Saturday, September 1, 2012

A New Penang Eatery - Gusto Cafe

One of the drawbacks of living in Penang is the lack of restaurants serving an American style breakfast, which includes real crispy bacon and sausage made of pork, not chicken or beef and the other typical elements of the breakfast. And of course no one here has ever heard of a bagel breakfast sandwich. I am sorry but I cannot get used to eating beans for breakfast or eating so called sausages that all have the flavor of hot dogs. When I just had to have an American breakfast I had to make it for myself. American style bacon is sold at Cold Storage, but they cost an arm and a leg. You can get bagels there also, but after all they are frozen and not as good as the real thing. Of course the best bagels are found in Jewish deli's back home in New York City and Boston, but there's no chance of finding them here. The last time I had a good breakfast was last year when visiting family and friends back in the US.

Last week, however, I got a pleasant surprise. A neighbor told me about a new restaurant she and her husband had eaten at one morning. She said they had "real" pork bacon and it was called "Gusto Cafe". I was very excited and decided to pay them visit he first chance I got.

Kevin and I went there for lunch one afternoon, not really believing that the place actually served American style food. We were wrong. He had the pulled pork sandwich and I had the cheese steak sandwich. The sandwiches were fabulous. I saw the carrot cake in the dessert display case and was told that all of the baked goods were home made and I had to try it. It was so delicious and it was difficult not to order another piece. The meal  was so good that we decided to come back for breakfast on the first morning we could make it. Friday morning Kevin, our neighbors and eating buddies, Linda and Cheah, and myself paid the "Gusto Cafe" for breakfast. We each had the bagel and cream cheese, scrambled eggs, bacon and sausage breakfast, which came with coffee of the day. The bacon was crispy and cooked to perfection. The sausage, which was homemade, was absolutely delicious, with a pork and herb flavoring. The bagels were wonderful, as these were also homemade, by the owners.  When we were finished everyone was completely satisfied and also were raving about how good the coffee was. I don't drink coffee much, but Kevin is a coffee aficionado and said it was perfect. After breakfast we sat and chatted for a while, when Kevin decided he wanted to stay for lunch, which we did. We had pulled pork and BLT'S and then scones. All very delicious.  If that was not enough we returned for the lox and bagels and the pancakes for breakfast this morning. Once again everything was perfect.

I had a chance to talk with the owners and some of the staff, between meals. Jason Selvanayagam and Yim Chun are the owners. Jayson used to teach English, Industrial Arts and Music at Dalat International School, but now puts his efforts into running Gusto Cafe. Along with making the bagels Jason also makes the sausages and the pulled pork. Bob Duval is the chef and Derek Smith is the barrister. There were  friends and students from Dalat who were also giving Jason a helping hand, as well as enjoying the food.

The food and atmosphere at Gusto Cafe is much like the typical American diner. And as all Americans know, the best food and friendly environments are always found in diners.  "Gusto"'s has free wi-fi and is also dog friendly. (If I only had a black lab)! There is a very relaxing atmosphere, where the patrons can read the paper, work on their laptop or chat with the friendly owners. I highly recommend anybody who reads this post and is able, to visit "Gusto's Cafe" for breakfast or lunch.  You won't regret it. Oh yes, they do have "Gus's English Breakfast" for all of our British friends who have to have the beans.

The hours of operation are: Mon. to Friday: 6:30 to 3:00,
                                             Closed on Sundays.

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