It’s No Yolk, These Egg Dishes are Eggcellent!

5804331488_9f075d283c_bIt’s almost Easter, and for many of us that can mean only one thing: eggs! My refrigerator is stuffed full of these beauties, boiled and chilled and waiting to be decorated.  I’ll also have a number of family get-togethers to make an appearance at, and I have my Deviled Egg plates ready for filling up with these tasty Hors D’oeuvres.

This is the part where I’m going to admit my preference for egg dishes when it comes to a light brunch or dinner.  As a nod to Easter, and all things egg, I revisited some of my favorite egg dishes and the best places to get them in the Bay Area.

Benu, San Francisco
Thousand-Year-Old Quail Egg

169-1000-year-old-quail-eggBenu features a tasting menu, which may not be cheap, but it’s worth every cent!  The Thousand-Year-Old Quail Egg isn’t really a thousand years old though the method of creating it goes back 600 years.  The story is that in China, people were looking for a way to preserve eggs during times of plenty so they’d have eggs to eat when times got hard.  It worked for them by coating the eggs in a mixture of clay, ash, salt, quicklime, and rice hulls for several weeks to several months.  There are modern methods of preparation, but it’s still time intensive.

If you get a  Thousand-Year-Old egg that hasn’t been prepared and presented by a master chef, it’s going to smell like ammonia and make you want to avoid it altogether. At Benu, it’s served in a thick potage and tastes like ginger.Boiled_Chicken_Eggs_-_Kolkata_2011-03-28_2077

Manresa, Los Gatos
Arpege Soft Boiled Egg with Maple Syrup

Another restaurant that features an exquisite tasting menu, Manresa, also dedicates an entire section of their menu to “Santa Cruz pastured farm eggs.” The Arpege Soft Boiled Egg with Maple Syrup isn’t a daily choice, but if you do happen to be there on a day when it appears, go for it. Featuring whipped cream and sherry vinegar it has been described as one of “the most exquisite egg dishes in the world.”

If you’re not ready for this amount of fancy during your brunch, you can try their other egg dishes:

Heavenly Scramble: asparagus, broccoli di ciccio, Comte, Meyer & Eureka lemon salsa, breadcrumb, Reggiano

Champagne Omelet: maitake mushrooms, Raclette & Highway One, crème fraîche, fines herbes; small salad

Poached Eggs: slow-cooked pork adobo, Mojo Verde, chickpeas, queso fresco, plantain chips, cilantro

Robust Persian Flat Omelet: cilantro, spring onions, garlic, green chilies; avocado, straw potatoes, tomato jam

Triptych, San Francisco

This is another high-end brunch establishment that takes pride in what it can do to an everyday egg.  I’ll admit, I’m impressed! If you want to dazzle that special someone on an anniversary, or maybe a first date, you can show them these “eggcellent” choices from the menu:

Frittata Blanc – egg whites, mushrooms, roasted tomato and onions, spinach & avocado cream 12

Jambon – smoked ham, cheddar, and mozzarella, roasted red bell peppers, Dijon cream 13

All served with a toasted English muffin, champagne poached eggs, lemon hollandaise, roasted potatoes.8338523526_b33707fe56_o

Britannia Arms, San Jose

I’m going to bring it down to some everyday eating here in the South Bay.  If you’re going to stop for a quick beer at the Britannia Arms, glance at the pun menu and find the Scotch Eggs.  The last time I indulged, it featured two eggs, neatly sliced, and perfect with some HP sauce.  Before you scoff, a Scotch Egg is a hard boiled egg covered in sausage, rolled in bread crumbs, and either deep fried or baked.  It sounds simple, and it is, but it’s also filling and insanely delicious!

I’ve made them at home, and I did a pretty good job, but Britannia Arms has it down to an art.  If I’m craving Scotch Eggs, it’s easier and less clean up to drive here and enjoy them with a nice cold Black & Tan.

Butter & Egg Days Parade & Festival, Petaluma

If egg dishes aren’t your thing, you can always go to the Butter & Egg Days festival in downtown Petaluma. Despite the name, it’s not all butter and eggs. Rather, it’s a celebration of the history of downtown Petaluma, which is mainly an agricultural town, where you can enjoy some live music and fresh, organic food.  They’ll feature a Rocky & Rosie Chicken Rotisserie dinner by Lombardi’s this year, as well as craft beer from Lagunitas.

If you thought eggs weren’t all they’re cracked up to be, hopefully, these examples changed your mind!  There’re so many wonderful dishes featuring eggs all through the Bay Area; it’s nothing short of eggstraordinary!

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