If you have had a rough night (or perhaps several of them in a row) and you find yourself in Northern Liberties, in Philadelphia, I suggest you go to Honey’s Sit-N-Eat for breakfast.
The place is somewhat noisy, and it seems to be bustling with people on most mornings. The air smells like coffee and grease and smoke, which is comforting after a restless night.
If you go, you will find that no one will judge you for your wrinkled clothes or your disheveled hair or your bloodshot eyes. The waiter will simply ask if you want coffee, and then will make sure that your cup is never empty.
There is plenty on the menu to choose from, ranging from the reasonably healthy to the dangerously irresponsible. How calorically careless you wish to be should correlate to how difficult the last few days have been for you.
For example, if things have been pretty darn okay, and you just spent your time wandering around museums and getting lost in downtown Philadelphia, then there’s no need to go crazy. Eggs and a latke with a biscuit is a perfectly good way to go.
Note that the biscuit buttery and soft, and the latke tastes like a sin. Both are wonderful.
You may even be inclined to get a side of brussel sprouts, charred and oily and flavored with bacon, in some half-hearted attempt to be healthy, and that’s okay, too.
If, however, you have had a very difficult couple of days, because you’ve done something crazy like decide that you and one of your good friends should try to run each other’s companies for a week, feel free to indulge. Honey’s will have everything you need to do so.
I would recommend the monte cristo – a batter dipped, grilled ham and cheese sandwich, with two fried eggs on top. It is served with a small pitcher of syrup and, for reasons that completely escape me, a few leaves of lettuce on the side. Perhaps they are there because life can’t always be easily explained, so why should breakfast?
I mean, is it supposed to be a salad?
As though you need salad at a time like this. Ridiculous. The real estate on your plate could just as easily have been dedicated to hashbrowns. Or bacon. Or more syrup.
And as you sit and enjoy your meal, you find that the rough night, or the rough week, or the rough past few months start to dissipate. You’ve managed to drown them in syrup and coffee and good company.
You feel relaxed, for the first time in days.
And you are smiling, for the first time in days.
And when you emerge from the restaurant, you find that the sun is out and shining, for the first time in days.