Making the Most of a Hotel Breakfast

The Practical Cook will return to the usual order of blogging shortly, but indulge her one last piece of wisdom gleaned during her recent business travels. Let’s raise our voices in praise of the new trend of free breakfast and wifi in business-class hotels. It’s a value on a busy morning to be able to work, eat, and get ready all at the same time—all of the multitasking comforts at home. However, not all breakfasts are created equal.

As discussed before, the Practical Cook has the genetic cholesterol profile of a long-haul truck driver, not good. So she must be strategic in her choices. If your goal is, like my friend and colleague Virtual Cook, to eat pancakes in all 50 states, have at it. For me, that would lead to a sugar crash of monumental proportions during the first meeting of the day. Just can’t do it.

The Practical Cook’s Hotel Breakfast Survival Guide:

  1. Survey your options. Take the time to case the joint, see what there is to offer. If you’re going to be there over multiple days, this is especially helpful, and will make you more efficient with each return trip.
  2. Select simple ingredients. Fruit, whole grain toast or an English muffin, cereal, plain oatmeal.
  3. Have it your way. Don’t feel obligated to eat the breakfast served—repurpose it. For instance, I made whole grain toast with peanut butter and banana circles. Another morning I used one element of the fruit salad (blueberries) to mix in with my cereal. Shop the buffet like you would your pantry, be creative!
  4. Don’t forget your room key. Any time a breakfast run entails seeking coffee outside your immediate abode, double-check. I returned to my room laden with cereal and hot coffee only to discover the business card from yesterday’s Afghan restaurant in my pocket where I thought the keycard was. #caffeinefail #jetlag
  5. Ask for what you need. In this competitive environment, hotels know that business travelers compare amenities. If you don’t see something you need or want, ask for it.

Dodge the breakfast bullet, and you’ll have the room and energy to celebrate later:

Celebrating Asparagus in Season!

Celebrating Asparagus in Season!

Special thanks to all of my amazing colleagues  and friends for the many food conversations and fantastic restaurant recommendations during the trip. I look forward to the opportunity to reciprocate. Tomorrow we’re back to the usual with Weekly Menus.

What do you think of Hotel Breakfasts? Does the selection affect your hotel choice? Weigh in at practical cook at gmail dot com.

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