Over Easy Breakfast, or OEB as it’s called, fills a long-standing breakfast and brunch void on the Edmonton food scene.
The Calgary-based company opened its first northern location on Rice Howard Way in December and those in search of morning repast on weekends have been standing in line, sometimes for hours.
The downtown restaurant takes reservations Monday to Friday, but on weekends and holidays, be prepared to wait for up to two hours unless you register on a wait list through the Yelp app.
This doesn’t sit well with some people. In a Twitter conversation I posted about the process of engaging in and supporting this particular crowd-sourced review forum, the resounding consensus was “Thanks, I’ll pass.”
But, apparently more Edmontonians feel differently because chances are if you show up without registering on the Yelp wait list on weekends, there’s no way on earth you’re getting a seat at OEB.
What’s making people so over-the-moon about OEB?
The entire room screams morning, which is good — unless you’re hungover, and then it hurts.
But if you are guilty of over-imbibing, you’ll put up with the bright white and yellow-accented room, the sunshine streaming in through front windows, and the loud clatter of dishes and diner chatter, because OEB offers nine variations of eggs Benny and 11 types of poutine from which to choose.
A $5 mimosa or a $6.50 caesar should help ease any financial and cerebral woes, too.
In early January, I couldn’t pass on the outrageously decadent poutine special that featured a bowl of deep-fried potato wedges topped with two perfectly poached eggs, black truffles, foie gras and the required hollandaise.
I opted to swap out half the potatoes for arugula, to you know, lighten up the deal (not that it really helped much but it lessened the guilt a bit).
The portion of foie gras was a smidge thinner than a hockey puck but almost as big around and I thought, for the first time ever, this is too much foie gras.
For as marvellous as the poutine sounded, I was left wanting. The black truffles had long lost their oomph, the cheese curds were way too few and far between, the hollandaise was scant and the potato wedges were too thick for my liking.
In this case, bigger was not better and I wished I had ordered something more traditional like the eggs Benny with rosemary ham, as I did on my first visit.
The burger experience was much the same. Instead of the beef burger topped with truffle aioli on a brioche bun, I went with the exotic-sounding Moroccan style Alberta lamb burger topped with dill tzatziki, spinach, tomato and cucumber.
The grind of the meat was too fine, resulting in overly tight patties (two in this case). The pungent flavour of the lamb —the very reason many people tend not to like the beast — overrode everything else and at the halfway mark, I couldn’t convince myself to carry on.
The 70-item menu is quite creative and the dishes photograph very well, so I doubt my protestations will amount to anything.
Breakfast is most definitely OEB’s strong point although they are open until 2:45 p.m. for those in need of sandwiches and burgers.
The space is vibrant and overflows with cheery hum and energy. I appreciate the whimsical décor, the friendly, fast service and the attention the owner gives to sourcing local products.
Would I wait for an hour or more in line at OEB? No. Would I download the Yelp app to get on the waiting list? Again, no. But I would return during a quiet time to enjoy some breakfast poutine (sans caviar, truffle, lobster or foie gras).
Heck, I might even go as far as trying the Threesome — in this case, a waffle, pancake, crepes or brioche French toast with eggs, and a side of bacon or bangers. But that’s as wild as I’ll get at OEB.
Find OEB at 10174 100A St. and watch for their second location to open at 10240 124th St.