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Wednesday, Aug. 11, 2010

Blue’s Egg Delights With Breakfast/Lunch Combo

New restaurant growing popular in former Heinemann’s location

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It came as a surprise when Heinemann’s closed its doors in January 2009. After all, Heinemann’s restaurants had been in business since 1923. Over the past 19 months, some new restaurants have attempted to fill the void by opening in former Heinemann’s locations. The latest venture, called Blue’s Egg, comes from the owners of Maxie’s Southern Comfort.

Despite its affiliation to Maxie’s, Blue’s Egg is actually more similar to Heinemann’s. The Egg, which is only open for breakfast and lunch, closes before Maxie’s even opens its doors. Many of Heinemann’s old touches remain at Blue’s Egg, including front and rear dining areas, a lunch counter and framed vintage photos of Milwaukee, some even featuring old Heinemann’s locations.

There are two food menus, one for breakfast and another for lunch. Some of the breakfast items are served at all times. The morning options include a full range of omelettes ($8.95), “Benedicts” made with homemade English muffins ($10.95), pancakes and French toast ($7.95). Many of the dishes include a side item, such as thick slices of bacon, fresh fruit, buttermilk pancakes or even patties of chicken chorizo. Nobody will leave hungry.

The hash brown potatoes cross over the breakfast/lunch boundary. The basic hash browns are called crisp n’ brown ($2.95). The “very stuffed browns” ($5.95), fried in butter, come in vegetarian and meat versions. The goat cheese browns, filled with creamy cheese and chopped olives, are topped with paprika aioli—all to tasty effect. The vegetarian “skinny browns” ($4.95) are cooked in olive oil. The “evoo” skinny browns are filled with arugula and frisée and come with a side of vinegar syrup. When cooked, frisée loses any bitterness and arugula tastes like a mild spinach. The tart vinegar syrup adds just a touch of sweetness—only a small amount is needed for this unusual vegetarian delight.

The lunch menu adds soups, salads, sandwiches and entrees. The navy bean soup ($3.50-$5.50), obviously made in-house, is very meaty with abundant pieces of smoked ham. Salads come in two sizes ($5.95-$7.95). Try the shaved fennel with its hints of licorice flavor mixed with field greens, cucumber, tomato and radish slices. The French dressing is sweet. More fennel would be welcome. The spinach and mushroom salad has raw spinach with sliced mushrooms and green peas. The promised bacon dressing was nearly absent, but the flavors of toasted shallots and goat cheese made it unnecessary. It’s another decent salad.

There usually are about six entrees ($12.95), and the price includes a side item. Veal meatloaf is a thick slab topped with a rich brown mushroom sauce. It rests next to a heap of buttery mashed potatoes, making for a homey meal.

The skate wing comes as quite a surprise, since skate is rarely served in this area. This delicate white-fleshed fish is prepared simply, with just a relish of tiny capers and onion. The skate is also served with mashed potatoes. Order a small green salad as a side.

The drink menu includes beer, wine and a full cocktail list.

The breakfast/lunch concept is a hit. All too often breakfasts seem like an afterthought. But Blue’s Egg does things right by focusing on good ingredients and not being stingy with them. Be forewarned that lunches are already very popular. Arrive early or expect to wait for a table. This is the type of restaurant that should be seen more often in the Milwaukee area.

Blue’s Egg

317 N. 76th St.

(414) 299-3180

$

Credit Cards: All Major

Handicap Accessible

Bluesegg.com

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