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.
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.