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get that damn kale off my eggs bennie

Went to Nancy's Airfield Cafe in Stow, MA for breakfast and ordered eggs benedict. After a very, very long wait (and it was not busy), the waitress brings my plate. I looked at some rough looking greens under my eggs and asked, "Is that Kale?"

"Don't you like kale?" she asked back.

"No, not for breakfast and not on eggs. In a million years I wouldn't have thought there would be kale on my eggs bennie." I tried a little anyway and it hadn't been cooked long enough,

Yeah, I know it's a wonder food and good for all that ails you but it tastes like yuck.

Ugh. If they're going to put kale on the veggie eggs bennie, please say so. It's just not something you encounter when you go out to eat. Nancy -- I think -- came out of the kitchen and told me she is on a "kale crusade (krusade?)" and customers like it. She gave me a coupon worth $10 off my next meal, which was nice. Given the high cost and small portions (2 pieces of french toast for $9) and it's not on my way to anywhere, I doubt I'll use it.

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  1. I'm a little confused -- did you order "eggs benedict" or "veggie eggs benedict?" If it was the former, I agree with you (even though I vigorously dispute your opinion of kale): eggs benedict does not have kale on it.

    If it was the latter, though, and you ordered vegetarian eggs benedict -- which, per the menu, is accompanied by a seasonal vegetable -- I don't think you have much of a right to complain about the addition. It comes with a vegetable. Kale was the vegetable. If you're that particular about what vegetables accompany the dish, you certainly should ask before you order. The failure to screen your meals in a basic way prior to their arrival falls on your shoulders.

    5 Replies
    1. re: FinnFPM

      Agreed. If you ordered an apparently bog-standard benedict (eggs, canadian bacon, hollandaise) and it had kale on it, that's just weird. I wouldn't expect kale anymore than I'd expect grapes or swiss cheese. And it'd be worth questioning, definitely.

      But I've ordered veggie benedicts before and had them come with spinach, tomato, kale, all sorts of things. If I hadn't asked beforehand and my dish came with a veggie I didn't expect, I'd probably remove it and eat the dish... not complain so much that the chef/owner needed to intervene and offer a free coupon.

      1. re: Boston_Otter

        Why do you think I complained so much Nancy had to come out to appease me? Not true. I told the server I would never have expected kale and don't like it and likely couldn't digest it. Nancy came out based on that. It was nice but if she hadn't come out, it would have been okay.

      2. re: FinnFPM

        Ouch, you guys are a tough crowd. Never expected kale, never had it served to me even in cute, non-mainstream places my mom would call "hippy cafes". Never thought to ask what would be on the eggs bennie.

        1. re: FinnFPM

          Still unclear to me whether the OP ordered standard or veggie eggs Benedict. The Nancy's menu has both and "seasonal" veggies on the veg.

          1. re: Bob Dobalina

            True. If the OP ordered the vegetarian, there is nothing to complain about.

        2. I went to Nancy's once. It was so cute and they were so nice and I really wanted to like it, but man, the food was just not good at all.

          13 Replies
          1. re: maillard

            I don't mean to belittle your experience but you gave me a good laugh: a million years ago my father thad this same experience with broccoli - he ordered a greek salad and they embellished it with broccoli florettes - my dad shook his head with disgust and picked them all off - he said "if I wanted something healthy I would have ordered it." I think you could do a lovely riff on eggs florentine with well-cooked kale but only if that's what you want!

            1. re: teezeetoo

              The Beehive does a crave worthy scrambled eggs with cheese and kale--I love it!

              1. re: teezeetoo

                I actually love eggs and greens. There's a restaurant in Northampton that has steamed greens as a side option for brunch. That is just the best thing I've ever seen and I wish more places had this option! I think the only thing the OP and I have in common is bad experiences at Nancy's Airfield Cafe... :)

                1. re: maillard

                  Love collards! Love mustard greens! I cook up a mean batch with cornbread and beans. Don't like kale, don't want it on eggs bennie. S'okay.

                  1. re: three of us

                    kale and collards are the same plant, just one has frills.
                    nonetheless, I agree, it needs a LOT of cookin'

                    1. re: Chowrin

                      Kale and collards are most definitely NOT "the same plant!"

                        1. re: Chowrin

                          That's a family of plants, not the same plants at all.

                          1. re: pikawicca

                            my garden says differently. half the collards sport frills.
                            ... because they're sports, you see?

                      1. re: Chowrin

                        Neither kale nor collards need to be cooked at all. Put a little bit of olive oil and lemon juice on it, and then rub, rip, and smash it between your hands for a few minutes, until it turns dark green and soft. It's called "massaging" it, and it yields, in my opinion, a much better product than cooking does.

