Hipster Haunts: An 'Egg' Hatches in Brooklyn

June 12, 2012 8:36 PM EDT | By Anthony Smith
Delicious Eggs
Eggy in a Basket done right every time. (Photo: Timothy Titus, Wikimedia Commo)

What is it about 'Egg,' the hippest offering to New York City's brunch-and-breakfast scene in years, that makes otherwise reasonable people willing to soldier through unimaginable hangovers, awful weekend transit delays, and Williamsburg snobbery-- just for a seat at their table? 

The few remaining New Yorkers who don't brave the subway jaunt into the hipper, outer boroughs have undoubtedly heard the legend of a brunch joint in Brooklyn so popular that the wait time can soar well over (gasp!) three hours, even on weekdays. Those more familiar with Williamsburg's Bedford Avenue promenade have come to expect the crowd of weekend warriors, mid-armistice, huddled around the inauspicious storefront just off the corner of North 5th Street. 

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The wait, if not the hype, is almost enough to turn you off completely. But the question remains: why bother schlepping and waiting hours on end for a meal at Egg when you can procure some simple breakfast fixings from just about anywhere? 

Surprisingly, given the fickle nature of New York restaurant hype, the answer all boils down to one word: excellence. Pairing the absolute finest, farm-freshest ingredients with a no-frills approach to cooking, Egg fires on all the cylinders you need for an absolutely perfect morning meal.

Once your name is called (rejoice!), you're ushered into the establishment through glass doors surrounded by flannel-clad Brooklynites, whose plaid shirts and pastel pants pop against the white walls of the bare-bones establishment. The grainy paper tablecloth and the glass of crayons waiting for you at your table vaguely recall the morning meals you'd have at unpretentious family-style restaurants. It encourages you not to take your meal too seriously. It also gives the solo patron something to do while her food arrives. 

They haven't reinvented the wheel here; they've just made the best darn wheel for miles. The cooks pare their craft down to the best ingredients and execute basic cooking techniques flawlessly. The end result is a menu of offerings as perfect as they are simple. 

Their signature dish is the Eggs Rothko, a variation on the 'Eggy in a Basket.' In it, a farm fresh egg is baked perfectly into a giant piece of brioche and topped with melted Grafton cheddar. It's served on the side with cooked tomatoes and your choice of meat. Do yourself a favor and pick the candied bacon, which provides a necessary sweetness to compliment the salty ensemble. This is the kind of dish that you'll be telling your friends about well into the evening. And costing a perfectly reasonable ten bucks, you'll want to order a second, in spite of the hefty portion.

If you're in a lunch mood, go with the Fried Oyster Sandwich. I'm not usually a fan of cooked oysters because of how much of their taste is lost to the frying and the cornmeal. Egg does something subtle and perfect here, and I can't quite put my finger on it. But you can still taste the sea in this sandwich. The fact that you get a ton of oysters and a ton of fries is just the icing on the cake. For thirteen bucks, you'll leave stuffed.

After your entree, the requisite cup of coffee, tax, and tip, you can expect to part with just about twenty bucks here. I'd say that it's money well saved, but the simple fact is that once you here, you'll want to come back and spend more and more. Egg's detractors will contend that there's nothing special about this place, but that's what makes this place so special in the first place. The restaurant team shows you what's magical about fresh ingredients, before chefs get their dirty signatures all over them. And in a city that gave us the concept of the celebrity chef, it's an incredibly humble, humbling act.


135 N 5th St

Brooklyn, NY 11211




Mon-Fri 7 AM - 6 PM

Sat-Sun 8 AM - 6 PM



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