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Cheap Eats: EGGS-TRAordinary

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It's early as all hell, mid-week, and Eating Companion (EC) and I are strolling into the newest addition to Nokomis' growing community of breakfast/lunch joints, EGGS-TRAordinairy. A venture by the people behind Mama Leone's, anyone familiar with the south county scene will immediately recognize some familiar faces in Valerie and Marty, who used to be partners over at the Nokomis location of The Breakfast House. (Apparently relations went south, hence the new venture. Don't ask.)

You can see Valerie's decorative touch in the space, though it isn't quite as cutesy as across the street. Think seascapes, seagulls, seashells, seahorses. Very Florida gift-shop-chic. (Though the men's room's golf theme, Marty points out, was his baby.)

They serve breakfast all day, and their lunch selection is small, but carefully curated. The breakfast menu is rather similar to their neighbor's across the street, though priced a bit better. Omelets, Southern breakfast staples, pancake and French toast variations, a handful of Benedict options, some healthier stuff like oatmeal or granola. They have daily specials, too. Most meals will set you back around $7, though the Benedicts run $9 or more.

EC didn't realize the place was a Mama Leone's venture; he worked their a decade ago. He says something about spilled ice and workman's comp., and that it didn't end well. He's fortunate that he looks almost nothing like he did back then.

We decide to give the place a proper and thorough evaluation: corned beef hash (made from scratch, in-house, $7.95); Bacon Benny (Benedict with applewood smoked bacon, $8.95); today's omelet special -- green apple and brie ($7.95); and a couple slices of stuffed French toast ($7.25). EC gets a cup of coffee and some fresh-squeezed orange juice; I stick with java exclusively, though I steal a sip of EC's OJ. So many of us live in Florida, fresh oranges hanging from neighborhood trees all over the place, and yet the taste of truly fresh orange juice still surprises. The coffee is simple and dark, a good medium roast Arabica.

The food is out in what seems like four or five minutes and covers the entire table. The presentation is lovely, sauteed potatoes, peppers, and onions (as well as a wedge of fresh watermelon) accompanying the savory entrees.

EC nails half the Benedict before I even unwrap my utensils and napkin. I reach over to grab a nibble. The hollandaise is well-balanced, a little on the lemony side, but rich and delicate. I've never seen a more beautifully poached egg.

The corned beef hash is a surprise hit, though Marty, himself a full-blooded Irishman, says we shouldn't be surprised. The house-made hash is salty, more meat than potato, with a simple flavor. Over-easy eggs and a few splashes of hot sauce mix for a mess of richness.

The day's special omelet leaves something to be desired—the apples are crisp and snappy, the brie just barely warmed, making it a bit dry. Perhaps some sort of sweet and savory sauce, or caramelizing the apples, would realize what could be a brilliant concept.

The stuffed french toast is a morning dessert, a berry reduction and goopy, warm cream cheese stuffed between two slices of egg-battered and fried slices of wheat bread. It's the perfect balance of rich, salty, tangy and sweet, needing only a spoonful of syrup.

Ultimately, EGGS-TRaordinary is a welcomed addition to the area's breakfast selection, and locals and seasonal visitors will make it a regular haunt. We'll be back to try their lunch menu, as it will eventually replace Mama Leone's lunch business as that restaurant phases it out, focusing on dinner.

 

 

 

 

 

EGGS-TRAordinary
2282 N. Tamiami Trail, Nokomis
966-6652
Last modified: September 13, 2013
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