The First Plates Guide to Eating in Bed

No sleep ’til breakfast


Photo by David Brendan Hall

I'm not here to sell you on the concept of eating in bed. Either you get it, or you're one of those mythically virtuous people who gets up at 7am on Saturdays and goes for runs or something horrible like that, and it's far too late for me to help you. In the past, pillow-propped picnickers the world over were limited by their own cooking skills or the sad stack of menus in their kitchen junk drawer. But we have the internet now, and independent contractors willing to stop by almost all of the restaurants on our First Plates list, giving you time, as you wait for their arrival, to seek out and stream an appropriate piece of visual media, the eating-in-bed equivalent of a fine wine pairing.

Paperboy

We begin with a classic: the humble yet delicious breakfast sandwich. Ordering pickup from this adorable Eastside food truck is the perfect Sunday morning (OK, afternoon) solution for those moments when you could really go for a classic bacon, egg, and cheese, but cannot, for the life of you, imagine actually leaving the house.

What to Order: Cold brew, obviously, and their B.E.C., with thick hunks of bacon, a runny egg, and the small miracle of their homemade pimento cheese, barely contained by a fluffy brioche bun.

What to Watch: Sunday morning calls for cartoons. Seek out one of the trippier YouTube compilations of golden age Looney Tunes and let nostalgia take you away.

Easy Tiger

There are many good things to order from this justifiably famous local bakery and cafe, from the many delicious sandwiches to their house-made sausages, and there is certainly an argument to be made for holing up with a couple of nice beers and a stash of their small-batch fancy Chex Mix. But there's a special decadence to eating baked goods in bed, and nobody bakes like the folks at Easy Tiger.

What to Order: One of every pastry they have, from the glaze-slicked spiced pecan tiger claw to the ridiculously flaky chocolate croissants.

What to Watch: Vera Chytilová's 1966 film Daisies, which features a scene of the two heroines smashing mountains of glistening cakes and cream puffs in a decadent banquet hall. Follow their example, as you embrace the disastrous potential of pâte à choux and white sheets.

Via 313

The Detroit-style crust of Via 313's pizza is simultaneously pillowy and crisp, with a fluffy, yeasty center, and buttery edges reminiscent of a much, much fancier version of those little mall-style personal pan pizzas you were probably mildly obsessed with as a child. Plus, the thicker slice makes for less droop, and a more convenient horizontal eating experience for the tidily inclined.

What to Order: Pizza is personal, and we're not gonna tell you how to live your life, but it's worth noting that The Rocket is genuinely out of this world, with savory hot soppressata and shaved Parmesan cheese topped with a crispy pile of arugula.

What to Watch: The Evil Dead strikes the perfect balance between kitschy fun and genuine terror, and, bonus, premiered in Detroit.

Texas French Bread

Unlike the other places on this list, which are ideal for undignified solo consumption, Texas French Bread takeout is an occasion in the most serious way, ideal for when you have some candles on the bedside table and an overnight guest to impress, or if you were just really good (or really bad, I guess) this week and are feeling the urgent need to treat yo'self with a three-course dinner in bed.

What to Order: Start with the breakfast radishes with Maldon sea salt and cultured butter, or some nice pâté, a second course of steak frites with aïoli, and something chocolatey from the bakery. You know that nice bottle of wine you've been saving in the back of the pantry? Snag it.

What to Watch: Jean Cocteau's 1946 version of Beauty and the Beast is beautifully shot and surreally romantic, the perfect pairing for a quiet night in with a soufflé.

Julie's Noodles

Some people will tell you that you shouldn't be eating noodles in bed, that disaster and drenched sheets are inevitable. Those people are amateurs, and should not be trusted. This is especially true of the noodles made at Julie's, which are chewy and thick-cut, with the snap and bounce you only get from truly hand-pulled dough.

What to Order: As many dumplings as you think you can handle, and soup with hand-cut noodles and tender chunks of braised beef.

What to Watch: In the Mood for Love, a lushly colorful Wong Kar-wai film set in 1960s Hong Kong with a central romance that emerges at the local hand-pulled noodle stall.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Paperboy, Julie's Noodles, Texas French Bread, Easy Tiger, Via 313

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