Meet the new egg scrambles, which catapult plain scrambled eggs from good morning to great morning. It all happens in a hot skillet, where eggs are quickly stirred together with all manner of lively ingredients -- fresh herbs, cheese, vegetables, sausages, whatever. In the end, instead of a folded-over filled omelet or a flat baked frittata, you're looking at soft and creamy mounds, every forkful laced with color and flavor.
Though all the rage on the West Coast, these scrambles are only now turning up on Long Island. "I like them better than omelets," said Tom Koukoulas, chef-owner of Thomas's Ham & Eggery in Carle Place, which has its own "scrambler" menu insert. Koukoulas advises getting them scrambled soft rather than well-cooked. "It's that thing with texture," he said.
Weighing in is the chef co-owner of Brownstones Coffee in Amityville, Manny Kourounis, who has been experimenting with scrambles for years. Ideally, Kourounis said, neither the eggs nor the incorporated ingredients should predominate. Rather, they should be "in balance." Interestingly, he added, the one scramble on Brownstones' menu (others are offered as specials) is its second-best seller.
Scrambles have also caught on at Two Blondes & A Stove in Huntington, soon to undergo a name change. Its chef, Michael Hansen, says they're popular with customers heading off to work. "That's because they're not tremendously heavy."
Finding scrambles can be a challenge. Often, they're not clearly labeled. Some eateries call them "skillets" or feature them as daily specials.
We've done some scrambling to come up with the following list of breakfast and lunch spots where eggs have evolved.
THE SCRAMBLE These department store cafes get it just right with the "Goldie lox," a scramble of eggs, cream cheese, smoked salmon and fresh chives. Have yours with a flaky raisin-studded scone and one of the fine fruit spreads dessert queen Sarabeth Levine is known for.
THE PRICE $14
Brownstone's Coffee,55 Merrick Rd., Amityville, 631-608-8627, brownstonescoffee.com
THE SCRAMBLES This nostalgically designed breakfast and lunch spot hits it big with its Breakfast Scramble of eggs, ham, crumbled sausage, bacon, peppers, mushrooms, tomato and Cheddar. Weekend specials include a Southwest Scramble with chorizo, peppers, onions, adobo seasoning, Colby Jack cheese and pico de gallo, as well as a Greek Isles Scramble with Kalamata olives, feta and spinach. Served with breakfast potatoes.
THE SCRAMBLES Breakfast is taken seriously at these egg-centric siblings. A savory scramble of eggs and fresh herbs comes with a big sweet potato cake and Canadian bacon. There's also the signature chorizo skillet of eggs scrambled with caramelized onion, spicy chorizo sausage and tomatoes; sharing the skillet are potato sticks; hollandaise either comes on top or, by request, on the side.
THE PRICE $9.99-$11.99
Relish ,2 Pulaski Rd., Kings Park, 631-292-2740, relishkingspark.com
THE PRICE $11.95
,325 Old Country Rd., Carle Place, 516-333-3060
THE SCRAMBLES At this popular diner, "scramblers" are served in skillets and, often, topped with a melt of extra cheese. They're made with three eggs but may be ordered with two. Varieties include the Popeye, with spinach, onion, bacon and Jack cheese; the Italian, with prosciutto, fresh basil, plum tomato and Fontina cheese; the Texan, with bacon, sausage, onion, pepper and Cheddar, the Lox and CC, with chopped nova, scallion and cream cheese and, finally, the Mexican, with chorizo sausage, jalapenos and Jack cheese. Served with home fries and toast.
THE PRICE $9 regular, $7 junior
THE SCRAMBLES Michael Hansen, chef at this casual Huntington eatery, which is due to have a name change soon, calls them skillets. There's the vegetarian-friendly Giambotta, which combines eggs with roasted potatoes, zucchini, red peppers, onions and Pecorino Romano cheese. Carnivores can opt for the Triple Skillet, a meat-intense scramble of eggs, bacon, sausage, country-style ham and choice of cheese. Both come with hunks of toasted Italian bread.
THE PRICE $10.50-$10.95.