The sprightly menu is the unique selling point of the Broken Egg, and no doubt grabs a lot of customers. But it's not as innovative as it seems. Here are the same ingredients you find in any decent local breakfast cafe, combined in more than the usual number of ways, each dish bearing a kicky name. (Some of them are trademarked, which always makes my antennae go up.) Many of the dishes sound a lot like two or three other dishes. Ordinary techniques (like cooking bacon in the oven and using Hormel products) are put forth as special.
In compiling the menu for this review, I replaced phrases like "our creamy hollandaise sauce" and "fresh leaf spinach" with "hollandaise" and "spinach." It reduced the number of characters from about 11,000 to 3,300.
A cute cottage in Old Mandeville was renovated by a skillful architect, who installed a menu like one he saw in a breakfast restaurant in Southern California. Within days the place was packed every weekend and most other days too. The country-style quaintness of the surroundings place and the cutesy menu appeal to a lot of customers. Their attitudes heightened, they enjoy the Broken Egg enough that they keep coming back, even knowing a fifteen-minute or longer wait is possible. They also prepare a variety of sandwiches and salads for the lunch crowd, but breakfast is the anchor.
This Broken Egg Cafe is the original, opened in 1996. It has since spread (mostly through franchising) to eight other locations on the Gulf Coast and in Texas.
The residential origins of the restaurant are still clear, and most of the tables are in small rooms. The walls are covered with black iron skillets, rural-style art, and collections of mugs and such that you are offered for purchase. A porch in front is used as a pleasant waiting area with free coffee. It's not uncommon for the porch to fill up, in which case people stand around on the sidewalk. The service staff is cheerful and helpful.
Ignore the menu and order whatever breakfast combo you feel like eating. Unless it's something really exotic, they probably have all the ingredients you might think of. Without affecting the value, the platters here are a touch smaller than has become common in local breakfast spots. This is a good thing, I think.