As per, my body clock was a little messed up this morning. However much I kick start myself into US time, I always find it takes me a day to really get my head in sync with the actual time which is why, rather predictably, I was awake around 4am.
On the plus side, that meant I could call Mrs L at a sensible time in London. On the downside, I'm not much of a dozer so, after a half-hearted attempt to get another hour (and this is an astonishingly comfy bed), I got up, tidied some e mail and got ready for the day.
And it was quite a day - as I should probably have guessed given the fact I managed to lock myself out and have an odd argument with an odd stranger before 7.30am - she thought I was taking her photo as she couldn't work out why else some random Brit journalist would be taking a photo of a downtown Houston doughnut store at 7am.
I tried to explain I just liked the "featuring Swirls" bit but I was clearly a spy or private detective or a stalker or something. Never mind, it was all quite entertaining - although I found myself getting more British in accent the more she got annoyed. Why do I do that? By the time she gave up, I sounded like Hugh Grant after a week at Eton with a mouthful of anchovy toast and Earl Grey Tea. All very baffling which, with my jetlag really kicking in as well, meant I was in a highly bemused state by the time we arrived at The Breakfast Klub.
That bemused state worked in my favour. My body thought it was lunchtime which meant a traditional Southern breakfast of waffle and fried chicken wings (with a strawberry and lashings of maple syrup) and fried catfish and grits wasn't quite the tastebud-related quantum leap it might have been.
Recently voted one of the best 10 Breakfast Places in the US by USA Today, The Breakfast Klub sounded like somewhere I was really going to enjoy. The fact that it still exceeded my expectations speaks volumes. It certainly got off to a good start with the brilliant welcome (nobody says "good morning" like a Texan) great (locally roasted) coffee (and, London cafes, all on a help-yourself-free-refill policy, alright?) and a range of condiments that included some serious little chilli peppers, hot sauce and two types of Tabasco.
Owners Mel and Marcus Davis have created something amazing, an unassuming neighbourhood restaurant that has gradually turned itself into something of a community centre while simultaneously offering the sort of comfort food that gets Texans salivating and celebs - Beyonce, Jay-Z, Dave Chapelle, to name but a few - merrily queuing up for some old-fashioned hospitality.
The atmosphere was terrific, the food full on and delightfully messy and I left with a stain on my shirt, a massive grin on my face and the surprise discovery that I actually prefer grits to the other breakfast carbs on display, including the excellent French toast, and pancakes. I suspect I'll get oither chances to explore that theory in greater detail over the next week or so...