Has anyone ever heard of this dish before? Though, I don't currently reside there, I grew up in Norfolk, VA and had never heard of Eggs Norfolk until I saw something about Michael Phelps eating it in a diner in Baltimore. Is it a Baltimore thing? What's the story? From what I can glean from an online search, Eggs Norfolk consists of Smithfield ham, crabmeat, and a poached egg served a top an English muffin and smothered in hollandaise. Sounds delicious and very Norfolkian.
There is an old Tidewater dish called Crabmeat Norfolk which you almost never see on restaurant menus anymore - crabmeat, VA ham, and usually a bit of scallion and some sort of something else like Worchestershire sauce, Tabasco, sherry, or whatever.
Usually a few buttered breadcrumbs on top and then broiled.
Sounds like this diner took a good dish and gilded the lily. Sounds GREAT.
I have no idea why Crabmeat Norfolk ever disappeared. What a great dish it is!!!
As far as I'm concerned, it beats the daylights out of so-so iterations of "crabcakes" any day. Pure crabmeat without any fuss.
Why bother with all the stuff to try to hold it together??
A few decades ago, NOBODY would have even put a crabcake on a menu at a nice restaurant. Only classy dishes like Crabmeat Norfolk.
Bring it BACK!!!!
The Strawberry Street Cafe in Richmond has an "Eggs a la Norfolk" on it's brunch menu and is described just as you did above. Haven't tried it, but it does sound good.
I've never heard of Eggs Norfolk, but it does sound like a variation of Crab Norfolk. Although the original Crab Norfolk, created at Mason's Eastern Shore Seafood restaurant on Granby Street a half-century ago (or more) did not have the addition of country ham. I have had Crab Smithfield, which is basically Crab Norfolk with the addition of country ham.
I don't believe Eggs Norfolk to be a local invention, but rather inspired by one or more of these classic dishes. I can say with some certainty Eggs Norfolk is not a local tradition, but it does sound good.
PS - Tabb's at Riverview is in the former Mason's. I am not sure where a good Crab Norfolk can consistently be found, however, on local menus.
A similar dish has long been on menus in New Orleans: Eggs Nouvelle Orleans.
Poached eggs served on lump crabmeat, classically topped with a brandy cream sauce. Now the sauce is usually a variation on hollandaise in most places.
It's a big seller for Breakfast at Brennan's, and pretty widely available all over NOLA.