RESTAURANT REVIEW : EGGS UP GRILL
By Liz Gunn || I broke my cardinal rule this weekend about dining in brand new restaurants. Having grown up in and around the restaurant business, I know better than to think I’m going to have a great experience at a place that just opened. Even the most well run establishments typically need a few months to work out their kinks.
I am happy to report that Eggs Up Grill’s newest and only Columbia location on Devine Street (where Momo’s Bistro once was) is already near perfect, having only been open just shy of one month. There was a short wait for a table, but that’s to be expected. The food was a little slow to come out, but our server was so friendly and accommodating that I won’t even hold that against them. And when the food did arrive it was glorious —well worth the wait.
Breakfast options have been few and far between in this part of town ever since Tiffany’s Bakery closed several years ago. The odd thing is that day to day I am not really much of a breakfast eater. I typically opt for a protein bar or a piece of fruit on my way out the door.
Breakfast is the first meal of the day, so people are hungry…maybe even cranky. At home, especially during the week, the idea is to get food on the table and get it there quickly.
On weekends though, I love going out for breakfast or brunch. Apparently, a lot of other people feel the same way. Breakfast joints all do quite well in Columbia on weekends, especially during football season.
The great thing about Eggs Up is that it has an open menu. You can order a Philly Cheese Steak at 8 a.m. or you can order French Toast at 1 p.m. Our family all opted for breakfast options at around 11:00 a.m. If you’re going with a crowd, there will be something for everyone.
I had the “Traditional Loaded Home Fries”, which is a plate of home fries topped with cheese, onions, peppers, bacon and two eggs. It was delicious and enough food for my one year old and me to share and still have about a third leftover. I wasn’t hungry again until dinner! For less than $8, I’d call that a steal.
My husband had the “Classic Breakfast” which is two eggs with your choice of meat, grits or home fries and toast. He’s a bit of a breakfast purist. No fancies for him, but he managed to clean his plate. This choice was also less than $8 and well worth it.
Our server was fantastic. I feel like a server can make or break your dining experience, and ours was outstanding. She brought out complimentary orange slices and later a small bowl of grits for my impatient daughter. She was friendly and calm even though she had her hands full with a busy section and some incredibly hungover co-eds sitting behind us. (We live in a college town – you’re going to have that from time to time.)
Franchise owner Drew Hampton was there, checking in on customers and overseeing the general flow of things, like any good business owner should be. Having been in the restaurant business for seventeen years now, it’s safe to say he knows what he’s doing…and it shows. The food quality, the service, the atmosphere – all top notch for an affordable breakfast joint.
I think you can expect a short wait for a table on the weekends. Columbia still doesn’t have an abundance of places open for breakfast/ brunch – especially ones that open at 7 a.m. During the week I imagine they will acquire some regulars and maintain a steady business. After eating at Eggs Up in Litchfield every summer for years, I am thrilled to now have one less than a mile from my home !
If you have never eaten at an Eggs Up, you might find it strange that I am dedicating a full blown review to a casual, family-friendly restaurant that isn’t even open for dinner. Once you go however, I think you’ll agree it’s worth the write up. If you’re not in Columbia, you can visit one of their other locations in Pawley’s Island, Surfside Beach, Myrtle Beach, Conway, Garden City, Mount Pleasant, Anderson or Greenville. Check out their full menu here.
Liz Gunn is a wife, mom, author, businesswoman, travel enthusiast, food snob, fashionista, lover of great wine and the No. 1 Gamecock football fan … ever. A graduate of the University of South Carolina, she lives in Columbia, S.C. with her husband and daughter.