A Hidden Gem in Plain Sight!

bread-and-porridgeI had the great opportunity to review Bread & Porridge, a breakfast & lunch restaurant recently in Santa Monica, and I was blown away by the incredible value this place offers. As THE Frugal Foodie, I am not into the latest trendy restaurants that charge an arm and a leg. I look for places that offer great quality at fair prices, and Bread & Porridge totally KILLS it with their generous portions!  Bread & Porridge has been in business since 1994, and how they have flown under the radar for 23 years is beyond me. Their menu proudly proclaims they serve the “World’s Greatest Breakfast” and this is why:

First, Bread & Porridge only uses local California Certified Organic eggs cooked in real butter. Since they are not just organic but also local – – they are VERY fresh natural eggs unlike the ones used at hotel or restaurant chains (cheap mass-produced eggs from stressed chickens in crowded cages) fried in cheap unhealthy oils. There are places all over LA that charge a lot more to make this claim.

20161214_111503Second, Bread & Porridge serves Jody Maroni sausages. In case you are not familiar with Jody Maroni, he is the son of the most esteemed butcher in the Los Angeles’ San Fernando Valley. Jody’s father was renowned for his commitment to his customers, fair pricing, and selling only the highest quality cuts of meat. He instilled those same values in his son, and Jody’s goumet sausages:

• Are made with all-natural ingredients from homemade recipes.
• Jody himself deftly combines the finest cuts of meat and poultry with wines, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, and spices.
• His sausages are naturally low in sodium and fat.
• Many ofhis sausages have no nitrates, preservatives, or MSG.
• His sausages are coarsely ground to reveal each individual ingredient.
• Each sausage is prepared using a natural pork casing (unless otherwise noted).

Pictured below are the sausages served at the restaurant starting at the top and going around clockwise:
Spicy Portuguese – Made with pork
Spicy Cajun Andouille – Chicken & authentic Cajun spices
Cilantro Verdi – Made with turkey & chicken *
Maple Breakfast – A sweet & savory, mild pork sausage
Italian Breakfast – Made with chicken
Mild Chicken Apple – Chicken with a touch of sherry
Little Links – A handful (5) of classically spicy pork sausages (center)

20161214_111443Third, they have awesome service by people who truly enjoy where they work and work as a team! Virtually all “Team Members” (dishwashers, busboys, servers, cashiers and cooks) have been at Bread & Porridge for more than seven years and most since they opened in 1994. I believe that when people are passionate about their work with food, it shows in the quality of what they serve. This kind of retention in the food industry is rarely found.

And most important, Bread & Porridge provides generous portions of this top quality food at prices much lower than the “trendy” restaurants around LA. In fact, their prices are about the same, or just a dollar or two more than Denny’s! To be honest, I haven’t eaten at Denny’s in a few years, but I remember what I was served at Denny’s was a lot smaller and using cheaper (less healthful) ingredients! (To make sure I was making a proper comparison, I even stopped by my local Denny’s today just to check their prices.)

20161214_111434My cousin and I had the Omelet Fresco and a full order of the French Toast. The omelet was an 3-egg omelet full of nicely sauteed fresh meaty Roma tomatoes, fresh mushrooms, and fresh basil. The roasted red potatoes were flavorful and a wonderful creamy-textured complement to the omelet. The huge portion of French Toast was made with a brioche-like egg bread that lended a tender yet toothsome texture that I only find in French Toast made with good quality bread.It was accompanied with fresh strawberries and banana slices. We splurged with the option of 100% pure, non-GMO Vermont Maple Syrup for $3.10. Otherwise, they serve Log Cabin syrup which uses NO high fructose corn syrup.

Bread & Porridge is very busy on the weekends, and rightly so considering they don’t cut any corners on quality. The only drawback I can find is the parking, which is dependent on Wilshire and neighborhood side streets. If that is a problem for you, you might consider coming during the week for breakfast or lunch, when parking is easier to find.

**Best Value: I would recommend you try the Full order French Toast (only $1 more than a Half order) which is a LOT bigger and better in quality for the same price or less than what you would pay at a chain restaurant. (I found the leftover French Toast reheats well.)

Bread & Porridge Restaurant
2315 Wilshire Blvd, Santa Monica, CA 90403
(310) 453-4941
Hours: Every day 7AM–2:30PM
Breakfast & Lunch
Website: http://breadandporridge.com/
Menu: http://breadandporridge.com/Full%20dinning%20room%20menu.pdf

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