Since learning about Egg several months ago, I’ve wanted to try the highly acclaimed Williamsburg eggery to see what all the fuss is about. So this past Saturday I hopped on the L train to Brooklyn to see if Egg was all it’s cracked up to be.
My friends and I arrived at Egg a few minutes after noon and, as expected, we found lots of people standing outside and a multi-columned waiting list with more than 15 names ahead of us. Luckily, the hostess told us that people often go AWOL after putting their name down so the wait wouldn’t be more than a manageable 30 minutes.
After putting our name in, my foodie friends and I spent the next 20 or so minutes browsing the Bedford Cheese Shop a block away. A few samples later, I walked out with some delicious Australian feta, which combines a sharp, tangy and salty flavor with a spreadable consistency like cream cheese. Highly recommended.
We were seated right away upon returning to the restaurant and began admiring the awesome, yet concise breakfast menu. Surprisingly, only four items include eggs, but they all sound delicious and the rest of the menu makes indecision almost a given.
Egg is known for its big, fluffy buttermilk biscuits, so the biscuits and sawmill gravy with pan-seared mushrooms was a no-brainer. The thick buttermilk biscuits are substantive, yet still have that melt-in-your-mouth feel to them thanks in part to the abundance of classically Southern sawmill gravy. Thick and creamy, the gravy is appropriately loaded with black pepper and meaty chunks of mushrooms are a nice vegetarian substitute for the homemade pork sausage. Overall, the dish is a winner on every level.
I couldn’t say the same for the Eggs Rothko, one of their more popular dishes featuring an easy-cooked egg in a slice of Amy’s brioche and topped with Grafton cheddar. The sharp, melted cheddar was delicious over the crusty brioche, but it completely overshadows the egg. Maybe that was a good thing as the “easy-cooked” egg was nearly raw with a yolk surrounded by a pool of runny and still translucent egg whites. The side of candied bacon was the redeemer here with a lightly sweet maple coating around the perfectly crispy bacon.
Scrambled eggs with cheese grits rounded out the meal and they were good, but nothing spectacular. The eggs were cooked nicely and had an appetizing gloss to them, however the grits were taken over by the Grafton cheddar. Like in the Eggs Rothko, the cheddar overpowers every other flavor rendering the dish too strong for all but the most ardent cheese lovers. As my friend from Georgia put it, “these are not real Southern grits,” but I’d be willing to give the plain grits another try since I’ve heard many good things.
Overall, Egg was good but not necessarily worth a long trip for brunch. I’d probably prefer some of my staples in the East Village and I’ve heard that Juliette (right next door to Egg) has a wonderful brunch plus rooftop seating. Although it didn’t live up to eggs-pectations, I’d still like to try the Country Ham Biscuit, so I’ll take another crack at it and see if twice is nice.
135 North 5th Street (at Bedford Ave)
Brooklyn, New York 11211
(718) 302 5151
Must Haves: Biscuits and Gravy, Candied Bacon