No matter how you spell it, an omelet is indubitably an eggs-cellent creation. Aside from my mom’s less-than-beautiful but always delicious jack cheese and tomato versions, I’ll never forget my first restaurant omelet. It was from a hot, new breakfast spot in downtown San Mateo that was soon known for its gigantic blueberry pancakes, and admittedly, I would often opt for their special. But one day I was in the mood for a more savory dish and ordered their “Bacado.” Now, I’ve seen bacados in other restaurants since, but none were stuffed with their particularly magical combination of bacon, avocado and cream cheese. It forever rocked my perception of what an omelet could be.
Now I seek out the ultimate omelet wherever I go, forever hunting for the next great creation to knock my socks off like that fabulous Bacado. As it turns out, I’ve found several new favorites.
Recently opened in the Marigny, inside the rectory of the newly renovated Hotel Peter and Paul, lies The Elysian Bar. This serene, rambling cafe offers cocktails or hot (or cold) specialty java drinks brewed from Congregation Coffee beans and several light dishes created by local chef Alex Harrell. The first time I tried one of his beautiful, French-rolled omelets was at his former restaurant Angeline, but this latest incarnation really had me swooning. For only $13, I got a pastel yellow, duck egg “omelette” filled with triple-cream cheese, topped with beurre monte (an emulsified butter sauce) and fresh chives. Served with a lightly dressed, mixed greens salad in the courtyard, it couldn’t have been a more perfect breakfast on a sunny Saturday morning.
Uptown on the corner of Webster and Laurel streets, neighborhood restaurant Patois offers an “Omelette du Jour” that changes with the seasons and available local ingredients. On one particular occasion, I inhaled a Mediterranean-style omelet topped with roasted eggplant, onion, tomatoes, feta cheese and a tangy tapenade for $16. This flavor-filled dish was also served with a large pile of their “hash browns” or fried wedges of golden potatoes that were crispy on the outside and creamy on the inside.
One simply can’t talk about omelets without talking about Surrey’s Cafe & Juice Bar. Long a local (and visitor) favorite for amazing breakfasts, this tiny spot near the corner of Magazine and Terpsichore in the Lower Garden District offers all kinds of terrific dishes from their Banana’s Foster French Toast stuffed with banana cream cheese to some seriously fabulous huevos rancheros with corn tortillas and mole sauce. But their crab meat omelette stuffed with avocado and brie, and topped with a jumbo lump crab sauce is definitely a dish to remember. At only $13.75, this ginormous beauty is served with your choice of toast or one of their homemade biscuits.
The recently refurbished Pontchartrain Hotel is home to the Silver Whistle Cafe, a breakfast spot that was once famous for being the-place-to-be for the city’s most influential movers and shakers. This quaint cafe with framed cartoon images on the walls is a great spot for breakfast featuring java brewed from Revelator Coffee Co. beans and a modest menu. Though it’s tempting to order the breakfast po-boy with scrambled eggs and andouille, give their Pimento Cheese omelet a try served with crispy hash browns and topped with lemony hollandaise for only $12.
Finally, if you know me and have read my columns for the past 8 years, you’ll know that it’s pretty much impossible for me to talk breakfast without recommending Toast. Whether it’s the original restaurant on Laurel Street, the fairgrounds spot on Gentilly Boulevard or the latest that just opened on Decatur in the French Quarter, Toast offers irresistible breakfast options at fantastic prices. Chefs and owners Cara and Evan Benson offer a fantastic menu with dishes like a hangar steak with tarragon aioli and Lyonnaise Potatoes, both sweet and savory crepes, fluffy aebelskivers (puffed pancakes) dusted with powdered sugar and, of course, toast topped with avocado and eggs or honey, prosciutto and ricotta. Among all of these excellent choices, all of the locations also offer a few omelettes, my favorite being their veggie version with house made ratatouille, sauteed spinach and chevre served with fresh fruit or a side salad for only $9.
*Article originally published in the April 2019 issue of Where Y’at Magazine