I love breakfast food. I love breakfast for dinner. I love breakfast for lunch. And, sometimes, when I’m actually up early enough or not running late for work, I love breakfast for breakfast.
Unfortunately, living in Buckhead, there is not a wide selection of interesting breakfast places for me to hit up. Granted, on a hungover Sunday morning, Waffle House is usually more than enough to satiate me. It still doesn’t make for a memorable or remarkable meal.
Side-note: If you want to make WH’s Cheese N’ Eggs taste a little more high-brow, hit them with a dash of truffle salt. Mmmmmmm.
The West Egg Café, located in west midtown in the White Provisions complex, is one of the places in town that I will make the drive to in order to get a good breakfast. I have liked West Egg for years, but it is not without its faults.
After taking about a 2 year hiatus from West Egg, I finally made my way back over there this past Saturday. Unfortunately, I was immediately reminded of why I stopped going there on the weekends. The weekend brunch is immensely popular and you can always expect a significant wait if you expect to get a table. I don’t remember ever waiting less than 45 minutes during their peak brunch hours, and this weekend was no different.
What irked me more than usual this time wasn’t just the wait, but the obvious reasons for it. It was apparent that the cause for the wait wasn’t just the influx of diners, but the poor management of the process. Even though there was a massive line of people, it seemed there were always no less than 3 open tables at any given time. This was probably a combination of an overwhelmed hostess and a backed up kitchen, but you would think that a restaurant that has had crowds like this for years would have learned how to better manage the workload.
I should note that I have since returned to West Egg for breakfast on a weekday morning, and I was in and out of there in 30 minutes. So I’m not discouraging you from going, but be wary if it is the weekend brunch and make sure you bring a healthy dose of patience with you.
As far as the food goes, there are some obvious standouts on the menu that are worth trying. If you go here and just get some scrambled eggs, bacon, and grits, then you will have a solid breakfast, but no “wow” factor. I’d encourage you to try to select something that you don’t usually see on a breakfast menu and you will probably be much more satisfied with the experience.
Fortunately, while you wait, they have a wide range of delicious pastries and a great coffee selection to keep you occupied. Definitely try the Coca-Cola Cupcakes if you can. It is one of their signature items and a true Atlanta original treat. I started my morning off with the Milky Way Latte, which was not only beautifully presented, but it was like dessert in a cup. I happen to love sugary-sweet coffee drinks, so this was right up my alley.
My companion and I started our Saturday brunch with the Pimento Cheese plate appetizer. Since we had been standing around for almost an hour, we were already starving and wanted to get something in our bellies as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, it took the kitchen over 25 minutes to get the order out to the table. I’d be a little more understanding of that if it entailed something more than scooping an already prepared ball of cheese onto a plate and throwing some crackers and celery on there. The good news is that when it arrived it was some pretty damn tasty pimento cheese. In fact, it immediately reminded me of the pimento cheese sandwiches served at the Masters at Augusta National, which is the sandwich that the legendary golf course is best known for.
Next up, I ordered one of their specials – the Short Rib Hash, served with two over easy eggs and skillet potatoes. This was exceptionally good, and I would recommend getting this while they still have it on the menu. The pulled beef from the short ribs was melt-in-your-mouth tender and with the runny egg yolks and crunchy skillet potatoes it made for a gut-busting and satisfying breakfast.
We also had the Fried Green Tomato Breakfast Wrap, which is filled with eggs, bacon, cheese, fried green tomatoes, and a horseradish dill sauce. This was good, but there were a few lackluster aspects to it. Primarily, the flavor of the fried green tomatoes is almost completely lost when pitted against the eggs, bacon, and cheddar cheese. Considering that the FGTs are the namesake of the dish, you’d think that they would have more of a starring role. If you are craving fried green tomatoes, I’d recommend getting them as a side.
The horseradish dill sauce in here was a great addition to the flavors of this dish, but on my particular wrap there were some execution problems with the sauce. Specifically, it was distributed completely unevenly in the wrap. About 90% of the sauce wound up pooled up in the little pocket of tortilla at the ends. This made for a great little mouthful of sauce at the end of each half of the wrap, but I would have preferred it if I could have enjoyed the sauce with the rest of the ingredients simultaneously.
If you are one of those people that would be deterred by the massive wait and slow response time during the weekend brunch madness, then I have bad news: some of the best dishes that they offer are only sold during Sat/Sun brunch. They have a constantly rotating weekend brunch specials menu. One great item that is regularly on there is the Banana Bread French Toast with a caramel sauce. Whoa. These are fan-freakin’-tastic. It was actually the first dish I had here many years back and was what made me fall in love with this place to begin with.
Ultimately, West Egg is a great place to go for a satisfying breakfast and somewhere that I would always recommend that my friends check out. Have they revolutionized breakfast? No. Can you usually count on a good meal? Definitely. But if you are going during weekend brunch, make sure you know what you are getting yourself into.
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