As the road trip winds to a close, we were looking for breakfast. I considered a smokehouse that we could see from our hotel room, but googled instead for the best breakfast in Birmingham and found Over Easy was both well rated and close by. We pulled up to a packed restaurant, in the Mountain Brook area, on Hollywood right by 280. We went inside and put our name in the hat and waited. They were so busy that the wait list included the counter – for a change I was glad not to sit at the counter, as the stools looked really low. Their slogan is “For People Who Love Breakfast” – I fit that bill.
I love it when a story starts to tell itself. Looking at their website while we were waiting to be seated, I realized that the idea for this restaurant began in the same place where we had breakfast yesterday – Big Bad Breakfast in Oxford, MS. Steven Jackson, the owner of Over Easy, tells of waiting in line there one Sunday at 1:30 pm for breakfast (our wait yesterday didn’t seem that bad) and realizing the need in Birmingham for that kind of place. A place serving simple food, using local ingredients and prepared well – it’s a recipe for success. (At Over Easy they focus on locally micro-roasted coffee from H C Valentine Coffee, Alabama’s McEwen & Sons organic stone ground grits and as many other locally-sourced farms and producers as possible).
We were seated at a table for two near the front and were able to hear a lot of the conversation between the owner, who was playing host, and all of the patrons. He was having a great time. The interior is bright, all yellows and whites – kind of like eggs.
Some of the best looking banana pancakes that I’ve ever seen arrived across the table, with the crispy bacon that my love ordered. And, from the bite that I tasted, the pancakes were more banana-y than any that I’ve had. We saw some of their hash baskets (baskets made of hash browns, filled with an over easy egg and your choice of breakfast meats, topped with tomatoes, herbs, cheese and creme fraiche) pass by the table and, aside from the over easy eggs, I almost wished I had ordered them – they looked fantastic. I opted for the steak and eggs.
The steak was cooked just as I asked and I really enjoyed the eggs. Was it fine dining? No. Did I enjoy it? Heck, yeah – it filled that breakfast-sized hole in my heart. That’s one of the things about breakfast – it is deceptively simple. Most anyone can prepare it (it’s one of the few things that I can cook) and it’s cheap. But most people don’t take time to prepare it during the week (preferring those extra 15 minutes of sleep – I’m well entrenched in that camp) and would rather have someone else make it, most any time. Over Easy does a fine job of doing that – open for breakfast and lunch, serving simple, quality food.