HOME > Chowhound > General Topics >
Do you create unique foods?
TELL US

Have you ever sent back scrambled eggs?

ipsedixit Aug 21, 2011 02:32 PM

When I ask for my eggs to be scrambled, I don't expect perfection.

Perfection as in a plate of nice silky soft puddle of decadent barely cooked eggs where the white and yolk are mixed but not entirely incorporated so that parts of the white stay white and parts of the yolk remain nicely golden yellow. Y'know, creamy, but not runny.

But I also don't expect a disk that looks like a manhole cover that probably resembles more a frittata than scrambled eggs.

How badly does a restaurant have to botch scrambled eggs before you send them back?

  1. FoodFuser Aug 24, 2011 03:01 PM

    Ten years ago, found myself at a Denny's,
    a favorite locale of a dearly loved aunt in her 80's.

    It was so lovely just to peruse her
    as she scanned down the menu.
    My Mommas sister, her love, her experience.

    She ordered two over easy.

    She's the Family Cook,
    and I should have just followed her.
    But I wondered what flattop and spatula could do
    in the hands of artiste, so I ordered scrambled.

    My eggs came as a cube
    many flips of the spatula
    each fold overbrowned.

    So much for artiste.
    I sent the Cubism back to the egg-cook Picasso
    and settled for two over easy.

    Aunt, with her eyes, dispensed simple wisdom
    She added a couple of chortles.

    We had a great breakfast.

    1. i
      Isolda Aug 24, 2011 02:31 PM

      I'm just the opposite of you. I love manhole covers, but if you bring me gooey eggs, I'll politely ask you to put them back on the stove until they are thoroughly dry and maybe a touch brown on the bottom. And please, mix the whites and yellows thoroughly, thanks. No, this isn't how Julia Child would have made them, but middle eastern cooks agree with me, so I'm not a total philistine.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Isolda
        monavano Aug 24, 2011 02:33 PM

        Agree with properly scrambling the eggs. I don't want white and yellow streaks.

      2. c
        cleobeach Aug 24, 2011 02:07 PM

        Most restaurants serve a broken omelet instead of scrambled eggs as you describe them.

        -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

        At best they are a broken omelet. At worst, the are hard, browned and rubbery. And they smell bad.

        I haven't ordered scrambled eggs in at least 20 years. No one can cook scrambled eggs to my standards.

        1. rockandroller1 Aug 24, 2011 01:20 PM

          I think part of the problem is that everyone has a different definition of what "perfect" scrambled eggs would be. I don't like them brown, but I also really don't like anything runny or uncooked in them so the way you like them would be grody to me and I would send them back. The cooks (not likely "chefs" in most places I eat breakfast) don't have any idea what your perfect is so they cook to an average and safe standard, which would mean cooked through and not runny and soft, which is not "safe" according to some food standard laws, but that's what they're going to cook to. If you order them less cooked than that, you practically have to sign a waiver saying you won't sue if you get sick. They are likely to overcook rather than under, due to litigation about food.

          1 Reply
          1. re: rockandroller1
            Karl S Aug 24, 2011 01:34 PM

            Agreed. That's why scrambled eggs are home food, not restaurant food, in the US (btw, I feel the same way about pasta, though there are quite a number of places that actually do cook pasta properly, chances are that you can do better at home than in most restaurants). By contrast, my understanding is that in France, properly scrambled eggs (oeufs brouillés) were customarily considered restaurant food (because of the time and skill it takes to make them properly) and omelets are considered easy home food.

          2. monavano Aug 24, 2011 01:13 PM

            I think it's unrealistic to expect diner (or wherever) eggs to be fluffy and moist. Kitchens are putting out orders fast, fast, fast, so to expect the cook to make your eggs really low and slow ain't gonna happen usually.
            Not that all places do crappy scrambled eggs, but I don't expect it.
            I've never sent back scrambled eggs. The one time I would have was at a breakfast buffet in a London hotel. They were powdered and actually bitter. I could hardly believe other people were eating them.
            I've sent back poached eggs that were hockey pucks, and I'd sure as hell send back the dirt and ash encrusted egg Bourdain had to suffer through eating in Namibia ;-)

            1. a
              AdamD Aug 24, 2011 12:02 PM

              I will never order scrambled eggs when I am eating out. If find there is about a 10% they will be cooked properly

              2 Replies
              1. re: AdamD
                Karl S Aug 24, 2011 12:06 PM

                I think 10% is optimistic!

                1. re: Karl S
                  a
                  AdamD Aug 24, 2011 12:18 PM

                  You are probably right. Every now and then they get it right at a fancy hotel.

              2. m
                MazDee Aug 23, 2011 07:02 PM

                I never order them in a restaurant anymore because I know I will be disappointed. At home, I cook scrambled eggs exactly like you do! There is no restaurant that can cook them that way. Once I had scrambled eggs at a place in San Francisco that were so good I thought I was in heaven. (Probably about half butter, though). It wasn't long after that I stopped ordering them altogether. It is safer to order fried easy (or hard if that is your preference.)

