For as long as ELV has been alive, he’s been bombarded with the need to start the day with a good, healthy breakfast.
Unfortunately, these words — whether spoken by Marcella Ruth Schroader Curtas (d.o.b. 8.10.24) – The Official Mother of ELV — or others, have never taken root in ELV’s psyche.
Quite the opposite, in fact. In our world (like that of the French and Italians), breakfast is good for only one thing: thinking about lunch. Ever since our formative years, we’ve either skipped it entirely, or confined it to a bowl of cereal, a banana, doughnut or croissant as we’re flying out the door.
But sometimes, occasionally, every so often, we find ourselves in the vortex of the center of the perfect storm where appetite, time, opportunity and great vittles coalesce into the consummate consumables of a creative craftsman at the crack of the course of the day…so we sit down and actually break our fast in a courtly and correct confluence of comestibles.
Yesterday, was just such a day.
It was early…at least by ELV standards. We were alone, hungry, and standing in front of possibly the best three-meal-a-day restaurant in town. So in we strolled and zeroed right in on a breakfast croque-madame — not something we’d normally order before noon, but the description: sliced, toasted sourdough, topped with thin slices of Serrano ham, a classic Mornay sauce, and two fried eggs (with fried, diced potatoes, sun-dried tomatoes and bacon) sounded irresistible.
And it was…not least because of a classic sauce Mornay. Once a common adjunct to all sorts of vegetable and meat dishes, this cheesy Béchamel sauce is an essential component to the Hot Brown — the rich, salty, ethereal ham and cheese concoction indigenous to Kentucky — and is as difficult to find these days as days as pheasant under glass.
Which is a pity, because a good one can make even shoe leather taste good.
MOzen’s Mornay is so good because it is smooth, silky and cheesy and remarkably light — no mean feat that. Its breakfast croque-madame is so good because, basically, it is a Hot Brown with a higher education: fresh toasted sourdough, thin slices of Spanish ham, just a light coating of sauce, all topped with two, fresh (and we mean fresh) perfectly fried eggs — seasoned so well you won’t even think about reaching for the salt and pepper.
Leading up to that, a nice little amuse of muesli with yogurt, and a fresh squeezed juice aperitif — both of which had ELV feeling nice and healthy right up until he started wolfing down the applewood smoked bacon and devouring those potatoes.
It was an heroic breakfast, and the type ELV’s mammy and pappy would’ve loved to have been cooking for him and the rest of their youngins, when he was but a mere sprite, had they not been so busy plowing the lower forty.
Instead, we got Pop Tarts.
No wonder we hate breakfast.
Our breakfast for one came to $20+$5 tip.
In the Mandarin Oriental Hotel
3752 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109