I Can Eat 50 Eggs: Another Broken Egg Cafe

In honor of Paul Newman and “Cool Hand Luke,” I’ll review 50 days of eggs from 50 different restaurants.
Day 36: Another Broken Egg Cafe
3016 Guadalupe St. 777-4482, www.anotherbrokenegg.com.
Hours: 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily
By Mike Sutter | Fed Man Walking | 02.05.12
Ron Green is proud of his baby, the chain of brunch restaurants he started in 1996 in Louisiana. The first one was called the Broken Egg Cafe. Add the word “Another,” and now there are more than 20 across seven states. On the chain’s website, Green says, “We are positioning ourselves to expand and grow our uniqueness.” Duplicating uniqueness is an oxymoron, isn’t it? In November, Austin got the chance to find out for itself.
The space just north of the dirty part of the Drag is next door to the Gordon Ramsay Greek tragedy called El Greco. It’s bright and sharp, with green beadboard wainscoting and concrete floors stained a rich burnt umber to complement the copper tabletops and warm sunrise tones of the walls. It’s tasteful for a place with Louisiana roots, blessedly free of Mardi Gras claptrap and jazz posters.
Another Broken Egg feels more like a fern-bar cafe for ladies who lunch than it does a Denny’s, even if the menu puts you in a Denny’s frame of mind, with “Bacquezo” and “Hey Ricky” omelettes and something called Lafitte’s Tortilla. I expected a sloppy three-egg gimmick when I ordered a Mardi Gras omelette ($10.99) with andouille sausage, crawfish and tomato Hollandaise. So many ways for that to go wrong, starting with crawfish so far away from the bayou, an invitation to chop bits of tail into a smothering sauce. But the Broken Egg hides nothing. The crawfish tails are folded into and throughout the omelette, not just dropped in the middle or ladeled on top. They’re whole and firm, coral-pink and white from the heat.
The sausage is more about spice than fat or gristle, integrated in meaty half-moons throughout the egg. The sauce is applied with restraint, like a precious pan commodity rather than something from a 26-quart saucepot on a back burner. The eggs are just right, aerated without going soft, flavored with just enough tomato, red pepper and scallion to keep it lively.
The result is a plate born in Louisiana that knows how to behave on the road. It’s hardly rustic, with a barely toasted English muffin and standard-issue breakfast potatoes, but neither is it stamped from a mold intended to please everybody, and I appreciate that. One more Louisiana touch to appreciate: a cup of hot, fresh Community Coffee for $2.29.
(Photos by Mike Sutter © Fed Man Walking)
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