Woke up with a "Flat White" on my mind.
packed my writing bag
and headed south for Astro Coffee.
A few miles in, I realized I wasn't up for the drive to Detroit.
Besides, breakfast was what I really wanted.
Breakfast and a really good cup of coffee.
Great coffee but a little too whole grainy for me today.
The Original Pancake House (not I.H.O.P)?
The line of people waiting to get into that restaurant convinced me to keep moving.
So, I drove into the heart of Birmingham, Michigan and was greeted by an empty parking space two doors down from Toast Birmingham. I'd heard good things about this restaurant so I parked, dropped one quarter in the meter and ventured in.
Beyond the door I passed a life-sized, big head, tiny waist Betty Boop statue, clad in red, holding a serving tray. The hostess welcomed me and said there'd be a short wait. A look around explained why. It was packed with happy "Saturday morning" customers. This place was quaint and appeared to be sectioned into three areas; casual dining on one side, more upscale on the other, and in between stood a bar.
I borrowed a menu then took a seat near the door to enjoy the cool morning air. What a selection of gourmet omelets, eggs, french toast, breakfast cocktails and yes...really good coffee! I decided on a greek omelet with a side of grits. 5 minutes later the hostess lead me to my table.
The waitress took my order and returned shortly with a cup of coffee. The first sip convinced me I'd made the right decision to zip out earlier and feed the meter another 95cent. This spot was cozy with red, fifties era, vinyl upholstered booths and two toned table tops. After the second sip, I realized no two customers had the same style coffee cup (kind of like my selection at home). My older sister would love this! Mental note: bring her here for breakfast.
The order arrived on a white plate. The omlete was fluffy and overflowing with spinach, tomato, kalamata olives, pine nuts and feta cheese. Grits with a topping of cripsy Parmesan cheese coverd the other half of the plate. I have to tell you, this omelet ranks in the top two of the best I've ever eaten. The flavors blended well together but never lost their individuality. The grits were creamy and satisfying.
As I sipped my second cup of coffee and finished off the omelet, a couple was being seated at the table beside me. The lady wore a sharp black, leather jacket. I could not help but compliment her on it. Soon the three of us were in conversation...an unexpected pleasantry. We spoke lightly about retirement, enjoying life now, and feeling young at our age.
Then, as I was preparing to leave, they did the sweetest thing...paid my bill. I thanked them for that and the enjoyable conversation we'd had. I left Toast Birmingham feeling the joy that couple wanted to share by their generous gesture. I also realized I wanted it to continue. So, I made a silent promise to do the same for someone else in the near future.
The next time you're in downtown Birmingham, Michigan, make your way to Toast for a wonderful meal and experience.
Toast Birmingham: You Gotta Eat Here!