Saturday, April 6, 2013

Triggers Breakfast Quesadilla

Is it weird that the best breakfast around Perdido Key, FL is as a seafood restaurant?

Triggers Seafood Restaurant is located on the sandy terrain of Gulf Beach Highway on the run in to the Naval Air Station.  We have eaten there every trip we have taken to Perdido Key in the past 4 years.
breakfast quesadilla, sausage, Triggers Seafood, Pensacola

It is a style that I call "Florida seafood shack".   A Florida seafood shack typically is a little worn around the edges, but it has great staff, is independently owned, and relies on the local fisheries for the freshest product.  It probably has a basic menu that covers the bases.  It is the polar opposite of the insipid environment of a corporate chain restaurant.

One thing I am not used to from seafood shacks is breakfast service.  But Triggers does that exceptionally well.  Their pancakes are Trevor's absolute favorite anywhere.  They are plate sized, a mile high, and fluffy.  My favorite thing is a special that is not on the menu but they will make it if you ask - the breakfast quesadilla.

Here is what I noted that is different about their quesadillas that I wanted to replicate when I made mine "Triggers style" last weekend.
  • crispy tortilla - not at all greasy or soft
  • almost an inch thick, huge!  
  • lots of crisp texture from raw bell pepper, not sauteed
  • fluffy eggs
  • not too much cheese
Instead of the sausage, ham, or bacon options that they offer, I decided to mix it up a bit and use andouille.

breakfast quesadilla, sausage, Triggers Seafood, Pensacola

Triggers Breakfast Quesadilla

Prep Time: 10
Cook Time: 10

Ingredients (serves 1)
  • 4 eggs, well beaten
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/4 cup Johnsonville andouille sausage, diced
  • 1/4 cup green bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup sweet onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup tomato, seeded and diced
  • 1.5 Tbsp neufchatel cheese or cream cheese, diced
  • 1/4 cup monterey jack cheese, shredded
  • 1 burrito sized flour tortilla
  • butter or oil
  • Cilantro, sour cream, salsa, etc for toppings
  1. Preheat a large non stick skillet over medium heat. Melt 1 Tbsp or so of butter and add sausage, bell pepper, onion, tomato, cream cheese, and half of the monterey jack cheese.
  2. Immediately pour in eggs and scramble 3-5 minutes until done and the cheeses are melted in.
  3. Place on one side of tortilla, top with the remaining monterey jack fold other side over.
  4. Put butter/oil mix on a 375f griddle and cook until crispy on both sides, about 1 minute each.
  5. Serve with Cholula hot sauce, sour cream, and cilantro.
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Avoid the temptation to saute the veggies first if you want the crisp texture like Triggers.

breakfast quesadilla, sausage, Triggers Seafood, Pensacola
The andouille is fully cooked so you don't have to worry.
The challenge was mimicking their crispy tortilla.  So many breakfast quesadillas have a soggy or greasy tortilla.  Triggers has a commercial flat top to handle that.  I used an electric flat top skillet set at 375f.  At that temp, the pressure of the steam trying to leave the tortilla is as great or greater than the pressure of the oil trying to get in to the tortilla.   So it keeps it from getting greasy.
breakfast quesadilla, sausage, Triggers Seafood, Pensacola

Alexis declared this better than Triggers.  I would rate it "as good as".  I definitely met the 5 objectives that I had for copying their awesome quesadilla.

Then again, I should be able to nail it.  I ate it three days in a row while there.
breakfast quesadilla, sausage, Triggers Seafood, Pensacola

The staff at Triggers treats the many regulars like family and treats new visitors like regulars.  We had the same waitress all three days and it was like we had been coming there every day for 10 years.  She recommended we head up the road to catch the last day of the Blue Angles practice sessions.

If you are ever in the Destin/Pensacola/Perdido Key area in March, do yourself a favor and spend a day at the Naval Air Station to catch the practice in the morning.  We saw it with 8,000 of our closest friends.   It is IMPRESSIVE.

Any time of the year, visit the Naval Aviation Museum at the same site.  It is FREE and you will be amazed at the displays.  If you are like me, plan on spending a full day, the place is HUGE and the exhibits are detailed. 

Baa Baa Blacksheep anyone?

From the first planes to modern fighters.

Obligatory beach shot at Perdido Key.  Looks pretty but it was cold and windy.
TL;DR - If in Pensacola/Perdido Key area, go to Triggers for breakfast and then the Naval Aviation Museum located in the Naval Air Station.


  1. I ate bran muffins for breakfast. This is SO UNFAIR!!!

  2. Now just a dog-gone minute! You saw the Blues?!?! Be still my heart!! You know I have a weakness for them, right? Did they dip their wings for you? They always do for me...they fly really low to the ground and dip their wings and then the pilot smiles and waves (in my mind) and then I pull my shirt back down! Kidding...I'm headed into the kitchen now to make this for the mister for breakfast...thanks!

  3. This dish has Larry written all over it! Looks great.

    I love a good Florida Seafood Shack. We want to go see the Blue Angels - we will check Triggers out when we go.

  4. Mary - I know, I'm evil! :)
    Nan - Ha ha, that made my morning.
    Steph - I know they are there every March. The rest of the year it depends on their show schedule. You'll love it.

  5. This sounds incredible! What a fabulous breakfast.

  6. It's such fun when you find a good seafood beach shack. Great idea for breakfast and a nice change from bacon & eggs.

  7. This is how old I am... I read the word Trigger's and I thought, "What WOULD a horse put in a tortilla?"

  8. That's a find looking meal Chris and those are the kind of restaurants I prefer - usually where the locals eat.

  9. Great Presentation, Chris. Next time do yourself a favor and eat at Joe Pattis Seafood in Pensacola. I am going to nominate you to the TDC (Tourist Development Council).

  10. This breakfast quesadilla looks amazing,Chris! I would love mine with avocado on the side, please!

  11. Oh my gosh those look amazing. I am all for thick quesadillas. The thicker the better!

  12. "polar opposite of the insipid environment of a corporate chain restaurant" is exactly what I look for in a restaurant. Good job on the quesadillas. Looks delicious Chris. I love coming home and trying to recreate dishes from restaurants.

  13. it's impossible not to like these! as a non breakfast lover, i would happily eat these.

  14. Your quesadillas look fantastic! You look like you mastered it with that filling and crisp tortilla!

  15. The breakfast quesadilla looks amazing! It looks flavorful and delicious.

    We have a cool air museum here that my kids always enjoy visiting. Beautiful shot of the white sandy beach.

  16. Great looking quesadilla Chris... I'd hit that for sure! :)

  17. I'm thinking it's been to long since I've been back to Florida. GREG

  18. That looks incredibly, Chris! I don't know what Trigger's looks like, but this one would put most breakfast burritos to SHAME!!! And, don't you love when you meet all your objectives? Oh, wait.. that usually doesn't happen to me in the kitchen... never mind... must feel pretty good, huh? :)

  19. A little history.

    20 years ago that restaurant was called "The Time Saver". I ate there all the time with my family. I have many friends and family who live on the key and Triggers is a local favorite.


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