Exaggerated, Expensive, Elitist: The Early Bird Breakfast Club

First impressions last. A cliché, I know -- but it’s true. It applies to the way we relate to new people, but the same thing can be said when we encounter a new venue for our gastronomic quests. We see a new place and we immediately judge it, first and foremost based on its appearance: is it clean? Is it inviting? Does it look like we will have fun eating there? Undeniably, when I first saw the cute, small space occupied by the Early Bird Breakfast Club in The Fort Strip, the answers to the three abovementioned questions were all “yes”. So why is it that the first adjectives that came to my mind were three E’s: exaggerated, expensive, and elitist?

Perhaps it was because of the fact that it was in The Fort Strip, where most restaurants are pricey. Perhaps it was because it was near URBN Bar & Kitchen, which is flocked by party-goers (occasionally that includes me) stupid enough to drink San Miguel Beer priced at P150. Perhaps it was the hype I read all over the internet (“a new contender in the All-day Breakfast Craze, yay!”). Or perhaps it really was exaggerated, expensive, and elitist—since that impression remained even after my whole Early Bird Breakfast Club experience.

Honestly, I have mixed emotions after visiting the Early Bird Breakfast Club. I liked the food; in terms of awesome taste and innovative presentation, I am speechless. I loved the ambience: cute chairs, decors, and paint colors—everything screamed out “Good morning!” I liked the service, which was fast and attentive. What made me unsettled then?

First, there was the menu. It didn’t have enough pictures—I hate not having an idea on what the fuck I’m ordering (except when I’m out of the country). Second, the prices of the dishes. I got myself the Bacon Jam & Toast, relying on the food attendant’s declaration that it was a bestseller. I actually loved it—it was my first time to have bacon jam—but for P235? I’m not sure if I want to eat it again. A small jar of jam, with four triangular slices of toast (equivalent to two whole slices of loaf bread). If I wasn’t talking to my friend while eating, I would’ve finished it in three seconds!

Bacon Jam and Toast
My friend Aleli, on the other hand, ordered the Sausage Skillet. I tasted it and it was really delicious—who can say no to imported sausages (pun not intended)? I could forever eat the hashed potatoes and caramelized onions that came with the dish. But for P275, the serving size looked more like a side dish to me. And to think the description said, “breakfast bites for the big boys”. Are you fucking kidding me?

Sausage Skillet: for the BIG boys, huh?
It may be unfair for me to judge the entire restaurant by the two dishes I sampled, but after Aleli and I finished them, my stomach was still growling. After my pitiful meal, I wanted to order the Early Bird Full English (P495—I English banger, 2 strips of bacon, 2 eggs, hash potatoes, baked beans, toast) but I was so afraid to be disappointed. I can spend the same amount in T.G.I. Friday’s and I will have enough leftover to feed a friend who eats like an infant.

Exaggerated, expensive, and elitist … I know it’s mean but that was my honest first impression of the Breakfast Club. It can still change over time—but am I willing to spend so much of my hard-earned money repeatedly just to prove otherwise? I don’t think so. If I were a rich kid driving a car and partying in URBN four nights a week, I would probably automatically have my hangover brekky in Early Bird. But since I am not, I can get by the multitude of other options in the city.

with my food buddy, Aleli

Early Bird Breakfast Club
Unit C G/F Fort Pointe 2 Bldg., The Fort Complex, 28th St., Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City
pepe samson

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