Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mill Creek Cafe Benny - $13

Last week I did a bit of research regarding restaurants that serve Eggs Benedict. I used the Urbanspoon app to look at breakfast menus and bookmarked a bunch of restaurants here in Edmonton that serve a benny. While doing this research I saw the menu for Mill Creek Cafe (9562 82 Ave) and their selection of unique bennys intrigued me. I knew right away which benny I was going to have for breakfast on Sunday.

Immediately upon entering the cafe, I knew it was a popular place despite what I felt at the moment were slightly inflated breakfast prices. A and I had to sit by the window at the counter, rather than having a table for ourselves, but it was fine because we got to look out the window and criticize how people were parking on the side street. We sat for a couple of minutes before the guy who handed us menus when we walked in came over and asked us what we were going to have to drink. He offered us lattes or cappuccinos, but we both just wanted coffee. They have a handy coffee and tea bar which is help yourself. It has various coffee blends, loose tea, and bagged tea. We also gave him our order, since we both knew what we wanted. Then A whipped up a couple of delicious cups of coffee for the two of us. When our food came, I knew we had chosen the right thing to order...

The Cajun Shrimp Benny! Mill Creek Cafe only serves their Eggs Benedict dishes on the weekend. Every table I saw ordered one of the 4 bennys that they offer here. All of them come with potatoes and a fruit cup. I'm pretty sure the reason they only make it on the weekend is because they make their hollandaise sauce fresh. I can definitely tell the difference between their homemade sauce and the sauce at Denny's (and most other places I've had EB). It was slightly tangy, but creamy enough to impress me. I prefer my hollandaise creamier on eggs and a bit tangier (lemony) on vegetables like asparagus. At first glance, I wasn't sure there would be enough fat sauce to satisfy, however upon discovery that my eggs were poached to perfection and the yolks flooded over the English muffin onto the plate, I knew there would be no problem.
I have to say, the first bite is always the best, and the Mill Street Cafe Cajun Shrimp Benny was no exception! Each muffin was toasted nicely and had three large shrimp under the egg and sauce. It wasn't until I was almost finished that I realized that there was some sort of hot sauce on the muffin under the shrimp. It added a nice tanginess that I had thought was the fat sauce without adding heat that would overwhelm the overall flavour of the dish.
Conclusion: I think this benny was worth the $13. I wasn't overly impressed with the service here and I commented to A that I hoped the front counter staff split the tips with the kitchen, as I tipped $5 based entirely on the fact that the Cajun Shrimp Benny was delicious. Is it the best EVER? Perhaps we will have to revisit that question in the future :)
Mill Creek Cafe on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 22, 2013

Route 99 Diner Benny $7.79

Sunday afternoon was the perfect time to eat my Eggs Benedict this weekend, and I hadn't been out partying the night before so that was a bonus. I decided that Route 99 Diner at 8820 99th street here in Edmonton would be a good spot to go as it was close and I drive past it fairly regularly.

The restaurant was busy, but we were greeted and seated immediately. I had never been to Route 99 before this visit and was impressed with the service. My worst fear was that Eggs Benedict wouldn't be on the menu.. it was. While Route 99 is a somewhat small diner, it is perfect in that it feels like an olde time 50s diner with the walls coated in memorabilia.. perhaps a bit much, but it kept the eyes busy. The table next to us had gotten there just minutes before us and we all ordered in succession. The young lady next to me ordered the same as I did: Eggs Benny, soft poached.

It didn't take long at all for our meals to be brought out. The shocking yellow of the hollandaise sauce is not represented very well in the picture I took. It was almost glowing! Although I'm not new to eggs benny, I'm still trying to determine the factors that separate homemade hollandaise from packaged. I told A that I thought the colour could justify it as real... You've seen how orange some yolks can be, right? Combine that with butter and maybe it's possible to be such a bright yellow?

