Ann Hazelwood can tell you where to find a hamburger the size of a dinner plate, a two-pound order of fries and a pancake as big as a hubcap. The author of 100 Things To Do In and Around St. Charles, 100 Best Kept Secrets of Missouri, 100 Unique Eats and Eateries in Missouri and several other local-interest books found that one topic always left her audience craving more: food.
Rather than writing a sequel to her eatery guide, she opted to start at the beginning: breakfast. "If you talk to people about food, they always tell you breakfast is their favorite meal," Hazelwood explains. As she explored the breakfast food literary genre, she found little more than recipes. So, she took a different approach. "I interviewed places that I thought made a very good breakfast," she says. "There is a tip or hint from the chef or owner [of each restaurant]. We also interject a lot with breakfast food quotes from people like Julia Child."
Hazelwood visited restaurants, diners and bed and breakfasts while researching the book. She found that the good ole B&B is often underrated. "Bed and breakfasts are really competitive with great, great breakfasts," she says. "It's amazing how a lot of the B&B owners were once chefs or worked elsewhere in the food industry. So they really outdo themselves."
Why do we love breakfast (and brinner!) so much? Hazelwood believes the endearment is in its diversity and customizability. "Everybody does it differently," she says. "It depends on your lifestyle. It's one of those meals -- you know how you like your breakfast. You know how you like your coffee; you know how you like your eggs done; you know what you like. So when you find the place that does breakfast the way you want it, it's pretty cool."
Spoken like a true connoisseur and lover of the meal, Hazelwood can't choose a single favorite breakfast. She did mention a particularly stunning pancake, though. "When I was in Springfield, I went to Martha's Pancake House," she says. "She served me this wonderful chocolate pancake...I'd never had a chocolate pancake before. Not too sweet, just right. And then there was a scoop of ice cream on top, and she drizzled a little syrup on it. It really was to die for."
You might expect that, despite its lovability, Hazelwood would grow bored with the most important meal of the day. However, she asserts, "I never did get tired of pancakes."
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