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American Dining: Breakfast

pancakes

Every weekend, I look forward to delicious breakfasts with my family. Sometimes I'm treated to a home cooked meal from my parents, but often the entire family goes to a restaurant for Sunday breakfast. This weekend, I decided to take a few pics with my iPhone to show you what we eat. I don't think American breakfast differs much from the Russian version. In many parts of the world, people are eating eggs and meat to start the day, and we do also. My favorite thing is pancakes! You can see based on this photo that the American version is much thicker than typical Russian pancakes. We have so many varieties of this dish, with various toppings. I always get chocolate chips baked into mine. Not the healthiest option, but tasty! Weekends are meant for indulgence. :)

1. Of course, you can eat the pancakes bare and plain, but most people pick a more decadent option. The most common are pancakes covered in various fruits like strawberries or blueberries, topped with jam and whipped cream. Personally, these options are too sweet for me first thing in the morning. You will see that the American theme of "red, white and blue" is even woven into part of the breakfast menu.

menu

2. Other breakfast options. Prices are very cheap for a lot of food. A large portion of eggs, meat, potatoes and bread for under $8 USD. Easy to find cheap, good food almost everywhere in the States.

skillet

3. At this restaurant, known as "Bob Evans," I always get the same meal. "Farmer's Choice" breakfast which includes eggs, choice of ham, bacon or sausage, potatoes and either pancakes or French toast. Common for Americans to put cheese in almost everything, and I always get cheddar cheese and onions added to my eggs. In most places, it's easy to make menu adjustments to your liking by adding or subtracting ingredients. I'm very anal about my scrambled eggs, preferring them lightly scrambled with no hint of brown or burned pieces from the grill. On this day, the cook made them to perfection. :) Cost for this meal is around $8 USD.

dish

4. My dad gets the same meal, but with French toast instead of pancakes. Do you eat this in Russia? It's thick slices of bread, dipped in egg yolk and then pan fried. Usually, we cover it with powdered sugar and cinnamon. I don't like it.

frenchtoast

5. You can order breakfast at anytime, but lunch and dinner options are only available after 11 a.m. In the past few years, it's become common for American restaurants to offer package deals where you get salad or soup, meat, vegetable, potato and dessert for one price. At this restaurant, prices for the combo meals are between $11 - 13 USD. On this photo, you can see a baked sweet potato, covered with butter and cinnamon. It's a type of orange squash or yam.

dinner

6. My sister ordered the smokehouse chicken, with baked potato, broccoli soup, banana nut bread and a strawberry sundae for dessert. We often add a lot of toppings to baked potatoes like butter, sour cream, cheese, bacon, chives, etc., but this one is naked.

chicken

7. Other combo options. Turkey, fish, steak, burgers and chicken are all choices.

menu2

8. Almost all restaurants have separate kids menus, with a lot of options. Usually the menus are interactive, with games, puzzles and pictures for coloring. I didn't notice kids menus in any Russian restaurants, but I wasn't really looking for them.  A lot of places provide crayons for coloring and drawing on the menus. The meals are only $2.99 USD, and on Tuesdays kids eat free at this place. Typical kids food like chicken fingers, mac 'n' cheese and spaghetti. But also healthy options like grilled chicken, and fruit is a side option instead of fries. They always try to decorate the kids food with funny designs, making pancakes in the shape of Mickey Mouse or a pig.

kidsmenu

9. I saw the most creative kids pasta in Latvia! How cute, to make the pasta meal into an insect. :)

bug

10. Typical to have a counter for solo diners, where they can sit and enjoy a meal in silence or chat with neighbors if they're in a social mood. I have no problem going to a restaurant and sitting at a table or booth by myself, but some people find it strange and awkward.

chairs

11. Here's the bill for breakfast. Total cost for four adults and one child - $49.41.

bill

12. If you're in America, look for this restaurant. They are located all over the States, and you will enjoy some good home-cooked food, with large portions - American style! Maybe some of you have already eaten here?

bobevans

13. Restaurant decor and motto - "You won't go hungry around here!" I think the same can be said of any American restaurant.

motto

It seems to me that Americans eat at restaurants more often than most Russians. We have a lot of options, can eat good food for cheap prices, and restaurants are woven into our social culture.

What's your favorite breakfast food? For those of you who have visited America, which restaurant did you enjoy most or least?

