When I was a kid, one of my favorite things about meatless Fridays during Lent were the nights my mom would make French toast for dinner.
She’d lightly coat the bread in egg batter, flavored with a hint of cinnamon, and brown each slice to perfection—not too dark, not too light. Served a stack hot off the griddle, I’d drown the toast in butter and powdered sugar. Who needed pot roast or pork chops?
Breakfast for dinner, like starting a meal with dessert, defies the natural culinary order. Call it indulgent, call it a guilty pleasure, or call it just plain awesome—it’s an idea that deserves wider appreciation.
Credit Blue Sky Bakery & Café (3720 N. Lincoln) for giving the concept its due.
The café’s latest family-style dinner party, scheduled for Thursday, April 21, 7 p.m., will feature three breakfast courses, each paired with a cocktail.
“I’m interested in a lot of different cuisines, but breakfast is one of the things we do best,” says Lisa Thompson, executive director of Blue Sky Inn, which operates the bakery and café. “It seemed overdue to just focus on this meal.”
The menu will include twists on some of Blue Sky’s most popular items—doughnuts, quiche and scones—as well as the debut of a biscuit sandwich with bacon jam. (The jam will be served on the side; the dinner is intended to be vegetarian friendly.)
“I’ve always associated a full breakfast with a relaxing meal—usually reserved for the weekends, in comfortable clothes and without the stress of the day piled up on you,” Thompson says. “Hopefully the same food at a different time of day can evoke some of those same feelings.”
Like everything Blue Sky does, the dinner parties support the bakery and café’s job training program for homeless and at-risk youth.
“The bakery exists to provide them with jobs,” Thompson explains. The more successful the bakery is, the more youth it can employ.
The dinners benefit diners as well, with the family-style format bringing together a group of strangers who share similar tendencies.
“Even though you might not know anyone—and we do encourage people to come solo if they like—you’re going to meet people with some critical things in common: you support local businesses; you enjoy indulgent, seasonal, all-natural comfort food; and you support social justice causes,” says Thompson. “The conversations are always lively and people seem to enjoy the chance to get to know their neighbors.”
Seating for the dinner is limited. The cost is $30 per person or $55 per pair. Reserve your space here and be sure to type “bfast for dinner” in the designation line. Children are welcome as long as they’re adventurous eaters.
Thompson tells us her ideal breakfast for dinner would be crepes, doughnuts, eggs benedict, cheese Danish and bone-in ham—all on one plate. My love of French toast also extends to pancakes.
So what’s your favorite breakfast for dinner?