Breakfast in Washington: A thing of the past?


View Photo Gallery: The old-fashioned, sit-down weekday breakfast may be hard to find, but it’s not extinct. Writers for the Food and Weekend sections combed the region for fare so good, you’ll want to put down your BlackBerry and savor the morning meal again. What’s your favorite place to have breakfast? What makes it special? Let us know in the comments.

In Wednesday’s Food section, Tim Carman investigates the disappearing sit-down, weekday breakfast.

As more and more busy Washingtonians forgo the relaxed pacing of “the most important meal of the day” for whatever can be devoured in the car or between Blackberry messages, the luxury of unfolding the morning newspaper (remember those?) over a pot of coffee before the day gets going is a luxury fewer of us are enjoying.

Carman writes:

Look around the Washington area, and you see that breakfast is mostly a functional, calorie-and-caffeine intake period. It’s a stop at the chain coffee shop for a latte and (maybe) a pre-made sandwich. It’s a turn into the McDonald’s drive-through for juice and a McMuffin, a meal that can be unwrapped and consumed right in the car while listening to NPR, checking your e-mail at the stop light and worrying about the day ahead. Increasingly, what breakfast is not is a morning ritual of coffee, bacon, eggs, reflection and the daily paper (as if anyone buys those anymore, which is another story).

So what has happened to the so-called “most important meal of the day”?

That’s not to say custom of breakfast in Washington is extinct. If you’ve got an extra 30 minutes before that important meeting (or are looking for the perfect spot to host one of your own, as President Obama once did at Ted’s Bulletin) be sure to check out photos of more than 30 area restaurants that serve breakfast the way it should be, compiled by Food section and Going Out Guide writers.

Where’s your favorite breakfast spot? Tell us why it’s so special in the comments, and we might include it in a follow-up piece.

Lavanya Ramanathan is a features reporter for Style.

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