Tomorrow I'll show you another restaurant, where I frequently eat dinner. Nom Nom! :))

Comments

( 148 comments — Leave a comment )
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mybathroom
Jun. 4th, 2014 05:42 pm (UTC)
Such a tasty post, Shannon!
What does "bottomless coffee" mean?
peacetraveler22
Jun. 4th, 2014 06:29 pm (UTC)
"Bottomless coffee" means endless coffee (free refills!). At this restaurant, and some others, if you order coffee the waitress brings your own carafe and sits it at the table. Like in this photo. So you can fill your cup whenever you like, and don't have to wait on the server to return. One thing that drives me crazy in Russian restaurants is how long it takes to get drinks!! Sometimes they weren't delivered until our meals arrived. In America, you get your drinks right after you place your order, and many waitresses bring you water as soon as you sit down.

 photo coffee_zps68c440fd.jpg

Edited at 2014-06-04 07:19 pm (UTC)
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ambival
Jun. 4th, 2014 05:42 pm (UTC)
It seems to me that Russians eat at home more often than most Americans. We have many food markets or shops where you can buy whatever you want, and lots of special kitchen devices too ... so why not cook your breakfast by yourself? We can eat good and healthy food cooked by mom not by unknown stranger :-)))
peacetraveler22
Jun. 4th, 2014 06:29 pm (UTC)
Same markets are here in America, but sometimes it's nice to have others do the work. :)
inescher
Jun. 4th, 2014 05:43 pm (UTC)
Thanks for your post. I'll try to find this restaurant in our area.
Just in case. :) I like to cook by myself for my family and friends.

American pancakes and Russian "pancakes" are different. Typical Russian "bliny" close to French crêpes not to pancakes. Also in Russia/Ukraine/Belorussia, and other countries people eat "oladushki" or "olad'i". That is kind of similar to American pancakes but not the same.

French toasts also have similar but not the same version. It called "grenki" and made from slice of bread dipped in egg (not just egg yolk) or mix egg and milk and then pan fried.
A lot of people eat "grenki" with meat or cheese, or even just as is but I've never seen somebody who ate them with powdered sugar. Usually this dish is not sweet at all.
peacetraveler22
Jun. 4th, 2014 06:33 pm (UTC)
Bob Evans is mostly on the East Coast. I checked the website and don't see any in Massachusetts. My aunt lives in California, and this is the first place she always wants to eat when she visits because they don't have them there. I've never seen this good "grenki," but I've eaten a lot of Russian bliny and crepes in Europe. :)
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(no subject) - onkel_hans - Jun. 5th, 2014 12:06 am (UTC) - Expand
sineglazzka2301
Jun. 4th, 2014 05:46 pm (UTC)
A good post to read at 23:20 by a person desperately fighting with late meals:)))) Now I'll have to grab all my will not to go hunting to the kitchen:)
What I can say for sure - Russians eat breakfast out much more seldom than Americans. Even on week-ends. Most Russians have breakfast at home. The menu differs a lot, depending on age, sex, working style, day of the week and who knows what else. Still, very popular are: various sandwiches (to be precise, typical Russian version of a sandwich is one-sided: bread and anything on it), omelette, fried eggs, sausages, corn flakes or muesli with milk, pancakes (on week-ends mostly), cottage cheese, or just tea or coffee with some pastry. French toasts do all right, though we don'call them so. Typical Russian breakfast dish is "kasha" (I'm not sure if porridge is the right translation), it's especially popular for children. It can be cooked of any cereal (oats, rice, wheat and some others I bet you never dreamt were edible:))
My favorite breakfast food is syrniki (small pankakes made of cottage cheese) with sour cream and black currant jam (homemade, btw). My Mom is an expert in cooking this, so we all look forward to Sundays when we have breakfast at my parents'). When we stay at home for the weekend, my husband usually cooks his authentic omelette (with cheese and ham, mmm:)), which is served with buttered toasts. And coffee afterwards, of course.
As for having meals out, it depends hugely on the size of the city. In Moscow it's quite common, while in some small towns can be almost unheard of. You know, in soviet times going to a cafe was a real GOING OUT. In big and middle-sized cities it's now very common to have lunch in a cafe (business-lunch we call it, the price is 6-10 USD for a meal of 2-3 dishes, and it's served only till 15 or 16.00)
peacetraveler22
Jun. 4th, 2014 06:40 pm (UTC)
We eat in kasha in the U.S. also. :) And we love omelettes! My dad makes the best ones, light and fluffy. You can also order omelettes at any American restaurant, all different styles with some odd ingredients. We like Mexican/Southwestern food here, so there are some omelettes with salsa, chicken, onions, jalepenos, covered with a lot of cheese and sour cream. Veggie omelettes are also very popular. The carnivores like to cover the dish with steak and other meats. Look at this monster, from another popular American restaurant. :))

