Breakfast. Everyone knows what it is, and everyone knows how it should be observed. There’s the breakfast skippers, the breakfast lovers, the diner crowds, the social breakfasters, and many others. The PBS program Breakfast Special spotlights people who love breakfast and the places they love having it.
Breakfast Special visits restaurants in New York, Ohio, Georgia, Florida, California, and Oregon (watch for Breakfast Special 2 to see the restaurants visited that didn’t fit in the allotted hour). All of the featured restaurants are independently owned (no IHOPs here) and offer their customers something special. The show is another entertaining installment in director/narrator Rick Sebak’s reliable library of food-based documentaries.
Breakfast foods are nearly all comfort foods and variations on comfort foods, but the key to a restaurant’s popularity is not just good food, well prepared. Regular patrons at the restaurants visited all praised their choice as being like “family.” There is a social aspect to going out for breakfast when regulars gather at the same place four or five or even seven days a week. The staff knows the customers and their preferences, and the customers get to know each other.
Breakfast has long been promoted as “the most important meal of the day,” but the most important meals are the ones that actually get eaten. For breakfast skippers, it’s got to be lunch or supper, dinner or brunch, or any of the colloquial names assigned to meals other than breakfast. The diners in Breakfast Special treat themselves to a variety of delights from the simple bowl of oatmeal or congee to more complex creations often doused in hollandaise sauce. The dishes shown are enough to convert breakfast skippers to, at least, occasional indulgence.