There are reissue versions made of classic albums, musical instruments, movies, clothing and toys. Sometimes even vintage cars get reissued. It’s part nostalgia, sure. But also because the originals got it right.
Southern Egg Café reissues a classic, no-frills breakfast. A gloriously small-town, mom-and-pop style breakfast heavy on carbs, pig, eggs, cheese and syrup. There are no mustachioed hipsters curating things here. Not a QR code in sight. This is common-folk food. And the breakfast I had at Southern Egg was satisfying enough for a lumberjack and fiscally responsible enough for an accountant.
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Southern Egg is at the end of a tiny, unsexy real estate-focused retail cluster across from the former Grissom High School and current Sandra Moon Community Center and South Huntsville Library. The café’s address is 7900 Bailey Cove Road SE
Southern Egg opened around a year ago, and even debuting during a pandemic they’ve attracted regulars. On a recent Tuesday around 8:45 am, eight of 11 tables in the home-garage-sized dining room were occupied. And not just retirees either. Families with young kids. Friends meeting up for breakfast, coffee and conversation. A diverse mix of guests. Looking out the tinted dining room windows, there’s a big view of Green Mountain. The former Grissom High School, rebooted as the Sandra Moon Community Complex, is in the foreground.
I’m seated at one of the booths that line Southern Egg’s dining room. The space is decorated like a sweet-aunt’s kitchen. Framed, folksy slogans like “Bless This Nest.” A Beanie-Baby-sized stuffed-bulldog sits atop the partition between my booth and the next. Local morning radio is playing on the restaurant’s sound system. A mix of y’all-yucks chatter and advertising fizz.
There’s only one server working the dining room today. He looks stressed but is getting the job done. He tells me Southern Egg is a family-run business with about three or four employees total. Southern Egg’s breakfast menu – they also do lunch – includes platters, pancakes, French toast, a la carte biscuit sandwiches, etc. The prices run from $ 2.19 for an egg-and-cheese biscuit, to a $ 7 short-stack, to a $ 7.75 a “Southern Egg breakfast” with two eggs, bacon, sausage or bologna and biscuit or toast.
The menu description for a Southern style chorizo entrée ($ 9.99) sounded rad, so that’s what I did. Scattered hashbrowns cooked with chorizo, bell peppers, onions and cheddar cheese topped with two eggs your way and served with biscuit. My food arrives about the time I finish my first cup of hot and ’70s-truckstop-level coffee ($ 2.19).
The breakfast itself is just what you want from a place like this. Melty, stringy forkfuls. The chorizo was season but not spicy. The hashbrowns could have, in mafioso parlance, “fallen off the back of a truck” bound for Waffle House. They’re totally that shredded, Waffle House style.
Earlier, I asked the server for how he’d order the eggs for the Southern style chorizo, and he recommended over-medium. Once the meal arrives, the eggs stirred into the potatoes, chorizo and cheese work appealing yoke alchemy. Next time though I’d probably get soft-scrambled, my default egg order. The biscuit on the side was soft and sensibly sized, not a cat-head Bubba-buster. They’ll bring out packages of jam for you, but you gotta to ask for it.
At lunch, Southern Egg Café’s daily lunch plates go for $ 10.50 for a meet and three sides, $ 9.50 for a meat and two sides and $ 9 for a four-vegetable plate. Meat choices include pot roast, chicken fried steak, catfish, grilled chicken and pork chops. The veggies? Mashed potatoes, turnip greens, fried okra, green beans, coleslaw and other usual suspects. They also do burgers, a BLT and ham, turkey, fried chicken and catfish sandwiches (about $ 7 – $ 10 with fries, onion rings or vegetable).
At one point during my meal, another customer headed out the door turns around and says to the server, “See you tomorrow.” That’s a better summation of my Southern Egg Cafe experience than any Yelp review. The place is open 7 am to 2 pm Tuesday through Sunday. More info at https://www.facebook.com/SouthernEggCafe.
With development in Huntsville in fifth-gear, new-to-market dining options are lining up to come here. And cooler, local ventures keep popping up in hotspots like downtown and West Huntsville. Many are compelling additions to the Huntsville food scene. It’s important though to keep seeking out the hole-in-the-wall corners too. Shiny and new is alluring. But classics endure.
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