Are you noticing a theme yet? Yes – I’m officially hooked on Eggs Benedict! As you’ve previously read, I’ve found that not all of these breakfast standards are quite up to snuff. Since my post last month, I’ve continued my mission seeking out this gastronomic holy grail, and found two fantastic options practically under my own nose. The latest? Nearly tripping distance from my day-job at the Convention Center and adjacent to the home of the International Food Bloggers Conference I’m attending at the Sheraton Hotel is the home to chef-in-the-hat Thierry Rautureau’s Loulay.
There was plenty of talk on the IFBC forums regarding breakfast options close to the hotel, and Loulay came up more than once. With a rich background in traditional French cooking, Rautureau was born in the town of Loulay, France, and apprenticed in Anjou (coincidentally, the name of my pug). Fortunately, he found his way to the Pacific Northwest more than thirty years ago – likely for the sole purpose of teaching us what fabulous hollandaise is all about.
Loulay’s Benny pleased me with every single bite: Nueske’s thinly-sliced, subtly-smoked Wisconsin ham rested comfortably atop beds of crunchy English muffins. Plump poached eggs nestled atop this porcine delight within a perfect blanket of hollandaise. And OH MY was this sauce divine! As light as the fluffy clouds that settle at the base of the Cascade mountains, with the perfect kiss of lemoneyness. Yes: This Benny was blissful!
Now contrast this to another gem just down the street at Andaluca restaurant in the Mayflower Park Hotel. I was lured in through their social media channel with a promise that something different was happening under the watch of chef Sarah Lorenzen. I should preface my summary of the experience with this: I knew going in that this was to be a twist on the traditional. What I didn’t know? That it’d blow my socks off (culinarily speaking, of course). Chef Sarah’s team’s expertly smoked salmon created the gastronomic throne that cradled pillows of ripe tomato, sweet red onions, dreamy fried capers (yes, fried!) and two lovingly-poached eggs. Atop this mountain of ingredients was a different take on hollandaise – made with cream cheese and boasting a world of tanginess.
My search for the perfect Eggs Benny is likely one many have sought after in life: for greener pastures, idyllic existence and fountains of youth – all rarely found. However, I’m enjoying the hunt and finding finding gems around every corner!
Disclosure: I received a significant reduction in my IFBC conference adendee fee with the promise of creating three related blog posts.