Blue’s Egg, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Before we dined there, we had trouble discerning what Blue’s Egg was. The menu was eclectic and high-brow, but the setting (in a small strip mall) suggested a casual diner.
In truth, it was both – that blissful mix of homey and familiar, strange and exotic. Plus, there were cookies topped with bacon.
Rand had already left Milwaukee – he needed to catch an earlier flight for a board meeting in San Francisco later that day (I wouldn’t seen him again until we were both in Seattle, each of us confused and jet-lagged, our bodies struggling to keep pace with our travel itineraries).
It was a shame, too, because Rand would have loved Blue’s. He embodies those same mix of incongruent elements, of things that shouldn’t go together but do. My husband is a blend of classy and casual. It’s one of the things I like about him.
And it was one of the many things I liked about Blue’s.
There is a large pastry case upon entry. I didn’t hesitate to order the sugar cookies laden with maple frosting and specs of crisp bacon. I’d seen them when we walked in, and instantly declared them mine.
They were a wise choice.
Not for the faint of heart, or the congested of heart, or really anyone with any heart condition whatsoever. You should be forced to pass a physical before noshing on these. (We split two between the four of us.)
As we waited for our food, our waitress brought us jam, butter, and red grapes – a rather befuddling combination. I looked around to see if we were supposed to eat them together, but the other tables around us gave no indication of what to do.
I will say this: butter doesn’t stick very well to grapes.
The menu was full of tempting options, but I finally decided on the crispy blue crab cake with toast and poached eggs. It arrived resting atop a salad of mixed greens, and managed to be both hearty and delicate. The waitress lauded my choice, explaining that it was one of her favorites.
But it was Rand’s colleague, Jamie, who may have ordered best: A toasted peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwich on brioche bread, accompanied by a pile of golden fries and a frosty Bloody Mary.
Take note, kids: this is how to do breakfast.
He let me try a bite and it tasted … well, exactly as you would expect. Salty and sweet and gooey and peanut-buttery. The sort of homey, heart-stopping thing you’d imagine Elvis eating for breakfast, elevated slightly by the soft, airy bread upon which it came.
Whenever I visit a place without my husband (one that I know he would love), I start to miss him acutely. As we heaved ourselves out of Blue’s Egg, he was on my mind. I imagined him raving about the food (he’d get the corned beef hash. No question.), sipping on a Bloody Mary, and saying something like, “Milwaukee – who knew?”
The thought of him, as we left the restaurant, made my heart hurt just a little bit. Or maybe the sugar cookies with bacon and maple frosting are to blame for that. Either way, I need to head back to Blue’s Egg. And I need to take Rand.
If you go …
Blue Egg is a good spot, but be warned: it is no secret, and they don’t take reservations. Even on a Friday morning, it was packed (though we only had to wait a few minutes for a table for four); on weekends, the line is rumored to be downright painful.
Make sure to save room for the pastries in the case or (since that is profoundly hard to d0), get some to go.
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