Another Broken Egg Cafe

Brunch is big in Dallas, like everything else in Texas.  It is a Sunday event that ranges from the high-end to the down-home.  All I know is that many places offer bottomless mimosas, and I must find these establishments as soon as possible.

When I got my manicure a couple days ago, my manicurist told me about a place called Another Broken Egg Cafe.  He is a Texas native (Arlington), which was evident by the tattoo of Texas around his left elbow with the word “Love” inked in below.  I usually don’t like talking when I go to the salon.  When I go to the salon, I just want to relax in silence and get what I came there for.  However, I know that they are just trying to provide good customer service and establish a clientele, so I don’t get too ornery if I’m pressured into conversation.  Back in Tennessee I had my hair cut by the same lovely woman for five+ years, and every single time I sat in that chair she grinned at me in the mirror and asked me in her high-pitched Southern twang, “So…you got a man?”

But I digress.  I always ask any Texas native I meet for suggestions and recommendations, even if they are doing my nails and I am feeling antisocial.  Anyway, my manicurist told me that he and his partner have mostly left behind clubbing for lovely Sunday brunches, so I asked for recommendations.  Knowing the area of Dallas I live in, he recommended Another Broken Egg Cafe.  This morning I was craving a big breakfast, so I tried it out.

Another Broken Egg Cafe is a small franchise with restaurants across Florida, Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas.  I read on their website that they have recently switched to using only free-range eggs, which made me happy.  The menu had a variety of tasty-sounding choices, so I just asked my waiter what the most popular item was.  He recommended the Lobster Et Fromage Omelette, which had brie cheese, garlic Lobster, fresh tomatoes and a champagne cream sauce.  I wasn’t disappointed.  Sometimes when you get lobster dishes, you only get a little bit of lobster meat, but this omelette has a substantial amount and it was delicious.

My waiter had a good sense of humor.  When he brought out my breakfast, he kneeled down on one knee, held up the plate and said, “Breakfast, Your Majesty.”  But then, as a result of middle age I suppose, he couldn’t get back up and he had to grip the table to clumsily pull himself up.  When he brought my check, he opted for a deep bow instead of a kneel and said with dramatized chivalry, “It was a pleasure serving you.”   Now that’s service.  :)  (Sorry I don’t have pictures.  I forgot my camera and phone at home.  :( )

Another Broken Egg was good, but with so many other places to explore in Dallas, I don’t think I’ll go again.  Plus, it was pretty pricey.  I blew $20 for an omelette and coffee, but I guess it was a lobster omelette and taxes are a biotch.   Another Broken Egg also didn’t quite measure up to my Nashville favorites for breakfast (Pancake Pantry and Athens Family Restaurant).   I am so glad that this time tomorrow my hungry stomach and homesick heart will be back in Music City.



My Pre-Thanksgiving Diet

There comes a time each year when I need to go grocery shopping but I don’t because I’m about to leave home, wherever that may be at the time, to return to my parents’ home for the marathon of eating that is Thanksgiving Break.  Right now, I don’t have much in my apartment that I care to cook or eat, but I don’t see the point in extensive grocery shopping if I’m just going to leave in a couple days.

I’ve been frequenting Whole Foods or Tom Thumb for my meals.   At Whole Foods yesterday I bought salted caramel cupcakes, which I had eyed the week before but didn’t buy.  I’m glad I did this time.  They had a wonderful deep caramel flavor and light caramel flavored frosting.

At Tom Thumb today I bought a pomegranate because I read in a magazine at B&N that they are in season October to January and I got a craving.  Eating pomegranates is always a gruesome, risky adventure for me, but one that I enjoy.  I always forget the proper way to cut pomegranates so I just hack into it, inevitably bursting a dozen or so arils (pomegranate seeds).  The cutting board or plate ends up looking like a crime scene in the food pyramid.  And there’s always that risk…will I stain any fabrics in the vicinity?  The answer is almost always yes.

It is Day Two of my break and it has been glorious.  It’s actually Day Three, but my first day of break was spent in chaperoning a field trip to Oklahoma for my 8th graders.  Let’s just say being in a bus for hours with twenty 13-year-olds is not a “break.”  My roomies are gone and I have been enjoying the benefits of a solitary “staycation” before I head back home to Tennessee.  I spent hours at the mall shopping.  I took myself out on a date to the movies (HP 7).  I got a manicure.  I have slept as much as I want, whenever I want.  I have taken long, luxurious bubble baths.  I have read for enjoyment.

My brain is getting a nice break from teaching.  Tomorrow I will have to spend the day working, so that I don’t have to when I go home…but for now…I will just enjoy myself.

Singles Night at Central Market; Brunch at Cafe Brazil

I am really bad at having a life.  Another weekend has passed without much of anything interesting.  Friday night I was excited to go out with a couple friends, but when I got home all I wanted to do was sleep.  And that’s what I did.   And that’s pretty much what I do every weekend.

Teaching is tiring.  I admire how my roommates, also teachers, have recently gotten the energy to meet people and go out on dates and such.  While my roommates were out on Saturday night, as most people my age tend to do, I decided to check out Central Market, a natural supermarket a la Whole Foods.  I had never seen or heard of Central Market before moving to Dallas, and I was bored and hungry so I figured, why not?

