We are the Westchester Breakfast Club!

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In late 2009, an idea was born. It was simple, you see: A group of 4 friends got together for breakfast before heading out to the wedding of another friend.  Several weeks later, we got together for breakfast again. And then again the next week. And then another friend said he wanted to join in for breakfast. Soon we were a semi-regular group of 6, and that’s when we thought we were on to something. How many restaurants in Westchester could we try for breakfast? Why don’t we give ourselves the challenge, and keep a blog to document our breakfast adventures?

That’s how the Westchester Breakfast Club came to be.

On the surface you might on any given weekend morning see a group of boisterous friends having breakfast, exchanging good natured jabs and peals of laughter while passing around a camera, taking pictures of their meals. To a casual observer it might just seem like breakfast is an excuse for the members of the WBC to get together and catch up on the details of their lives, talk about the latest news: marriages, moves, promotions, ups, downs. And while it’s true that we enjoy each other’s company, having known each other for well over 10 years, it’s really about something more. We’re on a mission, a mission to sort out the greasy hashbrowns from the breakfast potatoes of perfection, to counter soggy French toast with delectable brioche French toast. And of course there’s our neverending quest to find restaurants with real, honest to God maple syrup (a task that’s proven harder than you might think).

From left front, Andrew Louie of Queens, Sylvia Louie of Ossining, Reid Aronson of Briarcliff, Shelley Gazes of Briarcliff and back row, Jeffrey Louie of Elmsford and Patrick Gallagher of Ossining pose for a photo at Half Moon in Dobbs Ferry April 17, 2011.  ( Carucha L. Meuse / The Journal News )

The founding members of the WBC (Sylvia Louie, Jeffrey Louie, Andrew Louie, Reid Aronson, Shelley Gazes, and Patrick Gallagher) all grew up in Westchester, and we know how easy it is to fall into a bit of a restaurant rut, particularly when it comes to the first meal of the day. You tend to go to the place nearest to you and just grab a standard meal, whether it’s a bagel with cream cheese, an egg and cheese sandwich, or a muffin. But Westchester has so much more to offer for morning meals and we won’t rest until we’ve sampled it all. We try both breakfast and brunch at all types of places, from a pancake breakfast at a local farm to a very formal brunch in an elegant restaurant, a cafe to a local diner, even a Moroccan brunch. And yes, we’ve gone to IHOP.

All told, in the last two and a half years we’ve tried breakfast or brunch at about 70 different establishments through Westchester, as well as at some restaurants in Manhattan (because after all, every Westchester resident heads to NYC for dining at least sometimes). And we’re still going strong. Sometimes life gets in the way of our breakfast plans, and in recent months we’ve lost a member to the great north, but at least once a month the remaining WBCers gather for breakfast or brunch. We each write reviews in our own unique voices, and just try to give our honest, no-frills assessment of our meals. With a dash of humor thrown in.

Starting this month, we’ll be sharing a recap of our meals here on Small Bites. Look for our posts and photos the first Friday of each month – and sometimes more often if we can swing it. We’ll also link back to our own blog, www.westchesterbreakfastclub.com, where you can see the individual opinions of all the members of the club. We welcome your comments and suggestions, and above all, hope you’ll consider us a source when making your own breakfast choices. Especially when it comes to maple syrup.

We hope that you’ll enjoy our blog, and maybe we’ll help you discover your new favorite breakfast spot!

Visit our blog: www.westchesterbreakfastclub.com
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