On a late Saturday morning last August in Philadelphia, the wait time for a table for two at the Midtown Village location of Green Eggs Café was no less than 35 minutes. There was a very long line before our arrival, and sure enough the line doubled in size by the time we got our table. The receptionist at our hotel had strongly recommended this spot for a breakfast. She also vividly expressed how jealous she was as we decided to follow through with her advice. Only when we saw the wait list were we implicitly assured how popular the café was.
We headed to the bar/barista section of the café for our caffeine dosage while we were waiting for our table. My iced Nutella (I know, right!) mocha was pleasantly balanced out since it carried two long espresso shots. The flavor of coffee was smoky and not tart, just the way I like it.
After being seated by the friendly manager, our even friendlier host made sure all was clear and comfortable for us. After looking at the seemingly delicious menu items (mostly American), we decided to go with chorizo-free Mexican breakfast and vegetarian meatball sliders (a special).
With three soft sunny-side up eggs placed on a pancake-like cornbread and topped with lightly pickled sautéed, sliced red onions came the Mexican Breakfast. Roasted bell-peppers (with a perfect small-dice uniformed cut), cabbage and kernels of sweet corn were between the eggs and the cornbread drizzled with cilantro crema, while traces of jalapeños could be found. The thickness of the moist cornbread preserved its integrity till the very last bite and did not get soggy, while its sweetness harmonized the heat of the roasted vegetables. The perfectly prepared soft eggs only added more creaminess to the plate that was already infused with an herbed cream. Although the dish could have been prepared without them, the pickled onions carried with an appetizing tanginess.
The sliders, on the other hand, were a reminiscence of Italy. Three tender whole-wheat small rolls filled with what seemed to be fried balls of herbed roasted eggplants and quinoa were the highlight of the order. The sliders were made moist by the addition of a homemade marinara sauce atop of fresh pesto and basil leaves. I enjoyed the fact that the sliders came with baby spinach leaves and a side of citrus vinaigrette, which was too mild in flavor (could it have been intentional to make it take the back stage in the presence of the otherwise very powerful Mediterranean taste the sliders had? Maybe!)
In general, the two dishes were very hearty and pleasant. I was impressed that our orders were served to us with no time, despite the fact that the restaurant was packed with diners. In addition, the waiter kept wearing a smile whenever we asked for anything, and his service was very prompt.
On the downside, though, it was very noticeable from the orders of the neighboring tables that the big-size servings were the norms of the café. Many diners, I saw, took the remaining of their orders to go, a note that the management could think (maybe) of reducing the portions served and cutting down the prices, alternatively. One of the facts I did not really appreciate about my visit was that the noise level was too high. The other point that made my visit less perfect was the dining room where we were seated had an unpleasant cooking odor.
As per the website of Green Eggs Café, the establishment is supporting local produce and very environmental friendly. The café, it states, “recycle[s] all paper products, aluminum, glass and plastic. All food and organic waste is composted.” The café also “prohibit[s] the use of all Styrofoam products and plastic bottled beverages.” To this end, I am genuinely thrilled.