The Takeout's fantasy food draft: Best breakfast items

Photo: Nadezhda_Nesterova (iStock), Graphic: Natalie Peeples
Takeout DraftTakeout DraftFood. Fantasy sports. Debating over Slack. Welcome to The Takeout Draft.

Welcome, dear readers, to The Takeout Draft, our recurring feature that combines our love of food, fantasy sports, and arguing on Slack.

Every week, we will select a topic of conversation from the food and drink world. Takeout staffers will then field a team via the snake draft format. After five rounds, The Takeout commenteriat will vote on who they believe was victorious in that week’s draft. At the end of the year, the staffer with the most weekly victories will select a charity of his/her choice that The Takeout will make a donation towards.

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The winner of last week’s Takeout Draft: Best Backyard BBQ Dish, as voted by readers: Kate Bernot!

Kevin Pang: Alright alright alright—Breakfast items.

Everything is fair game.

I anticipate the question, so: Yes, multiple forms of eggs are acceptable.

Because there’s much to choose from the breakfast realm, we’re expanding this week’s draft to six rounds!

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And here’s the draft order, as selected by a multi-million dollar randomizer:

1. Kevin Pang
2. Kate Bernot
3. Allison Shoemaker

Kate Bernot: *cracks knuckles* let’s do this

KP: First pick: Bacon. Is there another choice? Probably, but bacon for me. Thick-cut, not too crunchy, maybe 80/20-crisp/flaccid texture. The greatest breakfast meat. The most consistent of the breakfast meats. And for the record: Pork bacon, not turkey.

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KB: I hate to blanket-criticize any food, but turkey bacon is bad. I’d rather have no bacon.

Allison Shoemaker: I mean, I’ll eat turkey bacon, but yes, no contest.

KP: This might make for an interesting point/counterpoint: Turkey bacon, or no bacon?

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AS: Turkey bacon, or no breakfast meat?

Because I will take turkey bacon over no breakfast meat, but will gladly switch to another breakfast meat over lesser bacon

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Anyway, solid pick.

KB: Alright, for my first pick: Breakfast burrito. 

AS: Dammit

KB: I eat these perhaps more than any other breakfast food: It rolls all the materials—eggs, meat, cheese, etc.—into one hand-held flavor bullet.

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KP: Totally did not expect that

AS: Was on my list for later, but I respect it as a first-round pick

KP: I enjoy a breakfast burrito, but I still have an aversion to flour tortillas.

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KB: What other full breakfast can you hold in one hand? I ask you.

KP: A plate of bacon

KB: hahaha

AS: You definitely can’t hold mine, but nor can you make some of the best breakfast dishes with it: poached eggs

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Kicking off the great egg wars of 2019

KB: Allison, as our Elite Egg authority, you know eggs.

AS: I do know eggs. This is a great one. Put an egg on it! Runny, elegant, light, delicious.

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KP: And as Kate showed us, not difficult to cook.

And as this is a snake draft, what’s your next pick, Allison?

AS: Okay, debated long and hard about which favorite dish of mine would get this slot, once I nabbed my egg, but gotta live my truth:

Biscuits and gravy

An ultimate hangover food

Photo: LauriPatterson (iStock)
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KB: It’s literally a pillow, indeed.

A sponge covered in gravy to soak up all your mistakes

Or, so I hear

KP: Y’all coming with guns blazin’

AS: They are so good. So comforting.

So indulgent.

KB: So absorbent

AS: Such a good vehicle for eggs, hot sauce, and large, large Bloody Marys.

KP: The Takeout will actually will have a story about breakfast biscuits coming soon!

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Kate, back to you

KB: I feel myself torn in so many directions. But this is my truth, too:

Lox and bagel

AS: Such a good choice.

KB: Maybe it’s because I no longer live in the land of great bagels (NY/NJ), but I crave these something fierce.

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AS: I’m back in NY next week and see many excellent bagels in my future.

KB: I like mine with capers, cream cheese, well-toasted bagel. Divine.

Maybe a little raw purple onion

AS: Yeah the capers are essential. God I’m hungry again.

