Despite the dazzling wealth of food cultures and ethnic dishes that have permeated our eating habits, breakfast, in large part remains the last bastion of pure Americana. We are still very much a bacon-eggs-home-fries kind of country before noon. All due respect to the classics, we should be mindful that there is a whole world of breakfast options out there.
Ireland’s notion of breakfast is probably one of the few international versions familiar to Americans. Murphy’s Law in Pawtucket offers a proper fry-up with its Full Irish Breakfast: eggs, rashers (Irish bacon), bangers (Irish sausage), black and white puddings (don’t ask – just eat), fried tomato and mushrooms, beans and toast. Wash it all down with a pint of Guinness, and you’ll wonder how anything gets done in Ireland when the day starts like this. Murphy’s Law: 2 George St., Pawtucket. 724-5522.
Meanwhile in Mexico – or rather, locally, at Viva Mexico – they greet the morning with a heaping plate of Chilaquiles con Huevos Estrellados: tortilla chips slathered and baked in red or green salsa and served with sunny side up eggs. Cranston’s Blend Café, which does modern, fusion versions of food from all over Latin America, rises and shines Dominican style with their DR Breakfast, featuring Dominican salami, eggs, queso frito, pickled onions and butter mangu (boiled and mashed green plantains). Viva Mexico: 129 Washington St. 369-7974. Blend Café: 745 Reservoir Ave., Cranston. 270-5533.
The menu at Julians takes an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink approach to incorporating international influences, and their Shakshuka offers a Middle Eastern take on breakfast. Two eggs are poached in a spicy tomato stew, and served with lemon tahini, fresh parsley and garlic bread… and home fries (‘Murica). Julians: 318 Broadway. 861-1770.
China is the great-grandaddy of pretty much all food cultures, and their approach to breakfast is simple: let’s just eat everything. Though the full dim sum experience – a constant parade of rolling carts passing by your table offering a staggering variety of small plates – is not to be had in Rhode Island, Cranston’s King’s Garden does offer a dim sum menu on weekends. It’s no slouch in the variety department either, ranging from the familiar (Peking ravioli, Shanghai Dumpling) to the more exotic (Steamed Stuffed Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf, Sweet Red Bean Paste) to the downright gnarly (Chicken Feet with Black Bean Sauce). King’s Garden: 90 Rolfe Sq., Cranston. 461-0646.