The place was hopping. Speakers piped soothing strains of Keane’s “Crystal Ball.” Large Coffee by Design mugs steamed from every table. A quick scan through the menu revealed a curious item titled “Eggs from Hell.” I sighed, contented, and settled in. All signs pointed to a fabulous brunch.

Asian eggs dish failed to inspire at The Good Egg cafe

Asian eggs dish failed to inspire at The Good Egg cafe

Unfortunately, not so much. The Good Egg was simply okay.

On the positive side, dishes were creative. The menu blended standard fare (French toast, multi-grain pancakes) with the aforementioned devilish offering (a popular entree featuring eggs, super-spicy black beans and a smoky, chipotle hot sauce).

On the negative side, execution was uninspired. My order of Asian Eggs with Mushu Pancakes seemed more Scranton than Shanghai. Chunks of onion and a hint of ginger struggled mightily – but failed – to provide much zip to what was, essentially, a decent scrambled eggs with veggies.

Adam’s Homemade Corned Beef Hash was warm, moist, hearty – and completely flat. Carrot was the prevailing flavor (not herbs, not seasoned beef). Over easy eggs were – drum roll, please – “fine.”

Service was cheerful and earnest, if a tad slow. And the specially blended CBD coffee held up its end of the bargain. Adam’s crisp oatmeal bread was a surprising stand out. Smothered with a gooey strawberry jam, the thick slices packed a sweet, wheaty punch.

But, alas, brunch cannot stand on toast alone.

The Good Egg is the morning incarnation of the Pepperclub restaurant on Middle Street. A recreation of a much-admired breakfast cafe from the 80’s and early 90’s, I give credit to the owners for preserving a Portland tradition.

And, to be fair, it was just one visit.  Maybe I should have tried those Eggs from Hell. Perhaps the multi-grain pancakes are totally mind-blowing.

I’ll give it another try — just not all that soon.

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