My favorite breakfast dish is Eggs Hemingway. This is eggs benedict but with salmon instead of ham—and yes, it was named after author Ernest Hemingway. My favorite version of this breakfast favorite is by Apartment 1B (on Sedeño between Leviste and Valero Streets in Salcedo Village; and in One Rockwell).
There’s something about the silky, savory poached egg and the saltiness of bacon or salmon that makes you forget about your problems, charges you for the day, reminds you of both the intelligence of human beings (it’s not a simple dish, after all) and the comforts of home.
But, like all truths, this is debatable. And as if presenting a new contestant to dethrone Benedict and Hemingway, the dish of Antonio’s Tagaytay fame, in his newly resurrected Breakfast, offers a creation of the Swiss to contend against the American beauty.
It’s called the Roesti—a bed of crisp potatoes instead of toasted muffin. And on top, over easy eggs, are your choice of delights: pastrami, corned beef, ground chorizo, mushrooms (my fave is pastrami). It is absolutely heavenly.
Escalante is indeed quite adept at resurrection. Breakfast (further down the road from Antonio’s Fine Dining) was closed a few years ago. It was a gorgeous space, but the main road with the spectacular view of Taal has proven to be truly its home.
Reopening in its original location a few months back, Breakfast has staged a comeback as the best breakfast place in the archipelago. On a hectic weekend when the crowds are wild, service may get a little overwhelming for some of the servers who may need an espresso to maintain an attentive and pleasant demeanor. But in spite of this—it is casual dining after all—it’s still worth the trek.
Don’t think that it’s an all-American and European spread. Although Escalante’s full Filipino menu is at Antonio’s Grill nearer the circle, Breakfast also has a dish truly representative of Filipino cuisine at the Miele Guide gala: corned beef sinigang on vermicelli noodles.
Breakfast also offers beef tapa, although I personally prefer to get my tapa from the cheap carinderia with bendable forks for an authentic feel. (Plus, Tagaytay’s best bulalo and tapa are by the manang and lolo cooks by the highway.)
The bread at Breakfast is wonderfully homemade, and man can live on this bread alone. But better yet, have the French Toast. And live sinfully with a cup of Felchlin hot chocolate!
If you come for lunch, the restaurant also presents a mean burger, which got a nod of approval from a couple of burger snobs from Texas and Nebraska we brought over for one visit.
Best of all, it has kept eggs benedict and eggs florentine on the menu—and creatively, too. Escalante’s version is presented with a slice of pineapple and half of a banana. I must admit I am not a fan of pineapple near anything savory, but here the play on sweet is distinguishing without being imposing, and does not take away the essential joys of the eggs benedict.
Sadly—or fortunately?—the Benedict here is dethroned by the Roesti, which is the must-try dish for Breakfast. But please do try it and judge for yourself.
Since the place’s name is Breakfast, don’t attempt a bloody Mary or a mojito here. There’s Fine Dining if you are particular with your drinks.
But do buy a pack of homemade bacon for your own home’s breakfast on your way out. It’s the best!
Breakfast at Antonio’s, Tagaytay Ridge. No reservations. Open Monday-Sunday, 7 a.m.-9 p.m. Wheelchair accessible. Major credit cards accepted.