When Jill suggested on my recent (milestone) birthday that we grab breakfast at The Original Egg, (previously The Broken Egg,) I thought it was a marvelous idea, given that I can connect-the-dots to my living in Sarasota directly to this iconic restaurant. Back in 1991 I moved from Toronto to Sarasota after purchasing the original Broken Egg while enjoying a vacation at my in-law’s Siesta Key condo.
I’d put a lot of blood, sweat, and tears into The Broken Egg during the 6 years I owned it, but there came a time when I recognized that I was missing out on my kids growing up. So, in 1997, I sold The Broken Egg to Bob Kirscher, who put in his own blood, sweat, and tears, growing The Broken Egg to three locations before selling to a larger chain that used a similar name. Before the ink was dry on the sale, however, he arranged for his loyal manager, Dawn, to take over ownership of The Broken Egg on Clark Road. They later switched the name to The Original Egg because the chain that bought out the other locations uses the name The Other Broken Egg. . . and that’s just too many eggs for anyone to juggle, broken or not!
So why hadn’t I eaten at The Original Egg until now? Maybe, subconsciously, I worried that my wonderful memories of running The Broken Egg on Siesta Key would be altered somehow. But happily, that didn’t happen. Sure, they were ‘adjusted’ – but only because The Original Egg has taken off, flown the coop – so to speak – growing on its own merit as a fabulous breakfast and lunch hot-spot that offers warmth, cheeriness, and terrific energy in a bright, sun-filled space. Most of all, The Original Egg offers delicious meals that exceeded my pre-conceived fuzzy-memory expectations! I get misty-eyed thinking about it!
Upon arrival this primetime Sunday morning, the Sunday after Hurricane Irma, we were immediately ushered to a table, and moments later greeted by our server and served freshly brewed coffee.
It was heart-warming, to say the least, to see that the menu still had several vestiges of my stewardship of the Siesta Key spot, as well as paintings and artwork on the walls, all by local artists. They took what The Broken Egg did best, and made it better!
Jill’s go-to dish when we have breakfast out is often an Eggs Benedict, so her choice of the Lox Benedict came as no surprise. She had her eye on so many other items on the menu, but I could have called this one in. . . Eggs Benedict with salmon? But of course!
This most decadent dish was perfectly executed, with the starring collaboration of creamy hollandaise, dotted with briny capers, over perfectly poached eggs and thickly sliced smoked lox atop a toasted English muffin. A side of fresh, seasonal fruit was the perfect companion, as she enjoyed alternating bites of the sweet and savory, the velvety sauce and eggs against the crunchy fresh fruit. Happy wife, happy life!
I, on the other hand, had a seriously hard time choosing my meal. There were so many of my old favorites on the menu, I wanted to order them all! But the Casey Key Omelet caught my eye, owing largely to the fact we are currently enjoying living on said Key, so the name settled the deal!
Featuring a fluffy egg white omelet stuffed with fresh spinach, vine ripe tomatoes, and portabella mushrooms, (I mean seriously, what’s not to like about that!) this was a hearty, flavorful omelet. But what I was overly excited to taste was The Original Egg’s legendary cheese-laden hash browns.
There was nothing about these hash browns that I don’t adore! The familiar taste brought back a host of familiar memories, but this time in brilliant, vivid, real-life color that I could sink my teeth into. (And I didn’t have to make them myself!) Seriously, there are a lot of steps into The Original Egg’s cheesy hash browns. It’s not just shredded potato dropped on a grill with cheese on top. No way, Jose! If there’s actually anybody who hasn’t savored the Original Egg’s hash browns, do not “pass go,” do not collect $200,” just pull a Speedy Gonzalez and ¡Ándale! ¡Ándale! over here right away. That’s my segue to mentioning they have a great Huevos Rancheros as well! Oh well, next time!
Our server kept our coffees refilled without any missing a beat and our plates were cleared when, just as we were about to settle our check, the diner next to Jill was served his order . . .
“OMG! Your breakfast is absolutely gorgeous!” she said, jumping out of her seat. “Do you mind if we take a picture?” she asked, quite impressed with not only the plating, but also the aroma that only warm pancakes provide. Thankfully, he cheerfully obliged, explaining that he eats at The Original Egg every week, and he swears by the Strawberry Pancake Roll-up. Can you blame him?
If I wasn’t completely full from my own breakfast, I could have been tempted to stick around . . . just to enjoy the great service, beautiful plating and soak up the buzz of The Original Egg!
With its direct lineage stretching back to 1985, it’s easy to see how the hands-on, assured ownership, coupled with genuine delicious American cuisine, friendly prices, and even friendlier service will ensure another 30+ years. Thanks for a memorable birthday breakfast! I promise not to wait for a special occasion to drop by again!