In dishes ranging from pizza to salads to burgers, eggs are elevating restaurant menus in new ways. They’re powerhouse ingredients that shine because of the diverse ways they can be prepared and experienced. Eggs also ride the line between health food and comfort food, so consumers are craving them right now, whether as the centerpiece of a Shakshuka or as a condiment in an amped-up burger. Where can you add an egg?
These times call for creativity across a restaurant’s operations. When it comes to your ingredients, do you have an item that is ripe for reinvention? Consider this one: soft pretzels. Not simply stars of any snack or appetizer menu, they can enhance your entrées as a recipe ingredient. Try a skillet strata combining soft, doughy pretzel pieces with egg, cheese, onion, bacon and spinach for serious comfort food.
Want to add some excitement to your brunch menu? Eggs – in all of their forms – provide a solid foundation for a wide range of spicy combinations, from Shakshuka to huevos rancheros. Even classics like Eggs Benedict can benefit from some experimentation. Try a Chilaquiles Eggs Benedict topped with a green chili Hollandaise sauce. It’s crowd-pleasing comfort food.
As vegetarian and vegan food continue to rise on lunch and dinner menus, it makes sense that breakfast would follow. (And operators would be wise to tap the breakfast segment if they haven’t already: Data from the National Restaurant Association indicates that breakfast accounts for 21 percent of all restaurant traffic — and guests are welcoming breakfast foods throughout the day.) So how can operators compete on breakfast? Skift Table reports that Just, a vegan food company that makes an egg protein substitute called Just Egg, is positioning itself as the leader in the category and has new partnerships with casual dining brands that will soon be offering the product on menus. Aside from eggs, breakfast bowls and protein bars — packed with almond or oat milk, chia seeds, quinoa and nut butters —provide a lot of opportunity for building creative, protein-rich combinations too.
Eggs are having a moment. Now safely in the realm of healthy foods, eggs aren’t just for breakfast anymore and are being embraced by consumers and chefs alike for their craveability and versatility. Runny yolks atop everything from avocado toast to burgers to pizza are adding an extra flavor layer to foods. Because they mix well with global ingredients, eggs have become common street food options too. Flavor & the Menu cites such examples as Queen’s Danh Tu, the Vietnamese street food vendor in Brooklyn, which offers bánh xèo, an omelette-crêpe served in a cone. It found a number of other creative egg applications at such places as Bywater American Bistro in New Orleans, which makes a crispy rice dish topped with a swirl of vibrant “yolk jam,” and at Mason Eatery in Miami, which offers an appetizer of lightly cooked beaten egg, sour cream, Muenster cheese and salt, served as a gooey mixture with bagel chips for dipping.