                1 Reply
                1. re: MazDee
                  BubblyOne Aug 23, 2011 07:31 PM

                  Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

                  Make them at home if you are that picky IMHO...sending back food at someplace like Denny's or IHOP is an oxymoron.

                2. n
                  noodlepoodle Aug 23, 2011 04:25 PM

                  I once ordered scrambled eggs at a Friendly's. I got a plate of overcooked eggs sitting in a puddle of water. The cooking heat must have been way too high. I think the cook was off that day and they recruited the dishwasher to cook breakfast. I sent them back and got them back not much better, so I gave up. The waitress didn't appear to understand what I was complaining about. I think if you don't have much interest in food you shouldn't be working in a restaurant.

                  1. s
                    smartie Aug 23, 2011 02:28 PM

                    yes once at a very fancy London restaurant for breakfast. I think the chef tipped half a bucket of salt into them. I got the manager to taste them and they were removed and remade quickly!

                    1. Uncle Bob Aug 23, 2011 01:16 PM

                      No! ~ I don't order scrambled eggs as they are always over cooked, and probably out of a "milk" carton.

                      1. h
                        Harters Aug 23, 2011 10:14 AM

                        I've never sent back eggs of any sort.

                        1. Monica Aug 23, 2011 10:05 AM

                          not scrambled but i sent pouched eggs once...it smelled and tasted of too much vinegar..couldn't eat it.

                          1. f
                            FireFlyFiftyFive Aug 23, 2011 09:52 AM

                            No and I don't even remember sending ANYTHING back but I guess that is another topic.

                            1. d
                              debs20 Aug 23, 2011 09:45 AM

                              My theory is, if your chefs can't cook eggs, don't offer them on them on the menu. I am picky about eggs, if they are wrong, I send them back, and I warn the server beforehand that I will do so.
                              A favorite restaurant of mine recently opened for Sunday Brunch, I was so excited! 50% of the menu were egg dishes, of those ordered by our party of six, not a single egg was cooked properly. All hard and dry and cold! Ugh! Oh, and don't put "lobster omelet" on the menu when it's just a few langoustines wrapped in egg cardboard.

                              1. j
                                jujuthomas Aug 22, 2011 11:41 AM

                                i don't often order scrambled eggs when out, I can remember several times when I wished I hadn't... so that probably cured me of doing it again. I do know I choked down the overcooked, sliced up omelet, thankful there was toast or what have you nearby.
                                I have OFTEN and vocally sent bacon back. I cannot tolerate floppy bacon. it MUST be crisp - almost to the point of burning. I order it that way, and if it is undercooked will send it back, unless DH has gotten my well done bacon, then we just switch. :) (And I try not to watch while he eats it - UGH)

                                1. NellyNel Aug 22, 2011 10:03 AM

                                  I worked as a waitress in a Brooklyn diner once for a very short time...

                                  It was quite an experience, and one day I might write a book; the characters that would come and go ...I learned allot there based on the people I met... but anyway..

                                  Breakfast shift on the weekend was a truly frightening experience.

                                  I actually still have nightmares about it to this day.

                                  People are EXTREMELY picky about their breakfast!

                                  It wasnt a matter of "Two Scrambled eggs, bacon and white toast"

                                  Oh no.

                                  Each and every order was painstakingly descriptive as to how it had to be.

                                  "two sunnyside eggs, just brown on the edges, yolk about an 8th of an inch cooked, bacon crispy on the edge, but soft in the middle, hash browns crispy, but soft in the middle and white toast well done, but not burned"

                                  You get the picture, ...it would take a half an hour just to take the order! Even the coffee orders were exact!! "I take my coffee light, so make sure not to fill it all the way.." ect.

                                  And if the plate they received was not exactly as they had asked - Shit sure,they would send the order back.

                                  I spent half the morning taking plates back to the kitchen. No one was satisfied until their eggs were perfect.

                                  It's weird because people only seemed to be this particular, this specific, about their breakfast items...

                                  People will accept, say a medium burger - more easily than they accept medium cooked scrambled eggs and getting well done...

                                  Anyway, it was a nightmare, and I vowed I will never work in a place that serves breakfast again - and I didnt after that...

                                  **shudder***

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: NellyNel
                                    BubblyOne Aug 23, 2011 10:52 AM

                                    That is so true and funny. I worked 2 nightmare shifts at a place that served brunch and stuck to dinner after that.
                                    Just the comments on here are enough to bring back how horrible it was.

                                    1. re: BubblyOne
                                      NellyNel Aug 24, 2011 06:32 AM

                                      LOL

                                      Right?

                                      I'm glad you know what I mean!!

                                      Kayceek - you are so right.

                                      AND add to the fact that breakfast is cheap so - the tips were really cheap as well!

                                    2. re: NellyNel
                                      KayceeK Aug 23, 2011 01:08 PM

                                      I always feel so bad for staff who work a diner morning shift. They work so hard - often to customers simply ordering coffee and expecting umpteen refills - and the prices tend to be cheaper, so tips tend to be smaller. God, what a tough gig!!

