According to the wise professors of mixology, one of the best ways to cure a hangover is through the healing powers of egg and, after a full week of Tales of The Cocktail, some of us were in dire need of a few little deviled ones.
I headed to Somethin’ Else Café, a small, quirky joint on Exchange Alley that serves up a bevy of breakfast gems and unexpectedly hip music for a quarter diner on the cheaper side. Their drop biscuits are small mountain ranges.
Their staff is friendly and young, and you can watch out the window as inept parallel parkers back into police cars.
On a post-Tales morning, Nico sang to me of “All Tomorrow’s Parties,” and I helped the repercussions of all yesterday’s by delving into the Crab Cake Nola. Surrounded by a dreamy accompaniment of corn maque choux, topped with what appears to be the world’s most beautifully rendered sunny side-up egg – no burnt crispy edges, no unbalanced personality flaws, just gleaming round plump egg-cellence that befits the crabcake like a floppy hat – it’s one of the best breakfast steals in town at a mere $11. Then I stabbed it and let the yoke drip down. If you are a fan of crabcakes, this is a must-try of succulent lump meat with a warm cloak of egg and a thicker, creamier – dare I say there was cheese involved – maque choux than you’re expecting. It is as good as rain on your kitchen window in the afternoon. My cohort ordered Somethin’ Else’s “Egg in Da Hole” – a dish that goes by such monikers as eggs in a basket, bullseye and toad in the hole (a misnomer, if not a great name, for it’s actually a British sausage dish). Here, a hole is cut from the center of Texas toast and an egg is broken into it and fried to your liking, a delicious, if not cycloptic, breakfast classic.
Coulis on Prytania is home to a fabulous and budget-friendly eggs benedict. Formerly the beloved Bluebird, lines still form out the door of this morning destination. On a sweltering August morning I decompressed with a magazine and ice water, amongst the artful streetcar photographs, while a Bon Jovi song played in the dining area.
Then another. By the third Bon Jovi song – as I gobbled up my eggs benedict with their moist and spicy jalapeño cornbread, pulled pork debris and poached eggs, so tender and soft that cutting into this dish with a fork is effortless and warrants a little yum-yum dance – I realized somebody had made a conscious choice to play Bon Jovi’s Greatest Hits, and the thought of finding this person and hurting them crossed my mind. Since I hadn’t listened to Bon Jovi in a while, I managed to block it out long enough to finish my eggs, luscious hollandaise sauce and that buttery cornbread – a steal at $9.25 – and read about fall fashions (Why, clogs, why?), but this is the type of music that infiltrates your entire being. All day I was humming. By afternoon, I was going down in a blaze of glory. I changed into a leather vest and acid washed jeans, and as the lyrics, “When you get drunk I’ll be the wine,” entered my mind I knew where to head.
Ah, Cure. Home to good cocktails, good music … and eggs? Well, the Pisco Sour and Ramos Gin Fizz are famous for their inclusion of egg. Ask bartender Danny Valdez to make you a concoction, and he might place a frothy spin on the classic Clover Club cocktail in your hands. Made with gin, lemon juice, raspberry syrup and one egg white, this cocktail dates back to pre-Prohibition and is reemerging as a star in the spirits world. You sip will be fruity without superfluous sweetness, and the egg settles on the top of the drink, much like the head on a beer, offering a velvety finish. Food wise, Cure chef Jason McCuller has stepped up his game with a duck and sweet potato hash topped with a vermouth-poached egg, which is perhaps reason alone for the trip. The asparagus salad is equally praiseworthy, and much lighter, with baby spinach and bits of salty pancetta dressed in a buttermilk emulsion and a few pesto-deviled eggs to round out of the breadth of flavors.