Egg Harbor Cafe – Johns Creek

Every Friday Roots in Alpharetta features an article on food and dining in a series called Foodie Friday.

Today’s review comes in the form of a guest review from Chef Jason Meinhardt.

I am very picky when it comes to breakfast. Most people are. After all, it’s the one meal that most usually make for themselves and they have developed their own preferences when it comes to preparation. The majority don’t care that their version of “over medium” is miles different than a trained chef’s idea. They want it their way and their way only. Trust me, I speak from experience on this. That brings me to my long awaited experience at Egg Harbor in Johns Creek.

I will get my ONE negative out of the way first:

My wife and I arrived around 11:30 on a Sunday expecting to wait. We were quoted 20 minutes. I was shocked. A foyer packed with people and a front patio filled with eager and hungry guests and only 20 minutes. Complimentary coffee was offered which is always a great touch. However, I’m glad I did not partake because our 20 minute wait turned to 45 minutes and I was already jittery. Trust me, I understand this business, I’ve been in it for 13 or so years and you can’t help a little misquote. But 25 minutes is a bit long. Everyone was extremely friendly and apologetic and you don’t want to scare people away by over-quoting but you certainly don’t want people getting antsy and irritated from an under-quote.

As for the food: very comparable to J.Christopher’s with a few major differences. I am, admittedly, NOT a J.C. fan. I never have been. The main difference Egg Harbor has is that most everything is homemade and fresh. You would think that would be the “rule” but I promise you, it is the exception. No powdered hollandaise, the produce is fresh (including the OJ and special OJ of the day: strawberry) and most important: eggs are fresh and cooked accordingly. Again, this is the exception and not the rule…unfortunately. I stayed away from the omelets because I am not a fan of the over-fluffy eggy variety. I like delicate folded egg and well thought out ingredients. We had basic breakfasts (recommended: the skillets w/ fresh ingredients) and everything was very well done (meaning “tasty and good” not burnt).

Everyone is very friendly at Egg Harbor from the hostess to the server and to the young lady who offered us OJ at the start of our meal. Just get that quote a little more accurate and soon you’ll have to quote people an hour +. If its worth it, people will wait.

The décor looks hauntingly familiar to a certain local and now closed breakfast restaurant and I had to keep looking around to see if any of my personal hen statues were nabbed when I wasn’t looking. It’s tasteful and very comfortable and most of all, clean. Overall, Egg Harbor is a very nice place to spend your breakfasts out. Prices very comparable and tables are freed up a little quicker due to the fact that you pay a cashier rather than wait for your busy server to ring things through. From one who knows this business too intimately, I wish the folks at Egg Harbor a lot of luck in a very challenging concept/cuisine. They shine above most and I hear that a second location is already in the works (this is their 1st in GA but they have a few in the Chicago area). I just hope they don’t fall into the J.C. trap as they grow and they will certainly keep my business.

Jason Meinhardt is a chef and restauranteur. He was the owner of The Red Hen, a breakfast/brunch eatery on Windward Parkway in Milton. Check out Jason’s blog Food-A-Long and follow him on twitter @ChefJMMeinhardt.

Egg Harbor Cafe on Urbanspoon

8 Responses to “Egg Harbor Cafe – Johns Creek”

  1. Travis Allen June 3, 2011 at 8:04 am #

    Thanks for the review Jason. Certainly miss The Red Hen…which was in MILTON!

    See Lee, this is part of the problem with the city making it’s own identity if the business owners either don’t know or don’t care what city they are in…

  2. Lee June 3, 2011 at 8:55 am #

    Daggumit! Travis always finds my geography mistakes. I’ve updated the post.

  3. ChefMeinhardt June 3, 2011 at 9:43 am #

    Thank you, Lee for the opportunity and Travis, thank you for the kind words. We were right on the border. Our address was Alpharetta but our license, etc. was Milton. It does make it hard. If we put a sign on the street, we had to pay Alpharetta. But we paid Milton for our Wine/Beer permit. Crazy.Try keeping THAT straight. :)

  4. DRW June 4, 2011 at 8:57 pm #

    I just have to ask, why all the busting on J. Christopher’s?

  5. Michael June 5, 2011 at 3:13 pm #

    I didn’t notice any busting on J. C’s, but I am in the “it’s overrated” camp.
    I don’t get it. It is overpriced for the portion size and just not that tasty. I took my dad there recently for a break from his Ihop routine and all it did was guarantee our future breakfasts together would be at Ihop.

  6. ChefMeinhardt June 6, 2011 at 8:12 am #

    I actually have a lot of respect for them as a business. I am not busting on them. I just don’t care for them as a whole. Personal opinion. I think, for the price, there is much better out there.

  7. Travis Allen June 6, 2011 at 9:58 am #

    I think IHOP is awful for the most part, I’ve never been able to get friend eggs there without them tasting / looking like they were fresh out of the microwave…I’ll stick with Waffle House, and Cracker Barrel to fall back on if Waffle House isn’t available. The Original Pancake house is a good option too, but a little overpriced in my opinion.

    Rip the Waffle House all you want, but at least you know what you’re getting when you go there.

  8. DRW June 6, 2011 at 2:03 pm #

    Chef, Fair enough. I suppose the varied opinions here just show the truth of your opening paragraph.

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