 photo ihop_zps3cb0d1d3.jpg
(no subject) - sineglazzka2301 - Jun. 5th, 2014 03:55 am (UTC) - Expand
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pin_gwin
Jun. 4th, 2014 05:52 pm (UTC)
American pan-cakes are not BLINY. They should be translated as Olad'yi( Оладьи). Блины are normally thin, but that is just related, but different meal. Some consider Оладьи to be less sophisticated to cook. That is why they are so industrialized in US
peacetraveler22
Jun. 4th, 2014 06:41 pm (UTC)
Hmm, I don't know this Russian dish "Оладьи," but it looks similar to our pancakes. I've eaten something like this in Russia, but it was made with sweet cheese. Delicious!
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notabler
Jun. 4th, 2014 06:23 pm (UTC)
We never have a breakfast in a restaurant. You definitely know about big English breakfast. I treat my husband sometimes with fried bacon, egg, slice of fried bread and mushrooms. It's the closest he can get to Big English. But mostly he has just a banana. My son eats only 2 frankfurters every morning. I started to follow Dr.Mercola advice and skip my breakfast, but at 11-12 we always have our lunch - the main meal in our house. I usually cook only 1 main course and totally abandoned Russian way to have a lunch or dinner - when soup is compulsory. Your meals looks very appealing to me, but it seems to have too many calories all of them :)
peacetraveler22
Jun. 4th, 2014 06:43 pm (UTC)
I usually don't eat breakfast during the week, only on weekends. My main meal is at dinner time, after a long work day. Yes, our meals are very tasty and a lot of calories! However, there are always healthy options for the people disciplined enough to order them. Most weekends, I eat whatever I want. These are my diet cheat days. :)
(Deleted comment)
peacetraveler22
Jun. 4th, 2014 06:44 pm (UTC)
This is my favorite bread - Russian rye! I've been eating it all week with my dinners. I wasn't impressed with the meals in most Russian restaurants, or the service, but I was eating at normal, roadside cafes not fancy places. It's not my style to spend $50 or more on a meal. :)
skvorets1989
Jun. 4th, 2014 07:58 pm (UTC)
It looks like you have the same prices as we do. Probably even lower. I will never believe that our restraurants pay to their workers same salaries as American restaraunts do to theirs. So what is the reason? Rhetoric question.

We don't eat outside often. For most of us it must be some occasion. Most of the time most of us cook for themselves. My usual meals are shamefully simple and do not vary much. I put something into the boiling water or in the microwave oven and then when it is ready I put on it a lot of ketchup or mayo or ketchup and mayo and eat it with a cup of some cheap wine.

But of course if my girlfriend comes and I need to feed her I google something like "quick and easy meals for dummies" :)

Edited at 2014-06-04 07:59 pm (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Jun. 4th, 2014 08:03 pm (UTC)
You eat bachelor style! :) I also eat boring meals during the week because I live alone and it's difficult to make tasty dishes for only one person. So, I almost always make a turkey sandwich and eat canned soup. However, I really like to cook. You can become a good chef, it just takes practice. In America, waiters and waitresses mostly earn money from tips. It is is customary for Americans to tip 15 - 20% of the total bill. I know, I used to be a waitress at an Italian restaurant during university. :) I never understood tipping protocol in Russia. Is it common, how much tip do you usually leave for a waitress?
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takoynickzanyat
Jun. 4th, 2014 09:39 pm (UTC)
RazorviSraku meal
peacetraveler22
Jun. 4th, 2014 09:43 pm (UTC)
? я не понимаю. :(
(no subject) - real_marsel - Jun. 4th, 2014 10:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Jun. 4th, 2014 10:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
real_marsel
Jun. 4th, 2014 10:07 pm (UTC)
What means " I'm very anal about my scrambled eggs"? (anal)
peacetraveler22
Jun. 4th, 2014 10:10 pm (UTC)
It has nothing to do with sex! :)) In English, we have a phrase "anal retentive." It means you are very particular or fussy about something. In other words, you want it done a certain way or are overly obsessive about it. We use "anal" as a shortened form of this phrase. Does it make sense? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anal_retentiveness
(no subject) - real_marsel - Jun. 4th, 2014 10:12 pm (UTC) - Expand
real_marsel
Jun. 4th, 2014 10:09 pm (UTC)
I cook French toasts cinnamon the same.
peacetraveler22
Jun. 4th, 2014 10:10 pm (UTC)
You are a good cook? This is a good trait for a bachelor. :)
(no subject) - real_marsel - Jun. 4th, 2014 10:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
real_marsel
Jun. 4th, 2014 10:15 pm (UTC)
I can say really: there is no kids menus in any Russian restaurants.
peacetraveler22
Jun. 4th, 2014 10:16 pm (UTC)
It seems crazy for a young child to pay the same price or eat the same portion as an adult meal.
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real_marsel
Jun. 4th, 2014 10:17 pm (UTC)
Thank you for interesting article.
peacetraveler22
Jun. 5th, 2014 12:59 am (UTC)
My pleasure! Good to learn new English words and phrases. :)
onkel_hans
Jun. 5th, 2014 12:07 am (UTC)
Pretty good pancakes I usually get at IKEA.
peacetraveler22
Jun. 5th, 2014 12:58 am (UTC)
I only eat Swedish meatballs there. :) Which American restaurant chains do you like? Chilis, Olive Garden T.G.I.F., Outback, I.H.O.P...or you rarely eat out?
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rider3099
Jun. 5th, 2014 01:53 am (UTC)
I have to look for this restaurant! I like American food very much :)
peacetraveler22
Jun. 5th, 2014 01:57 am (UTC)
I don't think they have them in California, at least not in my aunt's area of Orange County. But maybe you'll find one of them during your road journeys. :) Let me know if you try it and like it!
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