Strip mall eateries suffer from the initial pause potential patrons may have at walking under a neon sign in search of food. And though The Egg Factory's exterior isn't exactly homey, if diners can get past it--and the 30-minute-plus weekend wait--they'll discover a menu as full as the people-packed vestibule on a Saturday morning.
Myriad egg, potato, waffle, pancake, burger, sandwich and salad options share menu bunk space, but breakfast gets the biggest room in the house. Traditional eggs Benny ($7.99) is joined by fancier siblings on the menu accessorized with Philly steak, bell peppers and mushrooms on a croissant ($8.99); bacon, Monterrey Jack cheese and avocado ($8.79); or tomato, fresh sauteed spinach, avocado and mushrooms ($7.99). But all stay true to the family name by dressing in real, if slightly under-salted, Hollandaise sauce. The traditional Benny's perfectly poached eggs gently oozed sun-colored yoke that mixed with the light sauce, softening crispy muffins and tender meat beneath. So many Canadian bacon slices dressed the dish that we committed the ultimate breakfast sin and left some on the plate.
Eggs were disappointingly cool on one plate, but forgiven after a count of more than 40 hungry heads filling the restaurant (and still more waiting) and server Judi's friendly downhome demeanor. Once smooshed on warm toast and topped with a slice of beautifully crispy bacon and a forkful of hashbrowns ($7.99), the eggs soaked up some of the other items' warmth. A buttermilk drop biscuit ($3.99) was covered in a peppery--but not quite salty enough--white gravy laden with huge chunks of sausage in a serving big enough for everyone in our party to have a satisfying forkful.
One of the weekly specials was The Egg Factory's version of a Monte Cristo ($7.99): French toast smothered in ham and melted Swiss cheese dusted with powdered sugar and sided by two eggs and choice of potatoes. A request to omit the powdered sugar caused Judi to raise an eyebrow--"But it's so delicious"--before happily obliging. An unidentifiable too-sweetness permeated the dish and after searching for a hidden pile of powdered sugar, Judi explained that The Egg Factory's French toast is dipped in a batter made with vanilla custard. Brilliant. "Factory Potatoes" are diced, lightly seasoned and fried to a rich, crispy brown, the hesitation marks on the cubes signifying home-cut spuds. A quick slide of the ham and cheese over to top the potatoes afforded separate but equally mouthwatering savory bites and sweet ones.
There's a lot riding on a restaurant with a specific food item in its name. For a place called The Egg Factory, expectations are that the eponymous product will take center stage. The Egg Factory has earned its name.
--Amy Atkins likes to break breakfast rules.
Boise Weekly sends two reviewers to every restaurant we review. Read what our other reviewer had to say about The Egg Factory Rise & Shine Daytime Cafe.