BREAKFAST standout sides
so much that it was added to the regular menu topped with cream cheese frosting and crumbled
“They’re really not doughnuts, but a more of a biscuit fritter, which is better than an order of
dry toast,” Gonzalez says.
Fries are one of the most beloved snacks foods, and they’re a perfect breakfast side dish, too.
South Water Kitchen serves sliced deep-fried sweet potatoes dusted with matcha tea and served
with housemade vanilla/citrus aioli. Waysok was serving sweet potato fries that were well-received,
but he wanted to upgrade the item with a new flavor profile. He’s a big tea drinker, and a fan of
matcha. “I knew the sweetness of the potato would pair well with the tea dust that has an initial
vegetal, astringent taste followed by a lingering sweetness,” he says.
In fall and winter, spices that pair with the earthiness of the tea and the sweetness of the
potatoes, such as cinnamon and ginger, are added to the matcha powder. As with all fries, a dipping
sauce is needed, but ketchup would overpower their sweet earthiness. Waysok says the vanilla/
citrus aioli, served alongside, brightens the dish and complements the sweet, earthy flavors.
A fritter should be crispy on the outside and tender on the inside—and sometimes, the inside
yields bits of meat, seafood, vegetables or fruit. Scotley Innis, executive chef at 5Church in Atlanta,
prepares Anson Mills grits fritters with Georgia cheese and country ham butter.
Yellow and white corn grits are cooked with butter, heavy cream and water to the desired
consistency. The cooled grits are formed into two-bite-size fritters filled with pimento cheese.
They’re rolled in flour, dipped in egg wash, coated in breadcrumbs and pan-fried. A reduced country
ham butter made with butter, shallots, garlic and white wine is spread on the plate, and four fritters
rest on top, garnished with rainbow microgreens.
“This side dish is a sweet and savory complement to any breakfast entree item,” says Innis.
Corned beef hash conjures up images of mystery meat and tiny pieces of potato. Restaurants
have removed the mystery, using brisket, pastrami, Texas barbecue, leftover prime rib, lamb necks
or duck tongue, and other tasty cuts of meat to make hash that’s deeply satisfying.
Innis prepares corned beef hash using beef brisket that’s brined, braised and ground. Sauteed
baby turnips, Vidalia onions and other root vegetables are added to the ground meat. To serve, a
portion is spooned into a pan, topped with a quail egg, oven-roasted and basted with chili oil.
By the numbers
• Breakfast occasions in and out of
the home are projected to grow
by 5% through 2019, growing
faster than the U.S. population,
according to the NPD Group.
• A November 2016 article in Forbes
lists “Breakfast, updated” as No. 3
in the top five food trends to watch
• Technomic’s 2015 U.S. Breakfast
Consumer Trend Report indicated
that the fastest-growing breakfast
sides at limited-service restaurants
included proteins (+15%) and
other sides/condiments (+13%),
and at fast-service restaurants,
non-breaded vegetables (+14%),
other potato (+9%), fruit (+7%),
other sides/condiments (+6%) and
ABOVE AND OPPOSITE, LEFT TO RIGHT:
1) At Osteria Langhe, cipolla carbonara—
salami cotto sausage, heavy cream, thyme,
Parmesan, fontina and a fried egg. 2) Deep-fried crispy boudin balls and doughnuts at
SoBou. 3) Sable Kitchen & Bar’s cornbread
is topped with puffed pork skin, honey
butter, housemade jalapeno chow-chow,
black salt and microgreens. 4) At Juniper’s
Table, ricotta toast is topped with sour
cherry puree and ricotta cheese.