                        1. re: FinnFPM

                          And while collards can stand long cooking, they need not be cooked for long. I often slice them finely and add to soup for the last 5-10 mins of cooking, and they are wonderful. Collards are the magical green.

                        2. re: Chowrin

                          I find with both kale and collards, there is a seasonal variability to how much cooking they need. Spring greens, not so much, and winter greens more.

                2. Three of us - I couldn't agree with you more.

                  Eggs Bennie is one of those sacrosanct breakfast, or lunch/brunch dishes that should never be interfered with.

                  Should someone want to order Eggs Bennie their own way, so be it. But in my humble opinion, don't mess with the real thing, especially if it's on the menu as eggs benedict.

                  Chowhounders should be shocked that such an apparition appeared at Nancy's Cafe in Stow.

                  Cheers to the real thing!

                  DW

                  PS - Suppose we could ever convince the gang ar Karl's Sausage Kitchen to come up with a Canadian Bacon thing?

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: Infomaniac

                    I actually had Eggs Benedict with avocado, on biscuits, at Masa on Saturday. Wonderful stuff.

                    1. re: FinnFPM

                      Had that same dish as Masa a couple of weeks ago. Really good.

                      Oh, and it's one of the $7.95 choices including either a generous serving of nut-filled granola with fruit, or a guava paste empanada. Coffee is included.

                      1. re: FinnFPM

                        I had the avocado Eggs Benedict on biscuits at Masa too, and that's why I mentioned it. I'm not sure where the post went. I thought it was outstanding!

                      2. re: deweyweber54

                        As other folks mentioned, they have two dishes on their menu --- regular Eggs Benedict and "veggie" Eggs Benedict. The veggie version comes with seasonal veggies, and that's likely what the OP ordered. They just didn't expect the veggie to be kale.

                        1. re: Boston_Otter

                          Another possibility if you are ordering vegetarian eggs benedict is that it might be prepared with a faux canadian bacon/ham. However, in looking at Nancy's menu, it does clearly state prepared with the "vegetable of the day"....caveat emptor! (All kidding aside......I'd love it with the kale!!!)

                      3. Couldn't you just remove the kale and put it to the side if you didn't like it?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Kat

                          Silly me. I was wonderig the same thing..:)

                        2. You should try it with kelp!

                          1. So all in all, this seems like a post telling us that the OP doesn't like kale...told in a manner that sounds like a complaint about a restaurant(OP will probably say it wasn't their intention but that's how it comes off).

                            Eggs Benedict doesn't come with any vegetables so the OP ordered the Veggie Eggs Benedict. To complain because the veggie wasn't a veggie the OP liked is pretty off-base. If I don't like certain vegetables I'd ask what's on it and not behave as if the restaurant was being ludicrous by having the temerity to pick one I don't like. I certainly wouldn't then go on a food message board and spout off about it in a denigrating manner.

                            At the end of the day, I hope the Hounds who read this post come away from it saying how great Nancy's is that despite the customer being doing a poor job ordering, they offered a free breakfast to try another time something they might prefer instead. I would definitely check it out if I"m ever in Stow thanks to this thread.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: AngerHeSmiles

                              I actually just realized I only live about 10 minutes from here. The only CH'er who seems to have gone -- and been reasonable about it -- is maillard, who said that the food is bad. I'm tempted to go and check it out (half out of spite for this thread), but I'm not really seeing many ringing endorsements here. Ho-hum breakfasts are not worth walking 100 feet for, much less driving to.

                              1. re: FinnFPM

                                I did only go once, so it's possible that I ordered poorly or it was an off day or their food is a bad fit for my personal tastes or something. Seems worth checking out, especially considering the dearth of quality food in that area...

                              2. re: AngerHeSmiles

                                Yes -- while I think this kind of pickiness is a bit silly, it's clear that the customer service ant Nancy's is awesome, and I'd love to eat there someday -- I'd never heard of it before this thread.

                                1. re: Boston_Otter

                                  The people there are super nice. If you do go, please report back!

                              3. I've actually had the same reaction to decorative kale (with orange twist), but not with kale that was prepared for human consumption.

                                1. Out apple picking this weekend and happened to drive past Nancy's, so we stopped in. Was going to order something sweet, but couldn't resist trying the veggie eggs benedict after all the discussion. Two solid thumbs up. Kale was perfectly cooked/seasoned and plentiful, served with nice slices of tomato. Eggs poached well. Fruit on the side was a little bowl of spiced applesauce - a nice contrast to the savory eggs. DC had the lamb burger, which he enjoyed. The staff is busy but exceedingly friendly. A little out of the way, but easy to add onto an apple picking trip or even a visit to Drumlin Farms.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: chevrelove

                                    Thanks for the report! Also, thanks for what amounts to an explicit confirmation of what most of us suspected: OP did in fact screw up and get the veggie eggs benedict.

                                    Love the follow-up.