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Motel / Buffet Scrambled eggs

Anyone have any information as to the ingredients in the egg products being used for the typical free motel breakfast scrambled eggs? Powered eggs are reportedly real eggs, but the only resemblance I find between real and motel breakfast eggs is the color. They are truly nasty.

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  1. I had some the other day that were positively weird--almost like jello in consistency.

    I usually like steam table eggs, but these were something else.

    1. USDA has an interesting page on dried and liquid egg products. See http://www.fsis.usda.gov/wps/portal/f...

      1 Reply
      1. re: drongo

        I'm now wondering if these motels are using dried egg mix products (eggs, nonfat dry milk & soybean oil and who knows what else). Considering their odd taste & texture, I can't see where they are just made from eggs.

      2. These days they're scrambling up a big 'ol batch of egg beaters for ya; or the institutional equivalent. Dunno what's in 'em, but....I hate them as much as I hate the perfectly round weird eggs they sell as "poached" at those weird buffets. Usually next to a vat of "made-here peppered sausage gravy" and their unnatural looking biscuits. :)

        1 Reply
        1. re: mamachef

          Don't forget the Instant, school glue, wall paper paste grits!

        2. Any establishment that advertises eggs but serves only scrambles or omelets almost certainly gets their eggs from a carton. This is not necessarily bad IF they're using pasteurized whole egg, and I used to buy that for myself when I lived in Nashville, but having scouted the open-to-the-public restaurant-supply stores in the L.A. area I haven't found anything but egg-white product.

          I have gotten used to some of those – the Reddi-Egg from Trader Joe's isn't awful, just a bit lacking – but when a favorite seaside motel added scrambled eggs to their free breakfast buffet I knew what to expect. Well, a couple of sausages on the side and enough Tapatio …

          1. Having worked professionally at camps for over 10 years, I would guess that motel eggs are probably done the same way that every camp that I have been to. None of the camps used powdered eggs (except for limited applications in backpacking trips, where food needs to be very light). Every place I worked used boil in a bag eggs that came in already liquid, and usually frozen in a large bag. Thawed overnight, then tossed in a big pot of boiling water for however long it takes to cook. Open up the bag and pour out the 'scrambled' eggs.

            7 Replies
            1. re: jw615

              The boil-in-a-bag approach sounds about right - easy to prepare. It would also explain the vast differences in texture I've seen from well broken to solid mass chunks, probably dependent on the cooking time and perhaps if the attendant may break up the egg after cooking.

              1. re: Clams047

                Yeah, how good they are really depends on the preparer. The best cooks at camp would do them just a little underdone, pour out of the bag immediately into large pans, sprinkle a little cheese on top and break them up with a large potato masher. They'd finish cooking up from the residual heat.

                1. re: jw615

                  And here's 'boiled in the bag' and there's 'boiled in the bag'. Lots of manufactures. Lots of price points.
                  Some motels/chain motels spend more $ on the 'boil in the bag' products. (There's lots to choose from). Also lots of breakfast cooks have 'secret ingredients' they fold into the finished eggs. Once I actually heard of a breakfast cook who would fold in a few T's of real butter and a pinch of tarragon!

                  1. re: Puffin3

                    Now that I'm understanding the frozen egg-in-a-bag approach, I searched and found a whole variety of available egg products.

                    One in particular -

                    Whole Eggs, Egg Whites, Whey, Skim Milk, Modified Food Starch, Corn Syrup Solids, Xanthan Gum, Citric Acid, Annatto (color), Artificial Butter Flavor (partially hydrogenated soybean oil and cottonseed oil,
                    medium chain triglycerides and flavor).

                    Yummy. No wonder they taste so funky.

                    1. re: Clams047

                      Revolting, yet people gobble them up because they are "free" probably a similar ingredient list to the danishes and other "baked" good too.

                  2. I don't remember getting scrambled eggs on the 'free' motel breakfast but I remember some nasty omelets that were there to be reheated in the microwave. I prefer (when I allow myself the carbs) the malted waffles.

                    I am still of the mind that if the current owners of the motels that offer these kinds of 'free' breakfasts could go back in time and murder the first motel owner that decided giving away these 'free' breakfasts was a good idea, they would do it without hesitation.

                    Frankly, I wish the offerings would be more like that which is offered in German hotels.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: John E.

                      The beachfront motel where we usually stay in Cambria, CA has been offering eggs, potatoes and sausages (all I assume heat-and-serve) since several years ago, as well as make-your-own waffles. On our latest visit, though, we were with a car club that had booked rooms at a much less expensive one (about half the rate) down the road, and the only hot offering there aside from coffee was toast.

                    2. I won't touch any cooked food from any place that doesn't have an onsite kitchen, which means any of these hotels that doesn't actually have a restaurant onsite. From those I will only take yogurt, or dried cereal, if anything.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: SaraAshley

                        We were in Europe recently. Both hotels (in Prague and Budapest) and the ship (Danube River) had buffet breakfast and full kitchens. The hotel in Prague's steamtable eggs were perfect. The ship was wretched. The eggs were overcooked and cold, while the bacon was undercooked and cold. The hotel in Budapest also had overcooked but not stone cold eggs. VERY glad to come home and cook our own breakfast.

                      2. I've assumed the come out of a carton. Best bets for actual fresh eggs cooked to order are fried or poached only.

                        1. The motel breakfasts I've been to used premade omelet style eggs. I don't think most of these motels have the facilities to reallly cook. They microwave or use a water bath.

                          Also, I believe powdered eggs are actually more expensive than premade eggs or carton eggs.

                          2 Replies
                          1. re: dave_c

                            Powdered egg can be more expensive than 'real whole' eggs. The difference is the labor cost to serve the 'real' eggs compared to a high school girl who works the front counter weekend mornings at the hotel and doubles as the 'cook' in the room at the back where she makes up the tray of scrambled eggs using the microwave.

                            1. re: dave_c

                              Yup - when I did camp, the powdered eggs were significantly pricier than the frozen boil in a bag type that we used for general breakfasts. Powdered were only for backpacking trips where weight and non-perishability really mattered.

                            2. I don't expect any institutional scrambled eggs to compare to those I prepare at home. But within that category, I like the buffet breakfast at Marriot Courtyard, including the scrambled eggs.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: GH1618

                                I travel a lot on business to Harrisonburg and stay at the Marriott Courtyard there. They used to have a really horrendous buffet. But a few years ago they eliminated the buffet and now have a short menu of items for breakfast that are prepared to order. Probably still made from "liquid egg product" but much better than the buffet.

                                1. re: drongo

                                  I've eaten some bad 'omelets' at these motel breakfasts. Depending on my carb intake at any given time, I do like the malted, make-your-own waffles.

                              2. When traveling by car with the 'hounds, we usually stay at dog-friendly La Quintas. Their eggs are hard boiled which I think is the most sensible.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: c oliver

                                  The cheap(ish) motel last weekend had HB eggs too. Went well with the orange juice …

                                2. I usually pass anything other than oatmeal, toast, fruit, etc. at any "free breakfast"; don't forget you are EATING IT!!! I will wait until I can get eggs that I know are pastured/organic, (usually at home).......

                                  1. Since I prefer my eggs on the undercooked side, I usually stick to the yogurt/banana/ toast offerings at motels.