The best breakfasts in the world...
American diner breakfasts are hard to beat. Go to one of those chains, like say, 'Big Boy' (under its giant plastic statue of an obese smug-faced pre-teen proudly holding a massive burger), and at least you know what you are getting: sugar and carbs.
If you've never been to the States, these chain diner breakfasts are like an all-you-can-eat fried buffet with a bottle of maple syrup to pour over everything plus unlimited caffeine at the click of your fingers. There are mornings when that's perfect. Although, of course, many individual family-run breakfast bars do a better job. There may be less fat involved too, although I've yet to see one that serves what I have for breakfast every day at home: muesli, Greek yoghurt and fresh fruit.
Nevertheless, I've been some crackers in Seattle, Cleveland and Boston. Perch on a stool at the counter and you'll get the sort of attention you get from a good English barmaid. English people do struggle, however, with the daft amount of choice offered on every item: fried egg on toast for example would be a very simple order in the UK. In the US it will involve a detailed topographic description of the finished egg and decisions about the cooking techniques, then a selection from various types of bread and finally, you'll be given a stare deep into your eyes and an option for butter or margarine. Judge your waitress carefully because it will make you feel like you're voting Republican or Democrat.
This sort of attention should be the ultimate customer satisfaction technique but to Europeans it soon feels like a right pain. You end up longing for a rusty van parked in a lay-by (with toilets in the bushes behind) and the sort of menu that includes a fried egg between two slices of white sliced bread served in a paper towel. Imagine standing there at the counter and asking for the egg to be done over-easy, slices of organic rye bread and unsalted butter.