                                    3. o
                                      occula Aug 22, 2011 09:17 AM

                                      I *nearly* did last week; we met my in-laws for lunch (well, breakfast at lunchtime), and they had decided on Denny's. (ugh.) When the food came, mine was missing, so they expedited it and had it to me very quickly (and free). Unfortunately, they had hurried so fast that my scrambled egg whites were very soft and undercooked. I mean, matching the description of ispedixit's perfect eggs! :-) I hate any kind of runniness in eggs, and often order "scrambled well done" or "over hard and broken" or something like that, but in this case I'd just said "scrambled."

                                      Between the meal's late arrival so I was behind the rest of the party, and the fact that it was free, I sucked it up and ate most of it. Luckily I had an English muffin - bread really helps hide undercookedness. But it was still icky in my book.

                                      tl;dr Manhole cover? Yum!

                                      1. kubasd Aug 21, 2011 08:46 PM

                                        Seeing as cooking an egg (in any manner) is a common standard (at least that I've noticed) for judging a cook's basic skills, I'm pretty picky when it comes to my eggs. If my eggs are brown, hard, dry, obviously out of a carton, or runny, I might not send them back, but I won't eat them. This mainly stems from my timid nature preventing me from sending most stuff back. But if they're undercooked, they def go back.

                                        1. bagelman01 Aug 21, 2011 08:33 PM

                                          First, I order my scrambled eggs soft, so it they come hard and dry, or brown they go back. Second, if I order scrambled eggs, I'll not acceot beaten eggs that are just poured onto the flat top and flipped with a spatula, even if cut into strips with the side of the spatula. I expect to see fluffy curds that develop when running forks through the eggs while heating.

                                          I usually ask if the eggs are cooked in a frying oan or on the flat top. If they are cooked on the flat top I'll not order them. Also, I also ask what fat is used to grease the cooking service. Too many places here in New England use Frymax or other canned shortening, They make the eggs look and feel like rubber and I won't acceot it. I ask that the egges be cooked in butter, If I taste the Frymax or cheap margarine, the eggs go back.

                                          Am I hard to please? Yes, but if you agree to cook as ordered and do so, I'll be pleased, if you agree to cook as ordered and don't, expect me to reject the eggs.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: bagelman01
                                            p
                                            paprkutr Aug 21, 2011 08:38 PM

                                            I am in total agreement. I tell them I don't want them brown, but they come brown. The same can be said for over easy eggs. I like my yolks runny, if they come out well done, I'll send them back. I usually ask if they can make it the way I want or I would order something else. I no qualms about sending something back.

                                          2. o
                                            oldunc Aug 21, 2011 06:06 PM

                                            My mother traveled the state of California for years ordering scrambled eggs at diners- largely, I think, to have something to gripe about. Eggs in cartons weren't so common then- the most common perversion was to fry the egg and chop it up. She eventually gave up traveling in favor of staying home and scrambling eggs.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: oldunc
                                              r
                                              Rella Aug 23, 2011 09:16 PM

                                              Your mother and I must have something in common. Once I asked an egg 'chef' at her egg preparation station if she had ever heard of 'chopped eggs.' What a look she gave me. I had a stomach ache thereafter; never returning.

                                              DH will order an omelet often, but I don't think I've ever ordered a scambled egg since the 'chopped egg experience.'

                                              Before then, usually ordering 'scrambled eggs hard,' I sent many a scrambled egg back to the kitchen, only to be return like a hockey puck. I guess they showed me :-))

                                            2. PotatoHouse Aug 21, 2011 04:55 PM

                                              I REFUSE to eat "scrambled" eggs that are poured out of a milk carton into an egg ring, or worse just freehanded onto the grill,and left to solidify.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: PotatoHouse
                                                Will Owen Aug 21, 2011 05:16 PM

                                                My intuition is that any food purveyor who offers only omelets or scrambled eggs is pouring them out of a carton. Now, my own daily scrambled eggs are a broken omelet, and are made with equal parts fresh egg and Pasteurized Egg Product, but if I screw that up it's okay, I'll eat it anyway. But I'm not going to pay restaurant money for fried egg substance. That said, the only time I've been served that was on a Delta flight in 1970, and it was vile. But I'd been on the plane since 3 AM, so what the hell …

                                              2. Karl S Aug 21, 2011 04:16 PM

                                                Most restaurants serve a broken omelet instead of scrambled eggs as you describe them. That's why I rarely will order them at a restaurant. Worse still, they are often pre made and waiting for you a pot on the griddle....

                                                1. coll Aug 21, 2011 03:09 PM

                                                  Yeah I did once, because every bite I took had eggshells in it. I still shudder to remember. And I was so psyched that it had artichoke hearts in it.......I never send anything back, but this was over the top.

                                                  1. monavano Aug 21, 2011 02:41 PM

                                                    Powdered eggs, but a manhole cover is a close second!

                                                    1 Reply
                                                    1. re: monavano
                                                      mcf Aug 21, 2011 02:51 PM

                                                      Yes, those would be pretty much my criteria. If they crunch, they're a pancake or they taste powdered. Short of that, I'd pay and leave.

                                                    Show Hidden Posts