One Diner Breakfast, Five Ways

1. Le Bonbonniere -- Here's the prototype breakfast. The yolks are runny, the whites slightly browned, the sausages tasting strongly of sage, every third bite of potato good, toast nicely done and delivered buttered, coffee OK and refills endless.

You may think all diner food is the same. Well, the menus may be the same, but each diner executes the standards in its own idiosyncratic way. Take the regular egg breakfast. Each place makes, say, sunnyside-up eggs differently. Diner food is all about nuance. Sometimes the yolk is really runny, and the white is slightly runny too. Sometimes the yolk is half-hard, and the white crisps up around the edges. Sometimes the breakfast comes with good potatoes; sometimes the potatoes are mediocre or even awful.

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Epic Meal Time Whips Up an All-Chocolate Breakfast

Epic Meal Time is a direct-to-YouTube Canadian comedy troupe that delights in pulling your chain by creating recipes that contain massive amounts of things that might not be too good for you in huge quantities, including chocolate, booze, and, especially, bacon. Dig in, it's only 8,724 calories.

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Flan Patissier at Francois Payard Bakery

Flan Patissier (center) is one of three custard-based, flan-borne pastries currently available at Francois Payard Bakery on Houston Street.

When former Daniel pastry chef Francois Payard abandoned his long-running bistro and bakery on the Upper East Side and eventually moved down to Greenwich Village, he abandoned some of his more elaborate creations, and added newer, earthier ones.

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Sullivan Street and Grandaisy: New Wave Breakfast Pastries

Click on any image to enlarge
Grandaisy's calzone di miele

What do you grab for breakfast? Most of us scrape by with a latte and a power bar, a bowl of yogurt and granola, or nothing at all until lunch - and do the same thing every day. Well, breakfast is getting fun again, as bakeries roll out novel pastries that are not the usual cheese danish, donuts, or snack cakes. Moreover, this new breed of baked goods tends to be small, unusually tasty, and probably relatively low in calories compared with that half-dozen Dunkin' Donuts sitting by the Mr. Coffee.

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The Crazy Breakfast Pastries of the West Village's Bien Cuit

Bien Cuit's maple yam danish

While the Bien Cuit mothership in Cobble Hill is famous for its perfect and rather large loaves of crusty bread (so big, in fact, that you can buy half), the new Village offspring has been going whole-hog on pastries. And the pastries are very odd, if you're used to the usual roll-call of croissant, chocolate croissant, and almond croissant.

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Simit -- 'Turkish Bagel' -- Invades the Upper West Side

The simit tastes pretty good, but is it actually a bagel? Above: the whole-wheat simit

A neophyte chain called Simit + Smith has introduced a new sort of bagel to the Upper West Side. In Turkey, it's known as a simit, but there are a half-dozen other names for it in the Middle East, Greece, Romania, and the Balkans. But will New Yorkers accept a new breakfast pastry that looks something like a bagel, but doesn't taste much like one?

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New Type of Pizza Appears on Christopher Street

A square of tomatoey goodness

When a new type of pizza arrives in town, expanding the city's already far-flung pizza boundaries, it's an occasion to sit up and take notice, whatever the source might be.

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Checking Out the New Breakfast at Rosemary's in the Village

A flying wedge of flavor, the salmon panino at Rosemary's

Breakfast is the new frontier. The lure is lower prices and fewer crowds. And a really relaxing meal. This was precisely what FiTR found at the new breakfast service offered by West Village restaurant Rosemary's.

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Pecan Danish Ring Coffee Cake at Carlo's City Hall Bakery in Hoboken, the 'Cake Boss' Bakery

Fine-textured and slightly yeasty, and sticky as hell, this might be the kind of old-fashioned coffee cake you dream of.

Most of you have probably enjoyed the reality TV show Cake Boss, which features owner Buddy Valastro and his family as they make elaborate and crazy cakes for special events. The show originates at Carlo's City Hall Bakery, a Hoboken institution since 1910. FiTR recently paid a visit there to see if the pastries sold to the public were any good. They are, and they're spectacular.

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5 Best Croissants in NYC

Here's the croissant that won. Note the careful radial layering of pastry levels, and you can almost smell the butter.

What are you looking for in a croissant? This quintessential French pastry -- shaped like the horns on a steer -- should be flaky, buttery, and paradoxically both light and substantial at the same time. Yet, within these conceptual confines, there's a lot of wiggle room. Some are bulbous, some shrunken. Some a major feed, others a featherweight snack. Fork in the Road went on a mad dash through the city's croissanteries this last weekend, and here are the best we tasted.

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