Let's start with the worst of The Egg Factory: the location. Yes, it's in an aging strip mall in a congested part of town and without a solid recommendation from a friend, you might neither notice it, nor be tempted to check it out. But it seems as though healthy word-of-mouth advertising is trumping the old location, location, location maxim. So much so, in fact, that my recent visit was the first in which I was seated without some sort of initial wait. So if it's not what's on the outside that counts when it comes to The Egg Factory, then it must be what's on the inside.
Inside, though, Egg Factory isn't much of a looker. Two rooms join awkwardly to form the dining room. The decor isn't in any way memorable and the whole place has a sort of impermanent air about it. To eventually secure a table, one must "sign in" on a spiral notebook. Despite all that, the place possesses a certain inviting familiarity. Thanks in that department is due, in part, to the waitstaff, all of whom have a penchant for cooing over guests with hot pots of coffee and the occasional "babe" or "hon" or "sweets."
The menu should also take some credit. The sheer volume of the options means diners with a morning sweet tooth can sit in happy harmony with their salty meat-loving companions, and there's so much to choose from one visit simply will not satisfy curiosity. More importantly the menu is full of stuff you'd perhaps only give a go in your own kitchen--like Key lime pancakes or oatmeal pancakes ($3.79/$4.79), with oats, raisins, walnuts and cinnamon folded into the batter. The latter were not only an indulgent hit but also conveyed a confidence to diners that said, "Hey, we're going to do something we only share with family, but we trust that you'll be open minded. And p.s. we make our own syrup." Other hits were the homemade cinnamon rolls, super-sized coils of chewy dough that easily host ladles of thin white icing, and crispy hashbrowns loaded with a web of melted cheddar, salty bits of bacon and ribbons of sour cream. Soft, fluffy biscuits properly smothered in sausage country gravy were also a mark in the hits column, as were choose-your-own-adventure omelets, which were gigantically portioned. The misses, though, equally match the hits. A hand-breaded chicken fried steak ($8.99) usurped the previous title holder of "worst chicken fried steak ever" without much competition. The Hollandaise was a bland, opaque and gelatinous substance more like a glaze than the velvety, lush sauce it should be, relegating a California Benedict ($8.79) to the "misses" list. From the lunch menu, a grilled ham, cheese and bacon sandwich called the Electric Pig ($7.59) was too well-named to resist but proved to be more of a minor shock than truly electric. So what's the draw? I haven't quite figured it out as a reviewer, but as a diner, it's one of my regular no-frills stops.
--Rachael Daigle beggs to eggsperience an eggcellent meal.
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.