The first thing I noticed when I walked into Central Market was that it’s not set up like a regular supermarket.  The aisles aren’t linear, but more like a maze.  You have to go through most of them to get to check-out, like Ikea.  Their products are pretty much the same kind you’d find at Whole Foods:  lots of organic, natural options and “gourmet” items.  Being a food nerd, I had fun browsing the shelves.

As I was checking out the couscous, a man I had passed in the previous aisle came up to me and said, “Hey, you’re cute.  What’s your name?”  He obviously didn’t read this ehow article on the proper grocery store pick-up strategy.   I said thank you and gave him a name.  Not my name, but a name.  After indulging him in two minute conversation, which was difficult because he had a thick Nigerian accent, I found out he’s a doctor who recently moved to Dallas.  He asked for my number.  I said no.  It’s always funny when you tell a guy no because for some reason they always think you’re joking at first.  After realizing I was serious, he gave me his number instead and I awkwardly escaped into the wine section.

I left Central Market feeling “meh” about it.  Maybe it was the traumatizing pick-up attempt, maybe it was the disembowelment my wallet endured upon checkout…but I’m not convinced I’ll go back.  It’s pretty much a close cousin of Whole Foods, which is closer to my apartment anyway and no one has ever hit on me there. : )  Now, I’m not opposed to meeting people at supermarkets, cliche as it is, but dating isn’t really at the top of my 40 mile long to-do list.  Eating always is.

I also went to Cafe Brazil this weekend to do a little lesson planning and had a delicious egg and chorizo stuffed pepper and smores hot cocoa for brunch.  Cafe Brazil has a delicious extensive menu of Latin inspired dishes, great coffee, and a 20% discount for teachers.  I actually came here during the week too for the crepes I like:  chicken, spinach, mushrooms, cheese, and a spicy jalapeño cream sauce–which was also on my stuffed pepper.  Good stuff.  And that discount keeps me coming back.

Smores Hot Cocoa
Breakfast Relleno

Sad Week for Slow Cooking

I have a confession.  I’m a compulsive stirrer.  If there is a pot on the stove, I MUST stir its contents every few moments.  If there is a pan on the stove, I MUST stir its contents every few milli-moments.   I bought a slow cooker last weekend on the advice of my parents.  I was hesitant…as a compulsive stirrer, could I leave food unstirred in a slow cooker for hours and hours on end?  The answer turned out to be yes.  Being at work all day, I didn’t have to fight the urge to stir.  But that turned out not to be my biggest slow cooking problem.

My first attempt at slow cooking was last Monday.  Black bean chilli with butternut squash, a recipe I found in a cookbook at Half-Price Books.  I wrestled with the butternut squash, the most difficult vegetable I have ever encountered, until it submitted to little orange cubes at the bottom of the slow cooker topped with the rest of the ingredients.  I plugged it into the outlet, put it on low, and went to work.

On my drive home, I began to dread returning to my chilli.  I knew that some of the outlets in our apartment didn’t work; had I plugged it into the wrong one?  I finally arrived home.  The apartment smelled like an apartment.  Not like dark, hot black bean chilli.  I found that my chilli was unfortunately chilly.  I ended up having pumpkin oatmeal from this lovely recipe, which was just fine with me. : )

I tried again with a Jamaican rice recipe on Tuesday night.  I put it the slow cooker on low.  I tested the outlet with the toast oven.  Check.  After checking up on the rice, it was still cold so I decided, heck I’ll just put it on high, I’ll be up late anyway.  It worked, but I didn’t read the instructions to add water so the rice was not soft enough.  (With how many times a day I say, “Follow the directions” that was pretty embarrassing.)

I couldn’t find the energy to try again and unfortunately ended up going out for food almost every night, including Twisted Root Burger Company for a wonderfully juicy buffalo and blue cheese burger with fried pickles…not the healthiest dinner, but delicious.  I haven’t tried any other burgers in Dallas, but these are damn good and the restaurants have a quirky, laid-back feeling that I enjoy.  When you order your food, you’re given a name instead of a number.  This time I was Jessica Alba.  My past identities have been Princess Leia and Buttercup from the Power Puff Girls.

Fried Pickles

Last night I tried a spiced cranberry orange drink in the slow cooker, cooked on the high setting.  (Cranberry juice, orange-pineapple juice, cloves, cinnamon sticks, brown sugar) I figured, how could I mess up a drink?  Thankfully I didn’t, so I took my cup of liquid fall, got under the covers, and watched a House marathon on Bravo.

Emboldened by success, I decided to try making some pineapple chicken today.  I put the slow cooker on low and left the house to avoid the urge to stir.  Six hours later it was in the same condition I left it in.  Finally I discovered that the outlet wasn’t to blame all along.  The low setting on my slow cooker was defective. A pound of organic chicken goes in the trash.

I took it back to Target, annoyed, and bought another one.   Slow cooking, which was suggested to me as a way to make cooking for myself more convenient, turned out to be a huge inconvenience.  I’m hoping that it will actually turn into an appliance I’ll use (unlike, perhaps, my mini kitchen blow torch.)  I’m looking for recipes and trying to work this out, so if anyone has any suggestions, let me know.  You may be helping me break my stirring addiction.