Trio’s Breakfast of Champions
They say Wheaties is the breakfast of Champions. After the breakfast I had this morning, I’d have to disagree. Seated by the window of the lovely Trio restaurant at the Four Seasons Hotel, my friend, Stacy and I couldn’t help but wish we had just risen from a long night’s slumber at the hotel in what many have called the most comfortable beds in the world. Alas, we were simply breakfast visitors, but with a fresh pot of Illy coffee and a sip of raspberry-pineapple-orange juice, we were just as pleased to be greeting the day in this cheery spot.
Trio offers a lovely selection of light and full breakfasts with everything from oatmeal and fruit to the classic American breakfast with eggs, meat, potatoes, and toast. Stacy quickly honed in on the acclaimed pancake trio with a banana-blueberry, a gingerbread, and a pecan-oatmeal pancake for a guaranteed sugar-rush meal, but I was here for one thing only, the Farmer’s Market Breakfast.
As part of the Texas Department of Agriculture’s Go Texan Restaurant Round-Up, this healthy-yet-hearty meal made with all Texas-based ingredients had been touted for weeks as the breakfast to beat all breakfasts and considering breakfast is without question my favorite meal of the day, I had to see for myself.
I have to admit I wasn’t disappointed. A big fluffy, bright yellow scramble of Alexander Family Farm eggs from Del Valle served with slices of fresh heirloom tomatoes sprinkled with crumbles of Pure Luck goat cheese from Dripping Springs made a beautiful first impression. And a sizzling side of spicy Elgin smoked sausage gave a decidedly Texas flavor to the meal, but the piece-de-resistance was the golden corn griddlecake served warm with a sweet drizzle of homemade blackberry syrup. This light-as-air circle of goodness had a perfect not-too-sweet quality with a peppering of fresh corn kernels throughout that brought a pleasant burst of sweetness with each bite.
Watch out, Wheaties, Trio’s Farmer’s Market Breakfast has your number. Wholesome, fresh, local, and delicious, this new breakfast champion takes the cake. (Or perhaps I should say, the golden corn griddlecake.)
Roar of the Fork
Having finally recovered from my blissful breakfast coma—thanks to a lengthy stop at the gym and a light nibble for lunch—I was ready for round two. Next on the list for the Go Texan Restaurant Roundup: The Roaring Fork. I love this place. Although Texas can’t really claim it as its own, this Arizona-based American grill rewards hearty eaters with Western-style comfort food with a kick. From the green-chile-pork stew to the smoked ribs with Dr. Pepper barbecue sauce and the “Big Ass” burger with longhorn cheddar and smoked bacon, you’d think this menu was designed deep in the heart of the Lone Star State.
This week, the Roaring Fork chefs have devised a few special treats using the best of Texas ingredients. Tonight we started with fresh gulf oysters roasted in a field pea and corn succotash and topped with bacon and chives. I’m a fan of oysters in general—whether baked Rockefeller-style or simply raw with a squeeze of lemon and glass of champagne. This dish of oysters served on a piping-hot mound of rock salt could have stood alone in their creamy salsa of corn, field pea, poblano pepper, and onion, but the extra hint of smoky bacon simply proved the undeniable truth that everything is indeed better with bacon.
Next was a devilishly good tenderloin of Axis venison from Broken Arrow Ranch in Ingram. (For those unfamiliar with Axis deer, they are similar in size to the native Texas whitetail, but maintain a reddish coat with white spots throughout their life, similar to a fawn. And the meat is spectacular. Less gamey than whitetail venison, Axis has a very lean, yet tender texture with a richer flavor similar to elk, but lighter than beef.) This dish was grilled in a sweet guajillo pepper glaze and served with a creamy mash of sweet potatoes from the Panhandle and a sauté of woodland mushrooms. It was heaven. And I honestly could have walked away from the table perfectly happy. But there was a certain Texas-pecan pie calling from the menu that I just had to try. Though not the dreamy sweet, gooey, and buttery slice of delight my grandmother used to make, this pie was pretty good—especially with the added hint of bourbon baked in. I think the butter-pecan ice cream served alongside may have been a little pecan-overkill, but then again, I’ve always been a plain vanilla girl when it comes to pies and cakes.
That being said, the Roaring Fork wins in the category of the most Go Texan menu for a restaurant that didn’t even originate in Texas. I look forward to checking out a few other locales on the round-up list. Only 4 more days to go!