This installment of Drinking Buddies is on Another Broken Egg Cafe.
Founded in 1996, Another Broken Egg Cafe has grown into a significant player in the brunch service industry with 76 current locations (and 9 coming soon!) nationwide. Built on a foundation of high-quality ingredients, Another Broken Egg Cafe has set out to create exceptional dishes and cocktails for breakfast, brunch, and lunch that are “craveably” delicious with an artisanal flair. Each Another Broken Egg location is designed to feel like a casual getaway, serving up each entrée with a generous side of family, friends, and friendly service.
We sat down with Another Broken Egg Cafe VP of Culinary, Jason Knoll, to learn more about how he became involved with the culinary field and specifically Another Broken Egg, the unique origin of ABE, and what’s on the menu – both current and future offerings.
Tell us more about Another Broken Egg. How did the cafe get started? When was it founded?
This is a great story! The founder, Ron Green, was an engineer working on the super collider back in the 90s, and while the project was wrapping up he realized he wanted to do something else. John always loved brunch and instead of looking for new brunch restaurants to go to after the project’s conclusion, he decided he would open his own!
The first location was officially opened in Mandeville, LA in 1996 under the name The Broken Egg Cafe. It took Ron, who was always a bit of a perfectionist, nearly two years to get the menu and restaurant experience to his liking.
It was always centered around brunch – because lunch is just sad breakfast without alcohol. Ron made sure there was great food accompanied by an array of drinks and cocktails all the way through lunch. He was putting all sorts of liquor in coffee drinks and making mimosas the right way, and this created the foundation for what Another Broken Egg Cafe is today!
Tell me about yourself: What’s your background? When did you first hear about Another Broken Egg and how did you become involved?
I met Ron Green back in the early 2000s, and we always had great comradery. I was working at a local steakhouse and this fun fusion restaurant at the time – Ron had always wanted to hire me, but the timing had never seemed to work out. I was fresh out of culinary school and had roots in Northern Florida, so I had plenty of Louisiana influence and overall southern influence on my dishes, while Ron had spent time in California, so the west-coast influence was also prevalent. We were finally able to put it together in 2010 and the rest if history!
The menu is now pared back from over 100 items to 60, and we’re very focused on fresh, indulgent creations that pay homage to our southern roots while incorporating an international flair. Our drinks have also evolved with the times. We started with vodka-centric drinks such as Bloody Mary’s, then we recognized the rising popularity in bourbon and gin and are quite excited to roll out a few new drinks in the near future
When did you begin your journey into the culinary field?
I’m going to take a chance to be humble right here: I wasn’t good at anything else! I tried engineering, selling boats, you name it. At the end of the day though, everything came back to the culinary field. It’s something that I’m passionate about and what I love to do every single day. I think for me the most impressive about the culinary field is the immediate gratification you receive from a job well done – nothing beats seeing a customer swoon for one of your plates! Adversely, when a dish is bad you can immediately tell and remedy the issue in real time. My roots in the culinary field definitely stem from that feeling of recognition.
What is your favorite drink/cocktail that Another Broken Egg currently serves?
Right now, we’re doing a variation of a classic that I absolutely love – it’s a play on a blueberry margarita where we use freshly-crushed blueberries as a base with hand-squeezed lemon and lime juice, Milagro Tequila, a little Grand Marnier, a splash of orange juice, and blueberry powder to rim the glass. We put the same amount of care into our cocktails as you would see in a full bar.
My personal favorite, however, is coming out soon! I don’t want to give too much away, but it consists of five different juices. I’d like to describe it as a modern play on a Gin and Juice (using Hendrick’s Gin) with a coconut milk body. When the juices combine with the coconut milk, it creates something pretty special. We’re calling it the Hendrick’s Hurricane and I can’t wait until our customers get to try it!
Also on the horizon – we will be introducing cocktails-to-go! Soon, our customers will be able to take their favorite ABE cocktail home in an adult-sized capri-sun pouch, so stay tuned to our website for more updates!
What is your personal favorite item on the menu?
My current go-to is our Shrimp and Grits. You simply can’t go wrong with a southern staple!
If someone was visiting Another Broken Egg for the first time, what meal would you recommend to them?
We do the craziest benedicts – if you like eggs benedict or have never tried them, we always have an insanely delicious selection that’s guaranteed to impress! Otherwise, we have a seasonal selection on our menu that features fresh in-season ingredients. A current fan-favorite on this list is our Lemon Custard Stuffed French Toast.
I noticed that Another Broken Egg uses eco products for their takeaway containers. Could you tell me more about what prompted the change towards eco-friendly containers?
All of us here at Another Broken Egg want to make a positive impact on our environment. The industry in America is pretty wasteful, so we sat down to determine where we could make the most impact and determined replacing our takeout containers was the most effective route. All of our takeout packaging is compostable, so although it costs more than the standard takeaway packaging, down to the straws, we feel better knowing that we are not creating unnecessary waste for our local ecosystem.
On top of this, our eco-friendly containers hold up to heat/microwaving better than conventional takeaway containers, so your leftovers are even better!
Where can we find Another Broken Egg Cafe? Are there future plans for expansion?
We are a culinary contagion spreading throughout the United States! We started in the southeast but we’re already as far north as Ohio, as far west as Burbank, CA, and as far east as Virginia Beach. Currently, we have approximately 80 locations with more coming soon! The best way to reach us is by visiting our website to see all our locations and menu offerings. We’re available for dine-in, to-go, and for delivery!