne asada), Longaniza (Guatemalan sausage), refried black beans and fried plantains. Also try a popular Spanish-country dish, huevos rancheros, steamed whole black beans topped with two crispy, handmade tortillas; three sunny-side up eggs; and a tangy ranchero salsa. It’s crowned with sour cream, fresh pico de gallo and avocado slices.

Vietnamese
In Vietnam, it’s quite common to have bánh mì sandwiches or the much-loved pho noodle soup for breakfast! Come in from the morning cold to Pho Lien Hoa, 901 NW 23rd St., for a steaming bowl. The Vietnamese in the south eat it for breakfast and lunch; however, northerners eat pho at any time of day. The soup is served with a plate of basil, mung bean sprouts, chiles, lime wedges and cilantro; these herbs are to be added in small quantities, alternating between sips.

Chinese
Dim sum is fun, and Sunday is dim sum day at Fung’s Kitchen, 3231 N. Classen Blvd. Literally translated to “to touch your heart,” dim sum is a beloved assortment of small portions of food to accompany tea. Waiters shuttle by with carts displaying a variety of steamed dishes. You choose what you would like: dumplings fried or steamed, deep-fried tofu; grilled eggplant; and my personal favorite, siu mai, a pork and shrimp dumpling.

With so many dishes to choose from, bring a friend or two to share and sample a wider variety. Fung’s has a cozy, joyful atmosphere sure to put a smile on the face of the weariest of holiday shoppers!

French
Have breakfast in France! OK, well, it’s Nichols Hills, but it’s the closest petit déjeuner (breakfast) you can get without an airline ticket. Stop at La Baguette Bistro, 7408 N. May Ave., for the delightful Crêpes Forestière and a café au lait. These light crepes are stuffed with mushrooms, a poached egg and persillade, a savory blend of parsley, garlic, herbs and vinegar — the perfect French touch.

In a hurry? Order one of the melt-in-your-mouth chausson pastries — cherry, apricot or apple — and an espresso to go. French cheeses, cookies and other delicacies are available at the front to purchase for a quick gift on the go.

Japanese
Need to hit the mall early and can’t have breakfast until near brunch? Go for Japanese comfort food at Tokyo Japanese Restaurant, 7516 N. Western Ave. Traditionally, a Japanese breakfast consists of comforting miso soup, steamed rice and side dishes such as broiled/grilled fish, tamagoyaki (rolled omelet), tsukemono pickles, natto (fermented soybeans and nori (dried seaweed).

“Salmon teriyaki is also common for breakfast,” said Tokyo’s Koji Omori.

Mix and match from the extensive menu, order a pot of relaxing green tea and just breathe.

 
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