KP: May I suggest lox and English muffins?

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KB: I know you are not into bagels, Kevin, but my mind struggles to understand that.

KP: I like bagels. I think they’re really dense most of the time.

It’s like ingesting a bag of flour

KB: Sign me up

KP: Now lox on a Montreal bagel—which are smaller than NYC’s—sounds divine.

For my pick, and I’m shocked it fell down to the No. 6 overall pick position: Scrambled eggs

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I mean, what else is there to say?

The most versatile of the egg preparations.

Photo: robynmac (iStock)
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KB: There are scrambled eggs in my breakfast burrito. But yes, fluffy, slightly underdone scrambled eggs are the best.

A blank canvas, as you mention.

KP: There’s a spectacular and novel way of cooking scrambled eggs which I’ve been using lately:

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You crack eggs into a skillet, scramble the whites first with lots of butter, then you break the egg yolks to finish.

KB: I’m going to bring you guys some of my backyard chicken eggs when I come to Chicago next. It’s going to be a delicate operation.

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KP: For my next pick:

Hash browns

My first choice would be McDonald’s.

After that, I’ll take the shredded stuff. It’s gotta be golden, a very thin layer, verging-on-crunchy.

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Don’t give me any of that soggy half-cooked white stuff.

KB: Yes, those are the worst.

Just a mush cake

AS: Hear hear

(Great with poached eggsssss)

KP: But safe to say McDonald’s has set the standard to which all other hash browns will be measured against.

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Photo: Lynne Mitchell (iStock)

KB: Alright, my first picks have been savory so now I’m going sweet(ish) with: Buttermilk waffles

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Waffles > pancakes any day, as their wells create happy little syrup-butter cups

AS: I love a pancake, but I agree

KB: Also, great textural contrast if you get one with crisp edges and fluffy insides

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KP: There’s another good debate: Waffles vs. Pancakes

KB: Anyone willing to take up the Pancake Position? Not I.

KP: Waffles > Pancake

Allison?

AS: I could summon a defense, but no, waffles all day

KB: Yeah I don’t think any of us hate pancakes, but given the choice...

KP: I actually don’t like pancakes

KB: I stand corrected

KP: The thin Swedish ones I could have

Can’t say i’m a fan of the fluffy tall stack. Part of it is... it’s such a big commitment?

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Like, I have to eat six pancakes?

Pancakes set the expectation too high, is what I’m trying to say.

KB: I don’t know that I ever finish all my pancakes

They’re just... there. A great expanse.

AS: I like silver dollar pancakes

KP: If there were six pieces of bacon, I’m goddamn finishing all six pieces

But pancakes? Too much pressure, man.

AS: Well speaking of breakfast dishes that involve batter and which I could eat goddamn six of:

Crepes

GIMMEEEEEEEEEEE

ALLL OF THEMMMMMMMMMMMM

KP: Stuffed, I’m presuming?

AS: Yes, sweet or savory. Equal opportunity crepe eater.

KB: So. Good.

KP: Breaking news!

We’re going to now break very temporarily for The Takeout’s Inaugural Draft Within A Draft. 

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AS: haaaaa bring it


Welcome to The Takeout’s Draft Within A Draft: Crepes

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KP: Allison, you have the first pick, followed by Kate, then myself.

AS: Hmmm.

I’m going with smoked salmon.

KB: Crepes Suzette would be mine

KP: Nutella + bananas


KP: Back to our Breakfast Draft! Allison, you have the next pick.

AS: I feel like a should snag a breakfast meat, but:

Chilaquiles

KB: Oh shit

Woman after my own heart

AS: I once snuck an entire plate of chilaquiles into an 11 a.m. Christmas day screening of Lincoln, so happy holidays

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KP: I don’t know if I’m reading a breakfast draft or a late-night post-bar crawl draft

AS: You eat chilaquiles at night?

