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Leonhard’s gets the love

#TryThisAndrew
by Andrew Sprague

Ask a hundred people to name their favourite meal and about ninety-three of them will describe food normally associated with supper. Rarely if ever does lunch enter the conversation. I mean what kind of crazy person would name a lunch item as their favourite meal? And what makes it a lunch “meal,” exactly? You had it at lunch time, did you? Oh. Well. That settles that. See where I’m going here? There is no lunch “meal.” Lunch is a construct. It’s an invented name for a calorie intake requirement to get us from breakfast to supper, and that’s all it is. It is not the domain of the favourite meal. Breakfast, however. Breakfast is a meal. No one ever said lunch was the most important meal of the day, but they say it about breakfast all the time.

So it’s no surprise to me that a restaurant best known for its breakfasts performed very well in a recent, completely unscientific poll of Islanders’ favourite restaurant meals. Leonhard’s got a whole bunch of votes and not just for warm food on a plate. Both the schillerlocke (a custard filled pastry), and the vanilla roll were identified by respondents as their favourite meals. Perhaps they misread the question in the poll, or maybe they were raised on Joe Louis cakes, but that’s beside the point. I’m not here to talk about the pastries. I’m here to talk about the bacon eggs benedict.

Leonhard’s makes what could be the most perfectly constructed plate of Eggs Benedict on the planet. It’s simple really; two halves of a lightly toasted, fluffy and buttery English muffin, under a layer of perfectly crisp bacon, under two poached eggs drizzled with just about the best hollandaise sauce I’ve ever tasted, dusted with paprika. Alongside are about ten quarter-inch-thick, circle-cut grilled potatoes, and a fresh garden salad with a light but tangy mustard dressing that offsets the richness of the eggs benedict to exactly the right degree. It is an awesome plate of food.

I had one, on my own, completely by myself, a couple of Saturdays ago. I stress this because a solo meal in a restaurant is a luxury I rarely enjoy these days, and one I savour. I was playing in a pool tournament and my wife excused me early to get a good breakfast to help me through the day. It was busy at Leonhard’s, as usual, but I got a table without having to wait and my coffee arrived within minutes of sitting down. It was a relief to enjoy a hot beverage without having to chase a kid around, or pay close attention to ensure no one is choking on their food. I also splurged a bit and ordered a delicious fresh squeezed orange juice.

When the food arrived I felt a wave of anticipation rush over me. I was about to eat a whole meal without having to chase, talk, feed, wipe, guard, hug or Heimlich. It was heaven. I got to taste the food and it was so good. It was the best breakfast I could have hoped for on a day when I needed a good breakfast and some quality Andrew time. Leonhard’s and my wife gave me both.

Leonhard’s is located at 142 Great George Street in Charlottetown and serves breakfast from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday through Sunday.

—What is your favourite Island restaurant meal? Each month, Andrew Sprague heads out to eat based on your recommendation. Post it using #TryThisAndrew on Facebook, Instagram and/or Twitter.

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