Not Your Average Eggs
We all love savory, creamy, comforting eggs Benedict. But there’s more than one way to cook an egg. Think outside the box this Mother’s Day, with these unique takes on brunch.
Baked Eggs at Table 24
Photography by Cindy Chew
Skip the tempting house-made doughnuts, and go for the baked eggs. Served in a steaming ramekin, the combo of runny eggs, mushrooms, leeks, ricotta cheese, and herbed cream oozes earthy flavors, especially when piled high onto grilled slices of sourdough; $8.95. Available Sat.–Sun., 9 a.m.–3 p.m., 2 Theatre Square, Orinda, (925) 254-0124, table24orinda.com. —Kristen Haney
Niman Ranch pork is slow roasted and mixed with poblano chiles and Mexican oregano into a can’t-miss hash topped with two poached eggs, plus a side of hot, fresh corn tortillas. For a sweet fix, get the crispy fried churros served with Mexican chocolate; $11.95. Available Sat.–Sun., 9:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m., 5004 Telegraph Ave., Oakland, (510) 450-0522, donatomas.com. —Peter Crooks
Not your typical BBQ fare, charbroiled eggs hit just the right flavor note. Prepped in a sauté pan then transferred to a grill out back, two eggs arrive over hard with char marks and a deliciously smoky taste. Served with bacon, sausage, bangers, or hamburger steak; $8.95–$11.25. Available Sat.–Sun., 8 a.m.–3 p.m., 425 Main St., Pleasanton, (925) 600-0411, nonnisbistro.net. —LeeAnne Jones
Fried Eggs on Schnitzel
It’s not so much the eggs as what’s beneath them. Moist, crispy panfried breaded pork schnitzel works as a delicious base for the farm-fresh fried eggs, while potatoes and carrot salad (and maybe a side of bratwurst) top off this culinary trip to Deutschland; $15.50. Available Sat.–Sun., 10 a.m.–2:30 p.m., 2121 San Pablo Ave., Berkeley, (510) 647-5016, gaumenkitzel.net. —Ethan Fletcher
Polenta Cakes and Poached Eggs
Savory-sweet parmesan polenta cakes, delicately sautéed spinach, and a warm tomato sauce complete Piatti’s healthy, Italian take on eggs Benedict. Tender herb-roasted potatoes and a complimentary order of fresh-baked breads guarantee you’ll leave full; $13. Available Sun. 10 a.m.– 3 p.m., 100 Sycamore Valley Rd., Danville, (925) 838-2082, piatti.com. —E.F.
Healthy Mother’s Day
If you are dreaming of eggs Benedict for Mother’s Day brunch, Sunrise Bistro owner and healthy eating advocate Cindy Gershen suggests cooking up a lighter version. “Because don’t you want to be able to actually play with your kids afterwards?” asks Gershen. “That’s kind of what Mother’s Day is all about.”
Gershen sources Sunrise Bistro’s eggs from organic, free-range chickens in Napa. Barring that, she recommends grabbing the cage-free variety in the market.
Source cured ham from a quality market like Whole Foods. Better yet, try smoked turkey or salmon. Even better, substitute in sautéed kale or spinach, or Gershen’s favorite, roasted in-season asparagus, which packs a serious flavor punch after 15 minutes of baking.
Refined carbs can leave you feeling lazy. Keep your energy up with whole-grain English muffins or homemade polenta cakes (cook the polenta slowly for 45 minutes until it “creams up,” and then let cool).
Contrary to popular belief, “There’s nothing wrong with hollandaise sauce,” says Gershen, as long as it’s made fresh from scratch. But if you want to skip the butter, sauté salsa with diced tomatoes, onions, and cilantro—then crack the eggs on top, cover the pan, and let them poach right in the salsa.