Lunch for the ‘smaller appetite’

Two women can go out for breakfast for under $20…as long as their appetites are modest. 

I have a friend who enjoys going out for a good breakfast. I’m a person who seldom eats breakfast, although I adore breakfast food, except that I like it for dinner, in particular during winter months when it’s dark and cold and all you want to do is put on your pajamas. Eggs, which are cheap and easy to prepare, are an excellent source of protein whether poached, hard boiled, or fried.

There are some excellent places to breakfast in the county. My friend is not adverse to driving all the way into Astoria for breakfast as she has a special affinity for Astoria’s Street 14 Café which does an excellent rendition of a New York-style toasted bagel with cream cheese, sliced onion, capers, and smoked salmon. (They call the smoked fish “lox” in New York City, but who’s quibbling?) My friend is retired and has some time to spare. As a working stiff, most of my breakfasts (this would be a brown rice cake slathered in almond butter) are eaten at my desk.

Last week I invited my friend to join me in an experiment, the experiment being could two on-the-later-side-of-middle-aged ladies enjoy a full breakfast for $20, including tip.

We went to the Pig ’N Pancake in Seaside, one of our favorite breakfast spots.

“Let’s take our time and study the menu,” I said. We contemplated Swedish pancakes. We mused over Sand Dollar pancakes. We both love potato pancakes. We discussed the “smaller sppetites” offerings before deciding it was too hard to split two pancakes, one egg and one strip of bacon or a single sausage link. We eventually settled on the award-winning sourdough pancakes at $9.50 and two house coffees. (In the interest of sticking to our budget, she abstained from her usual latte.)

Our server brought us the pancakes and a plate to share. The order came with six — count ’em, six — huge pancakes. I put three of them on my friend’s plate and took the rest.

The pancakes were delicious. They were also very filling. Who on earth can eat six? I should have stopped at two but ate three. Our server refilled our coffee cups a few times. When she brought the check, I whipped out my $20 and put it on the table.

“We did it,” I said, feeling triumphant. To our server I said, “Keep the change.”

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