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Arguably, the most important meal of the day is breakfast. Unique to all the other meals. A time for self, a time for serenity. Truly, I don’t believe breakfast get’s the credit it deserves. Its seems that so many people are clamoring to get to lunch and swooning over dinner, but I bet you can’t even recall if you did have your culinary wake up call. Breakfast around the globe takes many forms, and most countries stay true to simplicity. In the United States, however, our palates vary wildly during the early morning hours, from a cup of coffee to meals more serious than dinner.

CROQUE MADAME
Moulin ­ 1000 Bristol St N. Newport Beach, CA 92660 ­
I have often referred to my favorite dining experiences as the ones that are able to translate to the guest, a different time and place through their food and atmosphere. Moulin, as some people have said, is “a little piece of France, in the middle of Newport Beach.” They have high aspirations to challenge themselves to emulate one of the most famous cities in the world. Their menu is simple and approachable, featuring pastries, omelettes, and their ever popular Croque Madame. This classic dish has been a favorite for diners for over 100 years and has many variations. A more classic variation of the Croque Madame is served at Moulin, ham and Emmental cheese toasted in between two pieces of bread topped with Bechamel and a fried egg.

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Photo Credit: Bryn Mohr

ERIC’S BREAKFAST ENCHILADAS
Eat Chow ­ 211 62nd St., Newport Beach, CA 92663 ­
Hidden Gem. This term gets thrown around too frivolously, often describing lackluster establishments that are only good in relation to the nothing that is around them. “Gems” have character and beauty, and being “hidden” doesn’t mean a place of solitude, but rather something that is kept out of sight. The Newport Beach Eat Chow location is hardly noticeable from the PCH street view. A little exploration will lead you to the restaurant that you may have otherwise missed if you weren’t looking. Once you find the restaurant, the “gem” quality shines through. From the atmosphere, the family oriented service, to the named menu items, you begin to feel an elevated sense of “mom and pop” shop, a far stretch from any thought of an old school breakfast diner. Eric’s Breakfast Enchiladas, eggs, onions, tomatoes, peppers wrapped in a tortilla, topped with green chille and smokey charred tomato salsa is a perfect blend of what this eatery has to offer. The menu is a play on American Diner and Mexican food, and the menu pays homage to some of the brains behind the brand.

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Photo Credit: Bryn Mohr

CHILLI CHEESE OMELET
Galley Cafe ­ 829 Harbor Island Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660 ­
Orange County is still building on it’s history. There are no ancient relics or war rubble to rummage, but we do have the pioneers. Galley Cafe, a small family owned eatery, stays true to the vintage diner style of breakfast. On top of a vintage soda fountain, they serve up malts and shakes and even some non­traditional menu items. The Chilli Cheese Omelet has been a house favorite for years and is topped with Grandpa’s Chilli, a family recipe that has been passed along for generations. The recipes and soul of this establishment have been warming the hearts of breakfast goers for years, now its your turn.

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PORK BELLY EGGS BENEDICT
The Dock ­ 2816 LaFayette Ave. Newport Beach, CA 92663 ­
Newport Beach is ideal for water­side dining. Clear blue skies, ocean air, faint sounds of waves and boats all create a serene backdrop for a relaxing dining experience. Sunday afternoon sees an incredible influx in the brunch scene, and The Dock has captured all of the beauty of Newport just for your breakfast enjoyment. Their brunch crowd seems to have gravitated to a classic breakfast dish with a new school twist. The Eggs Benedict can be served with either Salmon Lox or Pork Belly and is served with a traditional Hollandaise Sauce, and eggs, poached to order. Obviously our foodie hearts would choose the Pork Belly, but let your stomach be your guide.

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PARISIAN FARMER CREPE
Cafe Beau Soleil ­ 953 Newport Center Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660 ­
Out of all the things that could possibly impact your morning, breakfast shouldn’t be the thing weighing you down. Cafe Beau Soleil offers a selection of “feel good” fresh breakfast offerings to the visitors of Fashion Island. It is a very comfortable, relaxed feel, in such a prestigious international shopping destination, but it was meant to be welcoming. Crepes have seen a resurgence in the food world, and the talent at Cafe Beau Soleil keep that trend alive. The Parisian Farmer Crepe is an organic, buckwheat crepe, stuffed with Mary’s Organic Chicken, Spinach, Tomatoes, and Gruyere Cheese. This light take on a breakfast joint really speaks to the culture of the Newport Beach community.

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ORANGE RICOTTA HAUTE CAKES
Haute Cakes Caffe ­ 1807 Westcliff Dr., Newport Beach, CA 92660
There is a secret garden amidst the suburban domains of Newport Beach. Haute Cakes Caffe has an expressive charm and serves a quality breakfast. Walking through a small green courtyard with a canopy of tree leaves above you and the bright blue sky offers a kind of environment where no one feels obligated to speak. A simple California Fresh breakfast and lunch offerings are the perfect pairing to the stunning outside seating area. The Orange Ricotta Haute Cakes, delicate and flavorful, are a specialty of this breakfast joint.
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FRENCH TOAST
Mustard Cafe ­ 21137 Newport Coast Dr., Newport Coast, CA 92657
Breakfast doesn’t always need to be a ritual, and sometimes can be a quick experience if you are headed to lay at the beach or headed out for a bike ride. Mustards Cafe, is a quick service style eatery, straight forward menu, with breakfast served all day! There are few things more exciting than being able to indulge in a sweet breakfast treat for lunch or dinner. The Cinnamon Sugar Brioche French Toast would be my choice.

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This article originally appeared on www.DineNB.com

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