Not "Exactly" What I Was Looking For

For the longest time, I heard nothing but good things about Eggxactly Breakfast & Deli. The restaurant has been featured in media outlets like the Memphis Business Journal and the Daily Memphian, getting praise for the food it serves. Given its reputation, Eggxactly was a place I really wanted to visit. I was so confident in its reputation that I brought my Dad along for the visit. Given that Eggxactly is a black-owned business, both my Dad and I believed we were doing a good thing in dining there. Unfortunately, our expectations were dashed soon after we arrived.

For starters, I assumed that the restaurant would be much bigger, in an area surrounded by other businesses in either a strip mall or other commercial property. Unbeknownst to me, the restaurant is a house in a residential neighborhood that wasn't designed for heavy traffic. While the restaurant's parking lot was adequate, it took a few minutes before we found a parking spot that was close enough for my eighty-four year-old father to navigate. While the whole setup was surprising, I initially viewed it positively on the assumption that the setting would be mellow and somewhat intimate รก la Stone Soup Cafe. Instead, my Dad and I were greeted to loud music that felt more like a nightclub than a restaurant (or more to the point, a Side Street Grill without a bar).

Once we entered the restaurant, it didn't take long for us to get a table. As far as interior design, Eggxactly isn't much different from other "house" restaurants that I've visited. It's spacious for the most part, although the area where you pay in advance is more confined and crowded (to the point where I tripped over something while I was there). With nearly every table taken, I'm sure Eggxactly will expand someday to accommodate more of its customers, particularly large groups that I saw waiting for available tables.

Once my Dad and I were seated, it didn't take long to decide what to order. While my Dad wanted pancakes that turned out to be waffles (something got lost in translation when he pointed it out to me on the menu), I got the three egg omelet with pork sausage, bacon and spinach. Note that I didn't specify a cheese for the omelet because, well, any cheese (with some exceptions) is good. I assumed that whatever cheese I got in the omelet would be okay with the other stuff in it. Well, there's an old adage about the word "assume" that when you break it apart, it's "ass," "u" (as in "you") and "me," meaning that you can make an ass out of yourself and others when you assume. As it relates to the omelet, I assumed that a) the omelet would have cheese in it, b) the other stuff that I wanted would also be in it. As it turned out, none of those things proved true.

Three egg omelet from Eggxactly Breakfast & Deli in Memphis, TN
What's wrong with this picture?

When I got my omelet, it wasn't "eggxactly" what I "eggspected" (my play on words). Most of the filling that should have been in the omelet was outside of it, except for the nearly nonexistent cheese. What my omelet turned out to be was a flatten version of scrambled eggs with most of the filling on the outside. For a minute, I felt like Richard Pryor in the movie "Moving" when his character discovered that all the amenities (air conditioning, plumbing, etc.) that sold him on his new house were gone. It seems assuming the obvious can be troublesome at times. By the way, the eggs were bland, lacking salt or other seasoning that would make them tasty. In all honesty, I could have cooked a better omelet than what Eggxactly made. In the end, I got creative by mixing elements of the "omelet" with my hash browns and butter (along with turkey sausage) to make a decent breakfast out of it. It wasn't the desired outcome, but it eventually turned out okay. Again, not exactly a home run for a restaurant that didn't live up to its namesake.

Along with the omelet not living up to expectations, the service wasn't much better. While our server was attentive in meeting our needs, she could have been nicer in doing that. I'm not saying she was rude, but she didn't seem to be in a good mood. It would have been nice to see a smile from her while she served us. Overall, service and environment was okay, but there's room for improvement.

SIDE NOTE: Getting back to the restaurant's background music, I suggest that in the future it goes with something softer, with less bass. One example is the jazz duet Tuck & Patti, a 90s group who are known for their light melodies that's really easy to chill with. Another suggestion is Regina Carter, the jazz violinist who sounds great even with the volume down. These artists and many more like them are far more appropriate for a restaurant like Eggxactly. If I wanted loud music with breakfast, I would have dined on Beale Street rather than in Whitehaven.

In the end, neither me nor my Dad left with a positive impression of Eggxactly. From the loud music to the bland non-omelet, the experience was far from great. Contrasted with the positive reviews of the restaurant, my Dad and I are outliers of the overall opinion of Eggxactly. Maybe the restaurant was having a bad day, making my breakfast an aberration from the excellent meals that I heard about. Whatever the case, I can't see myself making another visit to Eggxactly anytime soon.

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