I love breakfast food. I can eat it for lunch, dinner and, well, for breakfast! That said, I was anxious to try The Egg & I franchises. The one I happened to be closest to recently was the Tinley Park, Ill., location.
The staff is friendly, service is quick and the ambiance is country-kitchen homey good. "This is gonna' be good," I thought.
Not so much. The menu is huge (as are the prices, in my opinion) but the portions and presentation are lacklustre. The Parisian Benedict ($8.99) included a mini croissant half layered with Swiss cheese, virtually invisible ham and portobello mushrooms, two poached eggs, green onions and hollandaise sauce. Breakfast entrées come with a choice of potatoes or grits. My potatoes were cold.
Similarly, the Sunrise Chiles Rellenos ($8.79) came with cold potatoes (no choices here), roasted green chile strips with melted Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses folded inside whipped eggs. It came to the table with two salsa choices (traditional or pork green chili), lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream and onions. It looked good on paper, but not on the plate. Another small breakfast entrée.
A crepe order turned up three French pancakes with a sprinkle of confectioners' sugar. An offer for a fruit sauce accompaniment was declined by this diner. These pancakes looked so lonely on the plate. Naked, really. No garnish, no fruit slice, nada.
Maybe we came at the wrong time -- 1 p.m. -- when things were winding down for the day? Or maybe we ordered the wrong thing? At any rate, the menu is huge, featuring all the usual breakfast suspects plus sandwiches, soup-and-sandwich combos, entrée salads, coffee many ways, and more.
Carryouts are available and there is a large parking lot. Become a Frequent Friend and buy 10 entrées and get one free.
In much the same way other big-name breakfast places leave me flat, The Egg & I was a disappointing experience. I think I'll revisit my mom-and-pop places.
The Egg & I
Address: 9536 179th St., Tinley Park, IL 60477
Hours: 6:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Mondays to Fridays, 7 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays