Week 8: Everything but the OINK!

Week 8: Everything but the OINK!

This morning after 15 hours of sleep, a metamucil mixture and a weak attempt at conquering the elliptical, we ventured off on our culinary adventure. Ryan has arranged for us to make new friends. The reality of adulthood is that “friends” are slim pickings. Drafting new adult friends is similar to an elementary school kickball draft. You don’t want the fat kid, you don’t want the nerd, and you don’t want the one that sweats too much. You also don’t want the one that’s too loud and enthusiastic about life. Oh and you also don’t want a hugger. A conventional slap on the ass will do.  While I appreciate Ryan’s readiness to seek out buddies, I personally can’t grasp the desire to drive 25 miles for a new found “friendship.”

Ryan has informed me that the 25 mile adventure is absolutely necessary because his friend Spencer has found the best breakfast in Florida. It’s a ridiculous statement to make but Spencer’s credibility intrigues me. He is a chef for the Coast Guard and while he probably has not been to every breakfast joint in Florida, he has to hold high standards for food at the very least.

We arrive at Lenny’s of Clearwater. There’s a line out the door and it shares its property with a repulsive motel. The first people we see are a family of 4 headed to the beach (in the rain). The mother is ripping a Marlborough and carrying her beach items in a plastic k-mart bag. The dad is wearing jorts. For some strange reason the atmosphere has me convinced, without eating, that Lenny’s was worth the drive.

We took a seat outside in the “stadium seating”–literally “stadium seating” probably stolen from Brighthouse Field. Spencer arrived with his wife Erica, who immediately shared with me that she had duck-taped an electric toothbrush to her living room ceiling and left it on all day as a revenge mechanism for the noisy neighbors upstairs. Who the hell are these people? They are freakin’ fantastic.

After 20 minutes our names were called and we were seated inside.  I found myself thinking wow I really love Erica in the most non-lesbian way possible. Spencer let us know that one time they went to Arby’s and Erica showed all the customers her hoohaa. Not deliberately: there was something about riding in the car with her pants unbuttoned and then getting out to stretch in front of the Arby’s “dining room” and forgetting her pants weren’t on…I dunno, I didn’t pay attention to that part—all I took away from the story was that “Erica showed her hoohaa to a bunch of Arby-goers.” Fantastic. So fantastic I decided not to make fun of her when she ordered a bagel for breakfast. A bagel? Really? She may have pre-gamed breakfast with a birthday cake but I pre-gamed it with 2 scoops of orange colon blow and that’s not stopping me.

The menu was outrageous; there were so many selections I felt panicky. But there, on the left, shining through as bright as Phil Colin’s true colors: SCRAPPLE! I’ve been waiting my entire life for this. FINALLY, an opportunity to try this disgusting slab of animal scrap that Philadelphians won’t shut up about.

I sacrificed hash so I could try scrapple without breaking the bank, and then I moved on to my meal selection. I wanted the lobster benedict but Ryan beat me to it, so I ordered the crab cakes benedict with a side of home fries, onions and grits. Ryan ordered a side of bacon, a biscuit, and tomatoes- I didn’t know we were on a diet—tomatoes???

As we waited for our food, a Balloon Man walked around making some pretty neat prized possessions for the Lenny’s customers. He was only making them for the tables with children. What a sick joke…I really wanted one. “Ryan, we need to have a baby so that we can come back to Lenny’s and get a balloon animal.” Ryan choked on his drink and then started talking to Spencer as if he never heard me. “Babe, I’m serious. I want a balloon animal.”

For some rotund reason, breakfast at Lenny’s begins with a personal basket of pastries and cakes. If you order a meal, you get your very own basket of at least 5 or 6 different kinds of delicious treats and a to-go bag if you can’t stomach them all. Where are we, and why haven’t we been here before— this is so so so amazing.

When our meals arrived at the table I was so intrigued by the scrapple that I forgot all about my grits and left them behind to get cold. I LOVE SCRAPPLE. I’m so excited about this that I inhale it. For years, I’ve been listening to my Philadelphian friends brag about it and there is nothing I hate more than disliking something audacious that everyone else thinks is amazing. I HATE appearing unadventurous or picky. There’s a strange tiny crunch and I don’t know if it’s a bone, a snout or a pig’s tooth but it is amazing so I don’t let my mind wander there.

Just when I thought I had died and gone to heaven, I bit into my crab cake benedict. Up until today I had claimed that Pink Flamingo of Davis Island had the best crab cake benedict. Not anymore. Step aside world, Lenny’s food is orgasmic. Ryan and I swapped a portion and his lobster benedict was even better than my crab. I seriously don’t know why we didn’t know about this place until today, and I feel like every brunch moving forward is going to be a letdown.

I debate asking Spencer and Erica if we can borrow them, as company, for an entire weekend and bring them camping or something. Somehow I see us all getting along very well and possibly falling in love— so long as the next bagel Erica orders is full of eggs, sausage and hollandaise. Nah, too soon. I resist suggesting it, I don’t want them thinking we are swingers.  The bacon distracts me and every bite at Lenny’s seems to get better and better and better. The experience is surreal.

I was saddened to leave Lenny’s and even considered renting out one of the disgusting motel rooms just so I could be near it at all times. Until next time Lenny’s, you have set the bar. I can’t wait to visit you again. <3 <3 <3

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