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Saturday, January 26, 2008

The first meal of the day

Breakfast is my favorite meal - and as we traveled through Peru, I always looked forward to trying something new for the first meal of the day. However, many days we would be out the door and on the road too early to catch breakfast in our guesthouse or a nearby restaurant. So we often picked up a snack at the train station or bus terminal - something like the egg and cheese sandwich and paper cup of steaming coca tea we got as we boarded the train to Machu Picchu. Sometimes we planned ahead, stopping by a bakery the night before to pick up some pastries and juice boxes. But my favorite breakfasts were those for which we actually had time to sit down and enjoy a slow-paced meal.

We had one of those meals our first morning in Peru. Though we had scheduled a tour of the Sacred Valley, we still had enough time for a relaxing breakfast. We walked down the cobblestone lanes in Cusco to find a place to eat and it was not long before the worker outside Cafe Munich convinced us to come in the cozy little restaurant.

I went for the Economical Breakfast. For only S/4, this set gave me a choice of sandwich and hot beverage. Still suffering from altitude sickness, the coca tea was exactly what I needed - and the warm egg and cheese sandwich was more than filling, as my appetite still hadn't returned completely. Mixed fruit juices, omelettes, toasted bread, and coffee were also available as part of the International Breakfast, for only S/9. Familiar food, served in a slightly different way than we were used to.

As our waitress ran outside into the kitchen next door to help the lone cook prepare the food and drink, we just relaxed. Eventually, the little window to the kitchen opened, our waitress ran back in the front door, and delievered our food - and what comfort food it was! I savored the big mug of hot tea, while indulging in the warm, cheesy sandwich. Though we had a lot of time, the pace of our meal was so slow that before we knew it, we had to leave for our tour. But the bread and tea we hadn't finished by then, the waitress wrapped "to go" - and so we had a snack for later!

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