Saturday, January 5
For breakfast, I had reservations at Watt's Tea Room
downtown. The earliest they accept reservations is for 7:30AM, which would be a late breakfast for an early riser like myself. So, I headed to Racine to get some kringles, for snacking on later that night.
I arrived at Larsen Bakery
just a few moments after they opened at 6:00AM.
Coming to these kringle places can be very difficult, because the pastries themselves are so big, I can never try more than one flavor at a time when I am out here by myself. And they all look tempting! Having never had apricot before, I chose that and put it in my car. Here is a close up:
Since I knew I needed lots of food to snack on later tonight, I walked across the street to Bendtsen's Bakery
and bought a cherry cheese kringle.
A couple things I noticed.....
The kringle at Larsen Bakery is $5.00 and is more modest size, while the one at Bendtsen's is (if I remember correctly) $9.00 and is significantly bigger.
And Bendtsen's has moved their cases around since the last time I was there in June. The sitting area is now gone, although they do still have a few seats by the window.
The Roadfood review for Larsen Bakery:
and Bendtsen's Bakery:
Unfortunately, I still didn't kill enough time and I found myself a half hour early for breakfast. I did find this nice little park downtown, all decorated for Christmas.
So, I pulled over and walked around for a bit, taking some photos.
At 7:30, I headed over to Watt's Tea Room
Now this was a bit strange..... On their website, they say they accept reservations for breakfast starting at 7:30. So, I called to make the arrangements and the young lady who answered the phone, seemed confused. She said they don't open until 9:00, so I mentioned what the website said. She asked to take my name and number and a manager would call me back. Half hour later, the manager called and said they would be happy to seat me at 7:30. But since the store was closed, he gave me a number to call to have someone let me in.
I called at 7:30 and a man (who turned out to be my chef) named Gary let me in and led me upstairs. Needless to say, I had the place to myself.
For my breakfast I ordered the unusual sounding but delicious macadamia nut croissant french toast (which was a special) and a side of bacon.
Watt's is also famous for their ginger toast, which I was very much looking forward to, since I love the taste of ginger. And this did not disappoint!
The review by Michael Stern also talked about this wonderful dessert called sunshine cake. Appararently, this is a house specialty and is made fresh everyday. When I asked about it, Gary said he didn't think it was ready for the day yet. But, he did find a piece from yesterday, which he gave me for free. This photo is a little deceiving, but the piece was quite big!
This is a sponge cake with custard filling and fantastic icing! And even though it was a day old, it was incredibly moist.
This was an excellent breakfast from start to finish, other than the sour tasting orange juice.
I do need to talk more about my chef and host Gary. When he found out I was from Pittsburgh, he got excited and told me that when his son is a little older, he wants to take him there to see all the bridges. (Pittsburgh has the second most bridges in the world behind only Venice). It turns out, he is Harvard educated and we had a wonderful time discussing architecture, archaelogy, travel, food and Milwaukee itself. He was an oustanding chef and host and I couldn't have been in better hands.
I ended up leaving at 9:00, just as the store was opening and customers were arriving. Just an all around great breakfast experience!
Much more to come.....