Wedged into the flatiron intersection of Grand River and Cass Avenue, G.A.R. Building breakfast joint Parks & Rec Diner has been churning out tasty morning pick-me-ups for just shy of nine months now. Here, classic dishes like crepes and cinnamon rolls are upgraded with a chef-driven touches that are as pretty to look at as they are delicious.
Among the diner's more recent offerings is a fancy version of simple toast. In the notoriously cramped kitchen (shared with sister restaurant Republic), staff bustle past each other, carefully and quickly preparing incoming orders. One employee, Daniel Perry, begins whipping up a plate of burrata and toast.
Sliced black pepper bread — a family recipe introduced by chef Sarah Welch — is placed on the grill for toasting. Meanwhile, Perry plates a dollop of soft, delicately flavored burrata cheese and dusts it in black pepper. Taking a metal bowl, he gently tosses together a small side of arugula salad with salt, fennel, oil, and an bright orange marmalade. After a few minutes of like toasting on the grill, the bread is ready for a thin coat of fennel puree. See how the light, fresh breakfast comes together in the gallery above.