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Breakfast of Champions (and Weekend Warriors)


 Each time I return from from Italy, I always find myself discussing the trip's highlights. Whether it's the scenery, the food, the people, or the architecture can vary depending on the region. One thing, however, that always seems to be constant when I go are the amazing hotel breakfasts. Heck, if such feasts awaited me every morning - complete with fresh pastries, the ripest of melons, and the most gloriously brewed cappuccino - perhaps the snooze bar on my alarm clock wouldn't be so warped or my boss wouldn't have to keep scolding me for the "occasional" late arrival.  Granted, my alarm clock is programmed on a daily basis to unleash the greatest song of all time at promptly 7:45 a.m., but even that can lose its potency from time to time.

I've always been a fan of breakfast. Growing up, I could clean out boxes of cereal in a single sitting. Honey Nut Cheerios was my "go-to" during elementary school, for sure, with Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Rice Chex and Golden Grahams making my Honorable Mention list with frequent appearances as well. The idea of breakfast in general has always gotten me excited.

These days, I still need my breakfast, but it's not quite as satisfying as it once was. I live alone which is great for most things, but bad for creating exciting morning meals. Firing up the stove for some oat bran while simultaneously shaving in the bathroom and tripping over beer bottles/golf balls/remote controls is hardly gourmet; but, hey, it's what time and my disorganized lifestyle allows.

The last few weekends, I've been getting a very reliable breakfast at Cafe Bacio in Beach Haven, Long Beach Island, NJ that I thought was worth a quick blog post - a large cappuccino and a pignoli cookie (or two).  The cappuccino is light, creamy, and with just the right amount of bite.  It's very good.  But the highlight is the pignoli cookie, which is really, really well made.  It's crispy, chewy, and extremely fresh.  The girl behind the counter tells me that the owner makes them fresh daily, and it sure tastes that way.

Bacio also boasts a cool little scene with an impressive offering of pastries and desserts, as well as a friendly wait staff.  This is not your typical Italian cafe on the Jersey Shore; Bacio brings some class with its cookies and cappuccino.  Come here with confidence for a jump start to your morning or as a finishing touch for dinner. 

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