the teeny, tiny breakfast

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Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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Stayed at a B&B several weeks ago. Place is SR, beautiful, immaculate and no expense spared when it comes to the amenities.

But then there was the breakfast, billed as a '3-course' breakfast, mind you.

First 'course' was a thin slice of pineapple, presented with the rind still on (very pretty). the pineapple had been cut out of the middle and this amounted to about 6-8 small pieces, topped with 3 blueberries.

2nd course - approx 2"x4"x2" piece of a breakfast casserole with potatoes, veggies and cheese. Again, well-presented, very tasty. NOTHING ELSE ON THE PLATE!!

3rd and final course was ONE (1!) MINI MUFFIN (emphasis on the mini) with a dollop (1TBS) of whipped cream and one chocolate-covered espresso bean.

THAT WAS IT!! It was so out of context with the rest of the inn 'atmosphere', that I found it just appalling. This whole breakfast maybe cost a whopping $2. I could hardly believe it. 

Would you feed your guests so little? Is it just me? I would never have expected my guests to find this acceptable. I found myself looking for the nearest McD's when we left. 

 

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I hate those who left the table like this.angry

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I just had the opposite experience.  I took a 3 day mini-break vacation at a B&B after being a live-in nanny for my baby granddaughter for almost a month and I had to ask the innkeepers to please give me less food!  They served very delicious and generous breakfasts...delivered to my door.  Wonderful food and hosts.  Smiling

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Aussie Innkeeper's picture
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I think what struck me most was the contrast between the breakfast and everything else. 

muirford's picture
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Aussie Innkeeper wrote:

I think what struck me most was the contrast between the breakfast and everything else. 

I personally never get that whole 'course' thing that many B&Bs advertise. It makes me kind of expect a menu, and then to be told the muffins count as a course is a cheat, IMHO. I have been surprised at a few SR properties where the breakfasts were weird (1/2 a quail for breakfast?) but they are usually plentiful, and many, many offer a breakfast menu.  

Plus, truthfully, I don't get dessert for breakfast. 

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Skamokawa's picture
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Breakfast routine:

 

Coffee delivered to coffee/tea station outside guest rooms one hour before breakfast.

Back downstairs, set places, return to kitchen to prep breakfast.  Fruit salads made ahead and chilled in bowls, ready to go on underplates when guest/s come down to breakfast.

Two course breakfast here.  Starter is fruit salad.  Every time.  The fruit will differ, but first the fruit, juice and water goes on the table, giving me time to do the main course and have it timed hot and perfect. 

Breakfasts are plated. 

Same for the starter salads when I do dinners.  Its to give me the time I need to get everything just right.

That's the formula.  I works well here because we have few rooms.

Things may differ a bit if a GF, or vegan is in the mix.  But all guests are asked online or via phone about "food allergies or preferences".  Rarely is there a surprise.

Also, our kitchen is off the dining room, separated by a door which can be locked after serving hours. 

 

 

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happykeeper's picture
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I hear you about that. We have never done courses. Breakfast is compartmentalized and presented on a 12" plate. I am often underwhelmed by the (IN EXAMPLE) strawberries and yogurt in a parfait that we have seem TOO much of. Then again, if we are going easy on our budget, we do know that this is a great way for a smaller moderately priced B&B to put a little zing into breakfast without excessive cost, and we are grateful.

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TheBeachHouse's picture
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happykeeper wrote:

I hear you about that. We have never done courses. Breakfast is compartmentalized and presented on a 12" plate. I am often underwhelmed by the (IN EXAMPLE) strawberries and yogurt in a parfait that we have seem TOO much of. Then again, if we are going easy on our budget, we do know that this is a great way for a smaller moderately priced B&B to put a little zing into breakfast without excessive cost, and we are grateful.

 

We do yogurt parfaits on Sunday.  I try to find a way to make them special.  We put them out on a buffet with topping choices, raisins, nuts, coconut, granola and fruit. 

Any tips?  what do you find boring or interesting when you see a partfait?   I was wondering if I should get more interesting glasses.  Presentation is everything!

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muirford's picture
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Sorry dupe

muirford's picture
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TheBeachHouse wrote:
 

Any tips?  what do you find boring or interesting when you see a partfait?   I was wondering if I should get more interesting glasses.  Presentation is everything!

