One of the bonuses of having weekends is the ability to have long leisurely breakfasts, at a restaurant, if possible. The ability to wake up slowly and then sit in the sunlight drinking coffee as you come to life and talking with someone you really like before digging into a hearty and substantial breakfast that will carry you through the rest of the day is a small luxury that almost makes it worth it to work through the week to make the money to pay for your breakfast.
One place I love to have breakfast in my neighborhood is BLD. BLD is sunny and bright, with really good coffee, and you can sit outside or tuck yourself into a corner for an intimate conversation. You can even bring your dog.
The problem is that it's hard to breakfast in L.A. From about 10:00 am to 3:00 pm on the weekends, everyone and their moms and their kids and their dogs and their boyfriends and their one-night stands are brunching it up everywhere. Sometimes you just don't want to go wait an hour standing on the sidewalk like a street urchin before you can have your breakfast. Especially if you don't get any of that good coffee until you sit down.
Sometimes you want to stay home and enjoy your breakfast whenever you are ready for it, and when you do, it's good to have the recipe of your favorite dish from the breakfast place you like so you can recreate your brunch at home. Just have your husband/roommate/lover/slave/dog (select appropriate choice) prepare some really good coffee for you while you make BLD's brioche french toast with warm berry compote and sit down at your own primo table in your own sunny room for a leisurely weekend breakfast that can last as long as you want and there's no bill at the end.
BRIOCHE FRENCH TOAST w/ FRESH BERRY COMPOTE (Recipe by Mariah Swan, BLD)
Makes 6 Servings
- 1 lb. fresh berries, sliced
- 1/4 cup + 3 Tbs. sugar
- 2 Tbs. water
- 6 large eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. ground ginger
- 1/8 tsp. ground allspice
- unsalted butter for griddle
- 12 slices (3/4" thick) of brioche
- creme fraiche
2. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs with the heavy cream, the remaining 3 tablespoons sugar, and the ground spices. Transfer to a 9x13" baking dish.
3. Heat a large cast-iron griddle and lightly butter it. Working in batches, dip 1/2 brioche in egg mixture, turning once, until moistened but not soggy. Transfer bread to griddle and cook over moderate heat, turning once, until golden and cooked through, about 4 min. Transfer French toast to baking sheet, cover loosely with foil and keep warm in the oven while you cook the rest. Serve the French toast with the berry compote and creme fraiche.