Wednesday, October 14, 2009 at 7:26 a.m.
OK, so he spent the night. Sue me. I'm a grown woman with needs, for goodness' sakes. Said "needs" also entitle me to three or more meals a day -- I'm hypoglycemic, so there's a legitimate reason for my steady appetite -- and by morning I was simply ravenous.
For those of you who "forgot" to read last week's column or too quickly relegated it to become the liner for your pet iguana's cage, I introduced you to my new amour, a darling boy who suffers from one big defect: He's a picky eater. Fortunately, this fault doesn't keep me from wanting to smooch him constantly, but it does make dining out a bit of a challenge. However, in the short time we've been glued to each other's sides, I've learned that breakfast is the one meal during which we can always find common ground.
I usually like to cook breakfast at home, suffering through a bowl of flavorless oatmeal and one solitary fried egg, but this Sunday morning was time for a celebration. After all, the Love Bites girl got a little nibble, and she wanted the sweet stuff to keep on coming. And come it did: in the form of a plate full of the
most decadently, cinnamony sweet pastry bites that have ever passed these lips. Thank you, Grampa's Bakery in Dania Beach.
I had never even thought to hit the place up until a United flight attendant once suggested it to me (I always ask those flying servers for their dining recommendations since they seem to know some great spots in most major cities) after I challenged him to name the perfect place for breakfast in Broward. "Grampa's near Jaxson's Ice Cream Parlor
," he said without pause. "It doesn't look like anything special, but it's been in Dania Beach forever, and I used to go all the time."
"But Grampa's doesn't necessarily have the best rep in town," I argued. (Folks on Chowhound
called it "mediocre at best" and "nothing special" -- one person went so far as to include the word ick
-- while reviewers on Tripadvisor
rated it across the board from "amazing" to "ugh!")
"Yeah, but give it a try," he replied. "You know it was featured on that Diners and Dives
show, I think."
Well, now I have to question Guy Fieri
's taste, because I found the diner to be just so-so. Aside from the near-perfect plate o' pastry, which, by the way, was given gratis, my grits were lacking flavor, and my lox, eggs, and onions were swimming in so much butter that I could've drained the excess off my plate and used it to make a four-course Paula Deen
tribute meal. My partner's pancakes were fluffy and flavorful, though.
Our server was a perky, ponytailed gal who literally ran across the restaurant to bring us food, so kudos to her too. As for ambiance... well, there's really none aside from a glorious pastry case at the entrance. A better choice for breakfast might have been the Floridian
on Las Olas, with its walls covered in celeb photos (and some spider webs) or John G's
on Lake Worth Beach, with its dated nautical theme, since the former serves omelets as big as the plate and the latter offers a drool-inducing raisin-and-cream-cheese-stuffed French toast that makes me want to climb inside it and take a nap.
And speaking of naps (yawn), it's time to get back to bed, where I can dream of my handsome man, wrapped in a crepe, drizzled with Nutella, and smeared with fresh whipped cream. Hey, don't judge -- it's just what us foodies in love do.
Grampa's Bakery is located at 17 SW First St. in Dania Beach.
Call 954-923-2163, or visit grampasbakery.com.
Freelance writer Riki Altman eats everything that won't try and eat her first (with exceptions, of course) and dates younger men, older men, and older men who act like young men, along with locals, tourists, illegal aliens, and just plain aliens. Love Bites is a compilation of what happens when her dining and dating ordeals collide. Sometimes, it just ain't pretty.