Jim Siergey: Breakfast & Me

May 21st, 2019

Like most people, I like to occasionally go out to eat. When I do it is mainly for dinner or lunch, rarely for breakfast.

Breakfast is the easiest meal to prepare so why pay someone to do it for me? Plus breakfast takes place in the morning and I’m not venturing out into the world without at least three cups of coffee under my belt. So, unless I’m traveling, eating breakfast some place other than my kitchen is an uncommon occurrence.

Another reason is that the older I get the more delicate my gastrointestinal system gets. Grease and fat doesn’t sit as well with my insides as it once did.  This adds to my reluctance to eat breakfast in a restaurant as I don’t know in what they are frying their eggs.

Oh, I know. I could order oatmeal or pancakes or a bagel or yogurt and fruit and I sometimes do but if I’m dining out for breakfast I’d like some eggs.  So I order them poached.

It’s the safest way to have eggs served to you if they are prepared by an unknown person preparing them in an unknown manner. Am I being persnickety? Perhaps, but I’m still ordering them eggs poached.

However, I have twice been denied poached eggs.

I recently had an epiphany about both of those poachless occasions, realizing that the two times my request was denied I was dining with the same person.

eggsfryingNothing like an egg…


He is an old friend who has traveled a lot and has lived in several different states but, like any true Chicagoan, always finds his way back to the Windy City from time to time. A few years back I went to meet him for breakfast at a place on Southport Avenue.

We met, exchanged greetings, sipped some coffee and gave our orders to the waiter. After I answered his question as to how I would like my eggs prepared, he told me that I could not get my eggs poached.

“Why not?”, I asked, my eyes as wide as they could get at that time of the morning, in incredulity.

“The chef does not like to poach eggs because they take too long.”

I did not make a scene but I felt like I had been slapped in the face with the business end of a wet hen.

Time trudged on and I recently visited this same person where he now resides—Missoula, Montana. We went to breakfast at one of his favorite places, The Four B’s, an eatery that sits right above a river that flows beneath it. We were seated next to a window where we could gaze upon said rolling river as we dined.

When it came time to order, I told the waitress how I would like my eggs. She began writing it down and then stopped.

“I think you’d better not order them poached.” she said.

“Oh?”, I politely responded.

“Yeah, there are a couple of kids handling the grill this morning and I don’t trust ‘em to poach eggs.”

Okay, so this time wasn’t exactly a denial, it was more of a warning but, still, once again I could not get poached eggs while breakfasting with this particular feller.

The next time we meet for breakfast I guess I’ll go with the pancakes.


Editor’s note: Jim’s last post for The Third City was Kate & Willy

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