Despite the colour of the sauce, my mouth was watering. As A commented that my eggs were jiggling, I smiled because that is a very good sign that they are soft poached well. So I wasn't surprised that when I cut into the first egg, my plate began to flood with yolk, hooray! The sauce itself was a bit thinner than I prefer and the flavour wasn't as salty and creamy as I normally like, but the soft poached eggs were all I could think about. The English muffin wasn't toasted very much and there wasn't a lot of meat, so if you like a lot of meat on your Benny, you may be a little disappointed. 
I could have used a bit more fat sauce. Once the eggs were gone, I didn't have enough sauce and yolk to eat with my shredded hashbrowns (which I like a bit crispier, but that's personal preference). I ended up putting a bit of ketchup on them... Something I rarely do as I am not a huge fan of ketchup. I asked A if I should ask the girl beside me how hers was, she hadn't finished the whole thing (as I did!) and what I could see that was left peeking out from under her discarded napkin didn't look soft poached at all. Maybe I misheard her as I eavesdropped when she ordered. Or maybe the cook isn't very consistent, I'm not sure. I guess I'll have to eat there again to answer that question... Or you could let me know if your Eggs Benny at Route 99 Diner was poached the way you like it.
Conclusion: While I thoroughly enjoyed the Eggs Benny at Route 99 Diner, and A even commented how quiet I was while I was eating it, I don't think I have found the BEST Eggs Benedict EVER... Although I'm sure that won't stop me from eating it in this particular restaurant again.
Route 99 Diner on Urbanspoon

Denny's Benny - $10.80 tax incl.

Last weekend was a friend's birthday  and Sunday (Feb 10/13) I was hurting. So A and I went for breakfast after she drove me to pick up my car. We were going to go to Cora, but the line was too long so we ended up at Denny's across the street.
This Denny's is in Sherwood Park, AB (44-975 Broadmore Blvd).
The reviews for this Denny's on Google+ are really bad. Granted there are only 3, but each one is horrible. Our experience wasn't that bad. It was Sunday afternoon, so the place was packed. They had a young guy making balloon animals for the kids, which I thought was awesome. 
I ordered Classic Eggs Benedict, soft poached. It looked good when it came, even though my stomach turned in protest because it was still recovering from the night before... The hollandaise sauce, or "fat sauce" as A has taught me to call it, was typical chain restaurant sauce: kinda thick and yellow with a skin on the top from sitting under the heat lamps on the pass through from the kitchen.

Unfortunately, I wasn't surprised when I cut into the eggs and found the yolks to be cooked all the way through. This is what I think happens when Eggs Benedict sits on the pass through and the heat from the lamps continues to cook the eggs... Or maybe they were hard already at that point. The actual flavour of this breakfast was pretty good. I like my sauce a bit thick and Denny's usually gives you a good helping of Fat Sauce. There was enough ham to satisfy me, for me it's just added protein as I'm all about the eggs and sauce!

I think if I were to return to this Denny's it would not be on a Sunday. People are pretty particular about their breakfast and I think serving staff tends to be a bit more on edge during peak hours in places like this.

Conclusion: While the Classic Eggs Benedict at Denny's in Sherwood Park is edible and satisfying when you are hungover from a night out partying, I don't think this first blog review is where we find the BEST Eggs Benedict EVER.

Denny's on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 17, 2013

My Mission Statement

I love Eggs Benedict.

When I go for breakfast at a restaurant, I always order it. This blog is going to describe my Eggs Benedict experiences, both in restaurants and at home.
The key for me is in the sauce and the eggs. I like my eggs poached soft so my plate is a runny mess to be wiped up with my English muffin and whatever starch is served with the meal, usually potatoes.
I'm going to name restaurants, their locations, etc. For large chain restaurants, I will assume the food is the same, but will blog about different locations, because some cooks are better than others! Please feel free to ask questions and comment on your experiences as well.

We are here to find the most delicious Eggs Benedict... EVER.