L’Eden

We’re heading downtown this morning. Looks like New York City, with all these big buildings! For our readers not from Tampa: This is pretty much all there is. We’re not actually like New York City.

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Notice anything new about Marek? First glasses, and he’s so proud to be like mom and dad.

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We revisited L’Eden at 500 N. Tampa Street on 11 January 2014. It’s not our first time, but it surely has been a while. Our last visit was pre-Ivo, four years ago.

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Now that Marek has glasses, everything he does looks so studious. Now that he can read pretty much anything and he has glasses, I get more and more photographs like this one. He also likes to tell me over and over how he knows everything now. Glasses will do that for you.

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Ivo doesn’t have glasses, but does this kid love playing with a knife.

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It’s only a problem when he starts swinging his knife around like a sword, chopping everything and everyone around him. Of course, that never happens.

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Is this Marek reaching out to stop his brother’s rampage? Or is this Marek with his own knife, joining the fray? You be the judge. Of the nice coffee that just arrived at the table. No time to pay attention to the boys, there’s coffee to drink.

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The avant guard of fashion, menu hats. Innovators, that’s Tampa Bay Breakfasts.

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Something to keep in mind when you visit L’Eden, and I hope you visit L’Eden, is that it’s not fast. Gerard is probably working alone in the back. So come prepared to play a little “gimme five … too slow!” (Which is also how I keep their mother entertained when on a date.)

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Something’s happening over there behind the bar.

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Hurray, breakfast is coming! Le Petit Déjeuner! She’s from New York, by the way, not France, not that it matters.

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Marek got the American breakfast, with eggs, taters, bacon, sausage. These are the fluffiest scrambled eggs we’ve ever seen (and you know we’ve seen a lot of scrambled eggs).

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I had the savory croissant with fruit. Perfectly fresh fruit and a croissant that was so lovely and delicate, it was like the bread equivalent of Ivo when he’s sleeping peacefully. (He’s usually sleeping peacefully on a pile of wreckage from his destruction of the house, but then he’s still lovely and delicate when he’s sleeping.)

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Marek took this picture of his old dad. Note the little grabby-hand I had to catch to protect my chow.

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Ivo had the pain au raisin, which he chose from the trays of fresh-fresh-freshly baked everything up on the bar.

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And he yoinked my fruit also, for which I taxed him half a pain au raisin.

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A happy Marek, a happy dad. Boy needs a haircut. Maybe on our next breakfast we’ll do that. Like I’m one to talk, with my mop of random grey. Note Marek’s holding of the grape.

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And Ivo’s holding of the grape. Strange children.

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Marek tried something new. That’s new, that he tried something new. He usually demands to stick with what he knows. He loved the croissant, and then gave it back. He usually doesn’t give back things he likes. Wow. Let it be recorded: First moment of budding maturity.

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Ivo steps up to pay the bill. Check out how I’m giving him a card and he’s gazing off into the distance, thoughtfully, considering just how big a car he could buy with this card (Ivo, here’s a hint: Not very big).

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Ivo would make a good waiter. Gerard, you may want to hire him in a few years.

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Marek, sweet kid looking out for dad, went up to the bar to get me a coffee to go. That’s a good son. I think I’ll keep him around. He hasn’t figured out how to monetize his sweetness yet. He could say, “dad, I’ll get you a coffee for a quarter.” But he doesn’t. Not because he’s being sweet for free, but because it hasn’t occurred to him yet to start charging me for everything. That’s coming.

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When we were all paid up at L’Eden, we walked over to Curtis Hixon Park. We went by way of the Rivergate Plaza and Kiley Garden. When the boys got to the top of the stairs, they cried, “wow! It’s a maze!” And started running. It’s a shame we don’t have more kids and more going on downtown. Tampa could be a real city.

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And what about L’Eden? The food is lovely and lives up to all the praise you read about in the papers. The location is very nice, cozy and warm. Prices a little higher than maybe you’d spend elsewhere, but you’re not getting ripped off by any stretch. Our friend Gerard from Marseille has brought a wonderful bit of his home to us here in Tampa. Go to L’Eden. Thank him for not opening his fine little restaurant in Orlando. We’re pleased to give L’Eden a Tampa Bay Breakfasts four and a half pancake rating.

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