Take a Break at Another Broken Egg Café

2016.03.06 Another Broken Egg Cafe 1

Another Broken Egg Café

Address: 1650 Jack Warner Pkwy NE, Tuscaloosa, AL 35401

            In January of this year, I made the grueling choice to run regularly as my New Year’s Revolution. Three days out of the week I sling myself out of bed and make my way down to the Riverwalk – a path that follows along the local Black Warrior River. Every time, as I run, jog, or more often, limp over the pavement, I run past a picturesque little breakfast place. People sit outside on the veranda munching away on freshly-made pastries and cutting into omelettes as I gasp and lurch along below. Even as I turn the corner, and the restaurant leaves my sight, the smell of bacon and baked goods still wafts after me. Every time, I think about just turning off the Riverwalk and jogging into the restaurant, sitting down at a table, and ordering something. Maybe get a mimosa to drink. Every time, I keep on moving. But this past Sunday, I finally got a taste of how the other side lives.

On a pleasant morning in March, I walked – not ran – to Another Broken Egg Café, and enjoyed a quiet breakfast to start my day. But before getting into the details of my visit, let me give a bit of background about the location. Another Broken Egg Café is a small franchise in US, with about 70 locations in total spread across the country. They serve breakfast and brunch, and at this particular spot operate between the hours of 7am and 2pm. The prices are what you would expect for a casual sit-down restaurant, and it is appropriate both for families or for someone looking to spend a morning with their SO.

Walking inside, I found a simple, rustic-style interior. The tables are spaced out evenly throughout (no worries of bumping into your neighbor), and bar seating is available as well. Large glass panels allow for natural lighting, creating a sunny, bright atmosphere on a clear day, as well as offering a beautiful view of the Black Warrior River. On an early Sunday morning – likely before Church let out – about half of the indoor seats were taken, although as the morning progressed the restaurant gradually filled out.

Given how nice the weather was that day, I chose to eat outside. There was only one other table seated on the patio, and I was a bit concerned we might be forgotten by the waiters, or deal with a certain amount of “lag” with orders. However, service was prompt and polite. Music played over speakers (Fittingly, Hozier’s “Take Me to Church”) and made for a relaxing environment. I placed my order – a Belgian waffle, banana fosters style, with a side of crispy bacon – and enjoyed the view. The service was timely, but never rushed. If you’re looking for an easy-going place to kick off a “lazy Sunday,” look no further than this Café. After a period of contentedly drinking my water and watching the river smoothly drift by, my meal arrived. The presentation was striking — this, this is what a waffle should be — and briefly made me regret my lack of an Instagram account, if only so I could share this waffle with the world.

The waffle is dolloped with whipped cream on four points, and drizzled with maple syrup that glistens in the sunlight. Roughly chopped pecans scatter across the surface, and slices of fresh banana rest around the plate. Taking a bite, the light sweetness of the whipped cream mixes wonderfully with the heavier dough of the waffle. Moreover, the pecans add a satisfying crunch to each bite along with a slight nutty nuance. The bacon is cooked to a deep, dark brown with slightly burnt black edges. The salty fat of the pork cuts through the waffle and cream’s sugariness, both reinforcing the enjoyment of the other.  This may not necessarily be a “healthy” breakfast, but it is certainly delicious.

There was only one small stumble during the experience, but it is no fault of the Café. When ordering drinks, I asked for a glass of water and a Mimosa. The waitress asked for my ID, verified it was me, and left. About a minute later she came back and explained that she blanked, it’s Alabama, it’s 7 in the morning, and alcohol isn’t served before 12. This shocked me. Did no one in the South then know the pleasure of drinking a Mimosa with breakfast? The sheer horror of this revelation nearly knocked me out of my chair.

Well, not really. But it was a bit of a bummer. As I’m sure any experienced breakfast-goer knows, always check your state and local municipality’s laws before heading out to eat. (I mean, other people do that, right?)

It’s hard to fully capture the experience I had in writing. It was a simple affair. I could try to write paragraphs or even pages about the meal, but at the end – or rather, the beginning – of the day, it was a very tasty waffle with a side of bacon. The simplicity of my visit is what made it so enjoyable. I was not looking for fine silk tablecloths with monogrammed napkins and an early-morning sommelier to personally attend my table. At the Café, the atmosphere is one of familiarity, of casual ease. It may not rock your world with the latest trends in Foodie culture, but if anything that is one of its greatest strengths. The Café feels like a place you visit every weekend with your family as a routine because, simply put, everyone likes it. As for myself, what I wanted that morning was a nice, comfortable way to start my day, and on that front, Another Broken Egg Café delivered in every respect. I highly recommend it.

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