Dining » Food Features

Dining Bites: The Revival of the Big Egg

It's not what you remember

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There were more diners at The Big Egg (5107 Detroit Ave., 216.281.1600) on a recent Saturday morning than I had ever seen at Saigon 88, Pho Que Huong or Long Phung, the restaurants that both preceded and superseded it. In fact, there were more diners at this version of the Big Egg than even the original could claim in its final desperate years. Apart from the name, address and egg-shaped menus, the two Eggs share little in common. The former was a beloved and reviled dive that posed a significant health hazard to even the casual passerby. The latter appears to be a welcome addition to the neighborhood. Don't get me wrong: The locale still attracts its fair share of characters, but also young couples, families and cops. The corner spot is bright, clean and airy, made all the airier by wall cutouts that unite the restaurant's two rooms. A sweeping diner-style menu features large salads, Greek and Italian entrees, fried-fish platters and open-face sandwiches. Breakfast is served all day. Service is quick and friendly, and the food — at least the breakfast — isn't half bad. Popular items include omelets, pancakes, skillets and the 2X4, two each of pancakes, eggs, bacon and sausage for $4. The western omelet ($5.99) is pretty much textbook (though a tad dry), with onions, green peppers and diced ham. Pancakes ($3.99) are large and fluffy and served with Hungry Jack from its original container. Biscuits-and-gravy ($4.79) fans won't have much to complain about in this version, which comes with or without eggs. The hash browns could use some jazzing up, but at least they arrive with a nice crust.

In other breakfast news: East Side fans of Heather Haviland's delish Lucky's brunch no longer have to hightail it to Tremont for their fill. Haviland and chef Ky-Wai Wong have begun offering the same thoughtful breakfast fare at Vine & Bean (12706 Larchmere Blvd., 216.707.3333, vineandbeancafe.com). Enjoy beloved items like cheddar biscuits and gravy, gingerbread waffles and the aptly named Shipwreck, a delicious collision of scrambled eggs, bacon, cheddar and fried potatoes.

Ty Fun (815 Jefferson Ave., 216.664.1000, tyfunthaibistro.com), everybody's favorite Tremont Thai bistro, can get pretty crowded at dinner time. Save yourself the hassle by visiting during the new lunch hours, 11:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The entire menu is available, as is the full bar.

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