By Brandon Yip, Senior Columnist
The Industrial Revolution brought breakfast as labourers needed an early meal to have energy and maintain productivity at work.
Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day. And it does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that for humans to function at a reasonably high level; a healthy and nutritious breakfast is essential in getting our bodies and brains going to start the day—let alone write an article!
Did you know that the history of breakfast cannot be traced that far back? According to food historian Caroline Yeldham, the Romans did not eat breakfast. Instead, they preferred eating one meal per day at noon. The notion of eating a meal in the morning was not encouraged and even frowned upon. “The Romans believed it was healthier to eat only one meal a day,” Yeldham told BBC News Magazine in November 2012. “They were obsessed with digestion and eating more than one meal was considered a form of gluttony. This thinking impacted the way people ate for a very long time.”
In Denise Winterman’s article in BBC News Magazine, chef Clarissa Dickson Wright stated during the 17th century all social classes had begun to eat breakfast. Following the return of Charles II, drinks like tea and coffee (and items such as scrambled eggs) began to be served on the tables of those who were well-off. And around the late 1740s, the creation of breakfast rooms commenced in the homes of the wealthy. Also, this tradition of the morning meal would become a period of overindulgence in aristocratic groups during the 19th century. This was also compounded by hunting parties that lasted several days, oftentimes weeks. It was here that approximately 24 dishes were served for breakfast!
Notably, the start of the Industrial Revolution in the mid-19th century was when working hours had been regularized. Labourers needed an early meal to have energy and maintain productivity at work. All classes were eating meals before heading to work, as well as the bosses.
Then at the beginning of the 20th century, breakfast would have another defining moment to set its foundational tradition. American John Harvey Kellogg left out some boiled maize by accident, and it went stale. He later passed it through some rollers and baked it, thus making the world’s first cornflake. Kellogg’s fateful moment would ignite a multi-billion-dollar industry.
During the 1920s and 1930s, the British government had begun to promote breakfast as the most essential meal of the day. Unfortunately, the arrival of World War II made the usual breakfast fare very difficult to obtain. After the war ended and Britain entered the economically liberated 1950s, items such as sliced bread, instant coffee, pre-sugared cereals, and American toasters became a staple in many households. This moment solidified the tradition of breakfast as we know it today.
Locally, several great restaurants serve decent breakfast food. Here are a few reasonably priced Coquitlam eateries that will satisfy your breakfast cravings. It would probably be a good idea to call these restaurants first to confirm that there is an in-dining service, as the other options are take out or delivery.
IHOP (2755 Lougheed Highway)
You can’t beat good old IHOP. Open at 7 am daily IHOP is a great place to get your breakfast fix to begin your day. Whether it is eggs, omelettes, buttermilk pancakes and crepes, French toast, house-made Belgian waffles, delicious, assorted combos—you will be satisfied! Also, you can order take out for breakfast from their Family Feasts selection (IHOP N’ GO only). Being at IHOP brings back the good old days of having breakfast with your family—and especially seeing the row of assorted syrups with a fresh pot of hot coffee waiting at your table as you arrive.
Coquitlam Grill (108-2635 Barnet Highway)
This place has been serving good old-fashioned breakfast meals since 2003. Notably, they have “All Day Breakfast” on their menu. You will also feel satisfied and very full after trying some of their tasty early morning entrees: Strawberry Banana French Toast, Chorizo Breakfast Burrito, European Breakfast, Cinnamon Bun Breakfast, Fully Loaded Benny, or their Truckers Breakfast (two eggs, three pieces of bacon, three sausages, and Bavarian sausage with two buttermilk pancakes and hash-browns). Yummy in the tummy!
Denny’s (500 Austin Avenue)
Ah, good old Denny’s will always do the trick! This place is the perfect hotspot to wind down after a night out partying downtown (pre-pandemic); in other words, making a routine pit stop at Denny’s became known as “Sober Up Central” before making the trek home. But Denny’s is good for eating breakfast as well. And you won’t be making a mistake ordering some pancakes or these traditional classic menu items: Denny’s Bennies, Lumberjack Slam, Build Your Own Grand Slam, All-American Slam, French Toast Slam, Fit Slam, and Belgian Waffle Slam. Does anyone know what Denny even looks like???!!!