I actually like to do a fruit starter or side - it is expensive but it is one of the differentiators for B&Bs.  I just never get when inns advertise a '3-course' (or 4, or 5) breakfast and then a muffin is one of the courses. I'm sure it's just me though.  

Cool glasses or serving pieces really make a difference - stemless wine glasses are great for parfaits, and the retro small parfait glasses are good, too.  I used to use pressed glass footed compotes - vintage Big Top peanut butter containers - for my parfaits.  I didn't have to worry how mine looked from the side but if you have the clear ones you can make the layers pretty or drizzle a little sauce down the sides before you fill them.

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I do lots of great creative starter dishes but when I have 18 guests and lots of GF ones and I've already done several fruit dishes, I do a yogurt parfait with sweetened strawberries and I put chopped up lemon biscotti on top instead of granola and the GF guests get GF granola.  Makes it easy because I don't have to make them anything special, just change the topping.  Guests love them (except yesterdays guy who wouldn't eat a bite of anything but said he wanted it all and then just mashed everything up - I think it was the I paid for it syndrome so I'm taking it) so I don't mind that it seems boring and people have seen it TOO much.  Sometimes it's whats works for that day and the guests who are here.

I also make one with homemade blueberry sauce that is to die for with lemon biscotti, never a drop left.  So I wouldn't worry about serving the parfaits BeachHouse - I'm sure the guest like them.

Arks's picture
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Reminds me of a gourmet restaurant I visited once in St. Louis. I ordered the swordfish. Got a huge plate with, just off-center, a 2-inch diameter circle of swordfish and about 4 sprigs of asparagus. To some, less is more, and giving tiny portions is the very definition of high end gourmet.

Disagree, I do.

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Yoda

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Madeleine's picture
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I will say that the starter sounds like mine. Small.

The main course tho, no. We're big on presentation and flavor and sometimes the portions are too much, but too much is relative.

I've been served way too much fruit. Which is so wasteful given how much fruit costs here!

I've been served burnt food and cold food, too.

Do they have photos of the food online? Are their portions different than what you got?

Maybe their theme is small plates.

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Perhaps we in North America serve way to generous breakfasts, but I can not imagine anybody leaving my breakfast table hungry. When we have Italian or French guests I ask in advance as they are know to do just coffee and toast and most likely do not want the eggs. 

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HA! The French just do coffee? My French guests are known to try to drink enough orange juice to last a lifetime. And I've seen them go through half a loaf of bread after eating the starter and the main as well as dunking the muffins and pastry in their coffee. The French... by me, never eat like birds.

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Breakfast Diva's picture
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If I err, I always want to err on the side of over abundance.

Like you, I once stayed at a b&b where the breakfast was very light. What a disappointment!

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05/22/2008

One of my first experiences at a B & B in Toronto. Came down stairs to no one. Table had a bowl of cornflakes, tiny OJ and cold cup of coffee. When they heard us complaining, they appeared and said. Make it yourself if you want more...Help yourself to anything in the refrigerator. I don't think they were in business long Sad

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Do you remember the name?

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05/22/2008

No I can't remember the name. It was in downtown and the owner was supposedly some Jamaican movie star. RIGHT?

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Can not think of one, you are right -most likely gone. 

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the only thing i remember is 2 huge concrete lions on either side of the driveway go figurecheeky

gillumhouse's picture
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THAT is why I serve family-style. Want a little? Just take a little. Big eater? Help thy self!! (I am with this group) Often what I get for breakfast is what has to hold me until dinner.

I even tell my guests that "I stayed at a B & B that was wonderful. At breakfast they brought out this gorgeous plated breakfast that tasted even better than it looked BUT I would have liked to have just a bit more but due to my size, would have been embarrassed to ask. And that is why I serve family-style."

Anon Inn's picture
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09/26/2011

Different strokes.  Many times this summer I've served my standard fruit salad starter, then egg dish, breakfast meat, side potato and home made bread toast.  More so than in the past I've had people ask for smaller breakfasts the next morning.  Maybe a move to smaller portions overall?  But others eat the whole enchilada.  I can't tell in advance which will be which.  Currently I have a multi day stay lady who wants dry toast one piece with her fruit.  

happykeeper's picture
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The art of good food is abundance. An abundance of beauty, and abundance of style, an abundance of love, and an abundance of flavor.

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