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Dining A La King: What are you having for breakfast?

I’ve come to dread breakfast. It’s not a comfortable position for a guy who loves food, who lives to eat. Nothing sounds good, and that’s a crisis for a food writer.

I’m obviously not starving; the months of this funk haven’t resulted in massive weight loss.

I get up in the morning. I make coffee. And I mutter.

Breakfast was something that comforted me, that greeted me like an old friend.

Good morning, Marshall. Here’s a breakfast sandwich. You love breakfast sandwiches. See how good it is, see how it has spinach so it’s a bit healthier.

Good morning, Marshall. Here’s a green smoothie, laden with fruits, almond milk, kale and goodness. I know not everyone would welcome kale in the morning, but you’re good that way, Marshall. That’s why I like you.

Now it’s like we don’t speak the same language anymore. (And by the way, you aren’t really surprised that my food speaks to me, are you?)

Breakfast has usually been something I treasured. There are so many ways for it to be simple and good. I love the variety. I’ve never been one of those people who take comfort in eating the same thing every morning.

I love sausage, whether it’s from a pig, turkey or chicken. Eggs are one of the world’s most versatile foods. They can be hard-boiled, poached, scrambled or used in omelets, not to mention they’re a key item in many of the pastries or pancakes that can be part of a breakfast.

Oatmeal can be the consistency of paste or something that’s hearty and comforting.

I usually enjoy cooking breakfast or making a smoothie. For years I’ve tried to avoid cold cereal. It makes me sad to eat cold cereal in the morning.

Yogurt is a staple, but even that has been tough to stomach lately.

I’ve looked for answers to the funk in a variety of places, though I haven’t done so in a box of Pop-Tarts. I do have standards.

I found myself in the line at Taco Bell ordering a Crunchwrap. It wasn’t awful. The biscuit taco was just bad, as the biscuit part was neither a good biscuit nor tortilla and had about as much flavor as the paper in which it was wrapped.

At Cafe Patachou in Indianapolis, across from the Statehouse, the vast menu offered amazing options. I texted friends to ask for recommendations and got a Broken Yolks sandwich with Nueske ham, Swiss cheese, great bread, mustard and two runny eggs. Ahh. A great breakfast.

Dining A La King tour to Culver

Get on the bus for our trip to Culver, Ind., on May 9.

Dining A La King and Flavor 574 are heading to Rooster Hill Farm, Corndance Cafe, Evil Czech Brewery and Lakehouse Grill for a day of touring, sampling and learning.

The cost is $125 per person and you can sign up by calling Menno Travel Service, 574-534-1521.

At Station 400 in Sarasota, Fla., the truffle eggs Benedict with arugula, roasted mushrooms and a truffle hollandaise sauce was divine. The crispy potatoes were even better.

But you can’t eat out like that every morning. I can’t live on gourmet breakfasts at great restaurants miles from home.

Now I admit my crisis to all of you. It’s not your fault. It’s not the fault of the restaurants here offering breakfast. There are plenty of good options, even if they’re not as high-faulting as Station 400 and Cafe Patachou.

We need more Sunday brunch options, but they’ll get here eventually. I predict that in the next two years we’ll get a couple places offering such a thing.

What I need to do is have breakfast with more fun people. The breakfasts in Sarasota and Indianapolis were with good friends and that made them more enjoyable. So if you gather with a group of people for breakfast, I’d be glad to join you and see what all of you are eating.

What I need to do is dig into cookbooks and find some fun options that won’t send me into the day flying on sugar. (I love the cinnamon roll at The Electric Brew, but I pay a price if I consume too much of the sugar and flour in one sitting.)

And I need to plan ahead and cook other than in the morning. If I work ahead to make a great, flavorful breakfast sandwich that I can quickly assemble, maybe mornings won’t be so painful.

The answer might be in that jar of maple syrup a friend made at his house. It’s a pretty amber and needs to be put to use. Here’s hoping it’s good and helpful on the way past this dark period in my life.

I’m hungry. Let’s eat.

Marshall V. King is community editor for The Elkhart Truth and food columnist for Flavor 574. You can reach him at 574-296-5805,, and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can also subscribe to the Dining A La King email newsletter.

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