KP: Au Cheval only serves their’s after midnight

(Au Cheval is a too-popular restaurant in Chicago’s West Loop that does a fancy-ass burger, for our non-Midwest readers)

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AS: Well Rogers Park’s (in Chicago) Los Portales opens at 10:30 am for chilaquiles reasons (and huevos rancheros, also excellent)

KB: Veering into the pastry-ish realm: An old-fashioned glazed doughnut.

AS: We’ve opened the pastry case, this is getting serious

KB: Something about glazed old-fashioned’s sends my eyes rolling back in my head. It’s probably the trans fats.

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Anyway, I will always order an old-fashioned doughnut at a place that claims to have good ones.

AS: If you’re ever in Kalamazoo, Sweetwater’s Doughnut Mill has the best old-fashioned I’ve ever had

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KB: Oh god, a doughnut and Bell’s, be still my heart.

Literally, I would have a heart attack probably

KP: What I’m discovering is my particular draft, while lacking in fully formed dishes, sticks with the elements. And for that reason I have to pick this up, which I’m amazed is still on the board: Sausage

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You can go two ways: The heavily saged, Jimmy Dean-esque pork sausage patties, or, more of a banger-type English breakfast sausage, the type with the exceedingly smooth minced interior.

Photo: BWFolsom (iStock)
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KB: Here’s a point/counterpoint: Sausage > bacon

KP: I thought about this too. In some cases, yes. But I had to pick bacon in the first round because I wanted to WIN.

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For my next pick, same idea. I might not necessarily have this for breakfast, but I want to win this week, so I must choose: Frosted Flakes

I’m not a fan of the fruity, pebbly, cinnamony cereals. But Frosted Flakes was a childhood favorite and I love that dairy taste.

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I think it’s the only cereal I’ll eat.

AS: Overdid it with Frosted Flakes as a kid, can’t anymore.

More of a Cheerios person.

Or Corn Flakes.

KP: The best part is the leftover milk that was steeped in FF.

KB: Yeah, FF are too sweet for me. They’re.... grrrrrrrrrracceptable.

AS: hahahaha

KP: I’d like to see a Breakfast Cereal draft

AS: Yes please

KB: Alright, next up: Eggs Benedict

AS: GOOD ONE.

KB: I love Hollandaise and I cannot lie.

KP: You other smothers can’t deny

Please clap

Photo: PeteerS (iStock)
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AS: I call Sauce Draft

Seriously that one would be intense

Okay, so can’t believe I get to choose this: Breakfast sandwich!

KP: Please specify!

AS: Okay, sausage-egg-cheese-biscuit

KP: Not much more needs to be said. Other than the Sausage McMuffin with Egg is the greatest breakfast sandwich extant.

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AS: God, I hate the final pick pressure!

KP: bring it home

KB: You got this, Allison

AS: Okay, going with another complete dish, because I can, the world is my oyster:

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Shrimp and grits

The gulf between good shrimp and grits and bad shrimp and grits is vast, but man, when they’re good?

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Cheesy, spicy, rich

I’d have breakfast with me

KB: 🤤

KP: And your last pick, Kate?

KB: At long last, Scotch egg!

My favorite breakfast foods combined, then fried.

What could be better.

KP: I always envisioned Scotch eggs in the realm of the Buffalo wing — something to consume with beer

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But god bless you if it works as a breakfast item!

KB: Plenty of these foods straddle that line... I like shrimp and grits for lunch or dinner, too.

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But yeah, Scotch egg is a good split-between-two-people breakfast side dish

KP: For the last pick of the day, bringing it home with: Pain au chocolat.

Chocolate + croissant + butter + flakiness abound

Photo: Quanthem (iStock)
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AS: Well played everyone.

KB: This was a good one. The breakfast rainbow is rich and delicious.

AS: And as usual, I am starving.


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About the author

Kevin Pang

Kevin Pang was the founder and editor-in-chief of The Takeout, and director of the documentary For Grace on Netflix.

Allison Shoemaker

Contributor, The A.V. Club and The Takeout. Allison loves television, bourbon, and dramatically overanalyzing social interactions.

Kate Bernot

Kate Bernot is managing editor at The Takeout and a certified beer judge.