German Breakfast

The October rain began to fall as we quickly made our way across the square toward a sea of red umbrellas. Red letters hung above the entrance, proudly announcing the name of our warm, dry refuge.

“Welcome to Früh,” said a man as he came from around the corner. He took two menus from the podium and led us to a wooden table, saying he would return in a moment for our order.

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A booth at Früh awaits customers. Köln, Germany, Oct. 2016

The restaurant had opened for the day less than an hour before we arrived, so only one other patron sat nearby, drinking beer in silence.

I watched him momentarily, reasoning with myself that I wanted to participate in local traditions, especially on my birthday. When our waiter returned, I ordered a glass of Riesling. Kurt looked mildly surprised, but kept with tradition and ordered a beer. Soon our server returned, drinks in hand.

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Riesling and beer: breakfast of champions! Köln, Germany, Oct. 2016

“Do you know what you would like to order?” He asked us. We each ordered three fried eggs with toast. He thanked us and disappeared around the corner.

I looked at my drink with mixed feelings of intrigue, excitement and hesitation. Kurt toasted to my birthday and took a sip of his beer. I raised the glass of cool, light golden wine to my lips and took a sip. It tasted so light and refreshing, I had to take another sip. By the time the server had returned with our food, I ordered a second glass of Riesling.

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Breakfast at Früh. Köln, Germany, Oct. 2016

Steam rose from the plate of fried eggs topped with parsley. A smaller dish sat to the side, holding three slices of toast and a large pad of butter. Everything looked perfect.

The eggs glistened on my plate under the lights. The yolks actually looked orange and not yellow as they do in Tucson (plus, they tasted so much better than eggs in Tucson). Never before had I considered parsley as something to sprinkle over eggs, but I loved it as soon as I tried it. The warm toast complemented the perfectly fried eggs.

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Fried eggs in all their splendid glory. Köln, Germany, Oct. 2016

During the course of our breakfast, I ordered a third glass of wine, feeling as though I could totally handle it. However, instead of going straight to the Cathedral, we made a detour to Starbucks for coffee where, according to Kurt, I fell asleep for more than an hour.