Breakfast, and change

Yesterday I enjoyed a late breakfast at Mike’s Breakfast’s new location. For anyone who lives in Nepal, Mike’s needs no introduction. For everyone else, the short version is that it’s an eatery–specializing in American style food, especially breakfast–that has been around longer than I’ve lived here. It was opened by Mike, a US Peace Corps volunteer who loved Nepal so much he stuck around for decades. He passed away some years ago, but his namesake restaurant continues.

The lease on their old location in Naxal was up this December, and they’ve been slowly moving to their new place in Baluwater for a few months now, while still keeping the old place open. When I drove past their old location this week, though, it was empty. Sign gone, construction for something new in full swing. Even though I knew it was coming, it still hurt a bit. I know change is supposed to be for the better, but that doesn’t mean I enjoy it. In the last year, a lot has changed–in big ways with friends moving and family illness, to the trivial of places I love in Kathmandu being demolished by the ongoing road expansion, or just closing, never to be seen again.

This time, though, I knew where Mike’s Breakfast was moving to. So I went there yesterday. And guess what? It was great. In some ways, even better; larger, more peaceful, just as much if not more greenery. Some construction is still ongoing, and those unique mosaic benches still need to find their place, but it felt right.

I had what I always have–a large mushroom cheese omelette with toast, and coffee made fresh from local beans, both of which are wonderful, unpretentious, simple things made well. And while I ate I thought that perhaps I need to give change a chance. While I won’t ever not miss people and things that are gone, sometimes what’s new can be even better. Here’s hoping!

Tags:

in Food, Kathmandu, Nepal

2 Responses

  1. Jack_son says:

    I just had learned that Mike’s Breakfast had moved — Again.

    I enjoyed my first Nepal breakfast at the Original Mike’s Breakfast in 1990, following a Tibetan mountaineering expedition. It was off of an unpretentious alley, which ran south from entrance road to Yak and Yeti Hotel.

    Once I reached that narrow alley, I saw the high wooden fence, and closed gate. I almost changed my mind, but since it had been so highly recommended to me by another Westerner at the Tibetan border crossing at Kodari, I went inside.

    What a fantastic place! Fruit hanging from trees, tables scattered around below thatched roof gazebos … it was all just too much. I managed to spend over an hour, enjoying huge stacks of pancakes, etc., etc. …

    On several other trips to Nepal in early to mid 1990s, that was my only breakfast eatery. When they moved to Nexal (~mid 1990s ??), it was a longer walk from Thamel, but easy on bike or motorbike. The food was worth it, and the setting was nice — but no comparison to the old ‘Yak and Yeti alley’ enclosed area, with giant shade trees, birds …

    I discovered a few other spots for breakfast, but pancakes with almost no baking powder, then turned six times — but still soggy and heavy — just made jogging to Nexal Mike’s for a good breakfast worth every minute. Mike’s began evening meals, and also opened a second Mike’s Breakfast in Pokhara.

    I was sorry to learn of Mike’s passing. He was originally from Chicago, USA.

    • Evangeline Neve says:

      Hi Jack_son; it’s a funny coincidence to read your comment now, as I am in fact sitting at Mike’s as I write this, having escaped load-shedding (scheduled power cuts) at my home to come here and have a late breakfast and maybe get some work done. While I do know about the Mike’s in Pokhara, I wasn’t aware that Mike’s Naxal place wasn’t the original, as I’ve (only) been here since 1996 and have always known it there.
      After reading your reminiscences, I might just have to try the pancakes here one day. I’m fiercely loyal to their mushroom cheese omelette, and have only rarely deviated from it, even if it’s not breakfast time when I get here.
      Today, however, I was tempted by the specials board and am enjoying the smoked trout sandwich with fries and salad, all very delicious and only 450 nrs. Hard to beat that!
      Thanks for sharing your Nepal memories!

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