Tuesday, September 13, 2016

The agony of hotel breakfasts

I get a lot of hotel time.

Given that, I eat a lot of hotel meals.  They're frankly bad for my waste line as, of course, the proportions are whatever the standard American proportion is, usually, which might not be my own.  I can manage that with dinner, and while I eat a lot of truly mediocre hotel dining room dinners, it's breakfast where hotels really fall short, quite often.

As I often stay in "business hotels" I frequently find myself eating the free breakfast.  Indeed, if I don't, I'm gambling on no breakfast at all, as a lot of times I don't otherwise know where I really am well enough to eat anywhere else anyway.  That shouldn't be much of a problem as I don't eat a very big breakfast anyhow, but it oddly is.

I'd guess that very little thought goes into most hotel free breakfasts.  They're usually in a common room and what you get is an assortment of cereal, maybe, a selection of stale bagels, some heavy duty pastries, and cold scrambled eggs.  Yum.

Granted, that is something, and it is early, but its less than appetizing.  By and large everyone goes with it as you don't have much of a choice and its early.

No matter how early the "coffee shop" or whatever it is opens, I've usually been awake for quite awhile when I get there.  Its frustrating, therefore, to find that the coffee shop sometimes opens late. That's really frustrating if you are in a hurry, but it can be just flat out frustrating. All the more so to find the breakfast fare is stale bagels.  Oh well.

Where choices are offered, if a person isn't really a "morning person", which isn't related to being an early or late riser, I'd note, the other patrons can be a bit of a trial, I'd note.  Sometimes, if there's a true breakfast buffet, your efforts to simply get something will be deterred by the befuddled, who will simply freeze in line, apparently paralyzed by options.  If a selection of coffees are present, you'll have to endure the odd contemporary American phenomenon of somebody, maybe everybody, ordering something that's in the category of the bizarre.  "I'd like the Antarctic gluten free, free range, free trade, freedom for Tibet, double mocha swirl coffee please".  Yeah, whatever, I'd like black coffee.

Most of the time the patrons are fairly quiet, but not always.  I always dress super casual on my way to breakfast, unless I'm running late, because they open late, so people probably assume I'm working on the mechanical plant of the hotel.  So other lawyers from other towns who are in there and businessmen, already turned out in suits, don't know what you really are.  So in that case, you can get their conversations, whether you want to or not.  Just recently I overheard an older businessman, in full suit, address a younger, about some talk he was giving that day.  "I thought I'd start off with company history and then go on to things like safety".

Well, with an Iphone generation audience that's sure to send them right to their phones.

And all I was hoping for was a stale bagel.

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