BENCH/BITES: Grub for Good Mornings

The spread at L.E.S. Bagels

The spread at L.E.S. Bagels

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Serving New York bagels or fresh spins on SPAM, these new restaurants give us more reasons why!     

By Michelle V. Ayuyao

π Breakfast and Pies

Last year, Ed Bugia and the rest of the Pino group birthed a new wonder kid: π Breakfast and Pies. Admittedly, the place is a tribute to New York’s Momofuku, Crack Pie and cereal milk  as obvious references on the menu. East Coast influences aside, Chef Ed serves up a mean roster of breakfast

π Breakfast and Pies's spin on SPAM.

π Breakfast and Pies’s spin on SPAM.

choices, spearheaded by a bastardized breakfast option: sugary SPAM. The little blocks of processed meat are sprinkled over a mound of pesto rice, and topped with a David Chang-esque boiled egg. The yolk flows like lava when pricked. Mix and mash accordingly.

Breakfast bonus: A slice or five from their heavy list of pies. The key lime is ace.

39 Malingap St., Teachers’ Village, Quezon City. 

PAUL 

Leave it to the French to know their bread: they have a patron saint for bakers and a Grand Prix for baguettes held in Paris every year. Giving Manila a smack of that revered French bread is Paul, a bakery empire that’s finally reached our tropical shores. Behind glass panes, an extensive selection is found in the massive spread of loaves and rolls. The thing with good bread is it requires very few additions—while others opt to slather on the spread, I take mine the only way bread should be taken: slightly toasted with a generous pat of butter. Delicieux!

A sumptuous spread at PAUL.

A sumptuous spread at PAUL.

Breakfast bonus: Pay close attention to the eclairs stuffed with cream and strawberry slices, and the macarons as big as hamburgers.

Ground level, SM Aura Premier, McKinley Parkway, Bonifacio Global City. 

L.E.S. Bagels

Lower East Side (L.E.S.) Bagels offers a dense selection of bagels and cream cheese spreads to sink your teeth into. Bless the L.E.S. guys for bread baked fresh every morning, wiped with angry schmears of their flavored cream cheese lineup. If you’re up for a heavy breakfast that’ll eat its way

L.E.S. Bagels introduces a variety of bagels

L.E.S. Bagels introduces a variety of bagels

to lunch—and possibly the hours after—place your bet on the L.E.S. Addiction: scallion cream cheese with lox (smoked salmon), tomatoes, red onions, and capers, on a toasted pumpernickel bagel. My only beef with the place is the climb down McKinley Hill, and the road animals you will undoubtedly encounter along the way.

Breakfast bonus: The oatmeal cookie sandwich, with maple buttercream filling.

Tuscany Residences, Upper McKinley Road, McKinley Hill, Fort Bonifacio

Milky and Sunny

There’s more to Kapitolyo’s grub scene than the default dining options of Charlie’s and Café Juanita. A cute little nook that will make all the wannabe hipsters gush is neighborhood breakfast joint, Milky & Sunny. Hell-bent on putting you in a sunshiny mood, M&S serves every morning meal imaginable, from classic bacon and eggs, to strawberry cream cheese pancake stacks, to tapa with sinangag. New to their menu this month is a savory pancake with cheese and jalapeño, which has me part skeptical, part curious, mouth wide open.

Breakfast bonus: Unlimited cereal. Enough said.

9 East Capitol Drive, Kapitolyo, Pasig. 

Milky and Sunny's strawberry cream cheese pancake stacks.

Milky and Sunny’s strawberry cream cheese pancake stacks.

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