When we think of picnics, we most often think of lunch time or dinner events. Rarely, do we think of a breakfast picnic and yet it’s probably one of the easiest picnic meals to pack!
Recently, I suggested we pack up a continental breakfast and head to the beach for a morning picnic. We had just been to a nearby blueberry U-pick so, naturally, blueberries were included in the picnic.
The menu was simple. Orange juice, Greek yogurt topped with homemade granola and fresh blueberries, homemade muffins, peaches, and coffee.
I love these little multi-purpose jelly jars. They are perfect for yogurt parfaits!
A breadboard makes an easily transportable platform upon which to set the food. I find, with beach picnics and an uneven sand base, it can be a bit of a challenge to keep the food from tipping over and spilling. However, the breadboard provides a stable, level surface eliminating the problem.
All that needs to be added is the quintessential coffee! I have a small thermos/coffee butler that holds exactly two cups of coffee and is great for these types of events.
I love my wicker picnic baskets and this one came equipped with the plates, mugs, and cutlery.
Let’s take a peek inside the picnic basket!
A good book for one and the morning newspaper for the other found their way to the picnic, too! No need to take along lawn chairs – an old blanket and a couple of comfy pillows will suffice.
Our summers are short here in Prince Edward Island so we make the most of the lovely fine days and our close proximity to the beach. What better way to savour the last days of summer than to pack a breakfast picnic and head to the beach to enjoy breakfast with a view like this! Self-imposed time-outs can be a good thing!
Given a choice of which meal of the day to eat out, hands down, I’ll choose breakfast every time! I love eating breakfast out and sipping on that first cup of coffee as the tantalizing scents of breakfast preparation waft through the air in the dining room.
When I choose a restaurant for breakfast, I’m not looking for greasy diner fare. I’m looking for places that:
have a selection of breakfast menu items that extend beyond the standard/usual run-of-the-mill bacon, eggs, hashbrowns, and toast (although, admittedly, that’s sometimes exactly what I crave!);
cater to a gluten-free diet since one in our party follows this diet;
offer a dining experience which is to say the restaurant has some kind of ambiance – that could be energy and vibrancy, scenery, décor, etc;
support local food producers and use fresh, locally-produced ingredients;
provide consistency which is to say their food and service are consistently good over several visits; and
put some effort into food presentation.
Right out of the gate, I’ll tell you this is not a sponsored post and I wasn’t paid to do it. In fact, the restaurants I’m about to tell you about have no idea I was checking out their restaurants and writing about them on my food blog. So, what follows are my own personal impressions of four (4) great places on PEI that I choose for breakfast and we travel from Summerside to Murray Harbour to find them.
Samuels Coffee House, Summerside
#5 Café, Murray Harbour
PEI Preserve Company, New Glasgow
Kettle Black, Charlottetown
Samuel’s Coffee House, 4 Queen Street, Summerside
Price Range: $2 – $10(at time of writing)
I seriously love this place that opened in 2011 and I personally think they have the best coffee on the Island! Their coffee house is small and quaint (yes, you can even eat in the little vault!) but they pack big flavor in their light fare menu items and desserts.
Housed in the former, and now refurbished, Journal-Pioneer building, the large windows allow lots of natural light to permeate the dining area. This is casual style dining. You place your order at the counter, receive a table number and, when the food is ready, a server delivers it to your table. Complimentary Wifi is available.
A good selection of coffee types are available that include espresso, café mocha, café latte, espresso macchiato, cappuccino, and americano. They also, in my view, make the best paninis on the Island using local ingredients. These are perfect for brunch or a light lunch. If you check out their menu board, they’ll often list the food producer’s name by the ingredients they use so you know you are getting good, fresh, local fare.
Their “Breakfast Sam” is a great breakfast or brunch choice and it is available in a gluten-free version as well (shown in the photo above). With eggs, cheddar, ham, tomato, and spinach on a cheese bun (gluten version only with this particular bun; gluten-free is on toasted bread), this is simply a lovely way to start the day. Other breakfast items include their own house-made granola, homemade bread for toast, muffins and cinnamon rolls, and oatmeal.
In the summer months, Samuel’s also operates a coffee house at Avonlea Village in the resort municipality of Cavendish.
#5 Café, 5 Church Street, Murray Harbour
Price Point: $9 – $11.50 (at time of writing)
Oh, this is a real little gem in the picturesque fishing village of Murray Harbour and absolutely worth the drive to eastern PEI.
Located in a decommissioned and repurposed church, the owner has kept much of the ambiance of the former church including the matched board walls and ceiling. The small open- concept kitchen (seen in the photo below) now takes up the former altar and choir loft.
The focus of food preparation at #5 Café is very much on the concept of clean food that is not full of additives and preservatives and that is made from scratch in their own kitchen.
#5 Café offers a wide variety of casual fare items on their menu but, bar none, their omelette is the best I’ve ever had! Toast is made with their own homemade bread and you’ll often find locals dropping in to buy some of the bread to take home. Gluten-free bread, though not made in-house, is also available with breakfast items.
Regardless the time of day, I’ll bet you can’t leave without checking out their dessert case and large glass jars filled with delectable cookies and other sweets! You just might find some homemade fudge in that dessert case as a sweet ending to breakfast or brunch!
Prince Edward Island Preserve Company, 2841 New Glasgow Road, New Glasgow
Price Point: $6 – $11 (at time of writing)
In operation since 1985, this restaurant is the “go-to” place for many Islanders (including me) for breakie on weekend mornings. You know the old saying “Go where the locals go and you’ll find good food”. Breakfast is served daily until 11:00am.
Open seasonally from the end of May to early October, be sure to look through the windows to the right as you enter the front doors. Here, most days, you can see the preserve-making process in action. This company is well-known for its production of preserves and spreads and many breakfast menu items are served with their own house-made preserves.
The bright open-concept dining room is surrounded by windows. Boasting a phenomenal view of the River Clyde, try to snag a table by the window so you can watch the many different birds at the feeders and fluttering amongst the beautiful flowers of the nearby Gardens of Hope. Complimentary Wifi is available in the dining room.
This full-service restaurant has a great menu selection for breakfast and I’ve sampled most of them!
Many items can be prepared gluten-free or vegetarian. Items range from granola to the standard country breakfast to French toast, pancakes, Belgian waffles, egg croissant to the breakfast frittata which is seriously the best I’ve ever had. Served in an au gratin dish, it’s filled with peppers, green onions, mushrooms, and three cheeses. Served with sautéed potatoes and toast, this is the full meal deal and you won’t need to eat for the rest of the day!
Kettle Black, 45 Queen Street, Charlottetown
Price Point: $3.50 – $12 (at time of writing)
Located not far from the Charlottetown waterfront, this independently-owned coffee shop is housed in a refurbished historic building. Look for the bright sunflower yellow store front.
Inside, the exposed brick walls and high ceilings lend a European look and feel. A variety of seating options is available – tables, padded benches, bar stool and counter, and easy chairs. This is casual dining where you place your order at the register, pick up your beverage, find a table, and a server will then deliver your order to your table. Complimentary Wifi is available.
Breakfast is served all day! Breakfast items range from bagels, Belgian-style waffle, homemade granola and yogurt, and frittata. Known especially for their types of coffees, they roast organic coffee beans in-house and you can get your lattés, cappuccinos and mochaccinos as well as standard americano coffees here.
My choice at Kettle Black is the frittata that is served with a tasty side salad and toast (gluten-free bread is available).
Together, these four establishments offer a wide variety of tasty breakfast fare.
(Mostly) PEI and Maritime Food – Good Food for a Good Life!