Much to my
girlfriend’s dismay, in recent days I’ve begun agitating against eggs.
“I just don’t like ’em anymore,” I said one morning. I rifled through
the fridge and retrieved a pink grapefruit, using a fingernail to send
citrus spraying across the room.
blue eyes bugged, as if I were Christopher Columbus telling her that
the world was not lasagna-flat. “What do you mean you don’t like eggs?”
To her, the egg is edible perfection. She devours them poached,
hard-boiled, soft-boiled and scrambled and served between a buttered
“It’s a great protein,” she said, with the conviction of a bodybuilder preaching the power of human growth hormone.
I told her, “I think of eggs the same way as I do tomatoes: aces as an
ingredient, terrifying as a main event.” Want to see me squirm like a
hooked worm? Serve me bruschetta.
you love making breakfast,” she said. That is certifiable. Ever since I
was wee, I’ve enjoyed flipping Bisquickpowered pancakes and doctoring
scrambled eggs with onions and garlic. I still savor a.m. cooking; I’ve
just ceased to enjoy eating eggs. That’s OK. People change, tastes
change: this is a good thing.
I relished attending raves at age 19, I shudder at the thought of me
still wearing baggy pants, staying up till sunrise smoking menthol
cigarettes, chomping candy necklaces and giving strangers
pharmaceutically aided hugs.
lieu of eggs, I began favoring smoothies made with yogurt and bananas
bought for a song in Chinatown. (Around 8 p.m., hit the northwest corner
of Grand and Eldridge streets, where $1 buys enough bruised, dented
bananas to feed an orphanage. Peel and freeze the decaying fruit as soon
as you get home, and it’s smoothie sailing.) My girlfriend adored the
smoothies, but sometimes I’d catch her wistfully staring at an egg
carton in the fridge as if it were an old lover. Come back, sweet yolks,
But a few weeks back, my breakfast routine was broken by the beautiful news of M. Wells (21-17 49th Ave. at 21st St., Queens, 718-425-6917). Located
in a vintage Long Island City diner, M. Wells is helmed by wife-hubby
team Sarah Obraitis and Hugue Dufour, a former toque at Montreal’s Au Pied de Cochon—paradise for fans of foie gras and
pig. Currently, M. Wells is open 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, hours that
only appeal to early-risers and the pseudo-employed. Like me.
On a recent Friday morning, my alarm beeped at 6:15.
“Why are you getting up so early?” my girlfriend asked, her eyelids heavy with sleep.
“Julie”—who awakens pre-dawn to bike—“and I are going to Queens for breakfast.
“I thought you didn’t like eggs?” she said. her tone insinuated that perhaps I was a liar.
shudder at the thought of me still wearing baggy pants, staying up
till sunrise smoking menthol cigarettes, chomping candy necklaces and
giving strangers pharmaceutically aided hugs.
“This is different,” I told her. “This is M. Wells.” I gave her cheek a peck, pulled on my black skintight cycling shorts and pedaled to Queens for my Québécois fix.
Julie and I arrived, we were sweat-slicked and beet-faced. Sensing our
imminent heat stroke, an angelic waitress fluttered over and delivered a
carafe of cooling water. I wanted to smooch her, but such behavior is
unbecoming for a taken man.
our core temperatures sank several degrees, Julie and I surveyed the
menu. It ran from greasy-spoon staples such as egg sandwiches, doughnuts
and biscuits (all homemade!) to a.m. curiosities such as beef tartar
and pickled pork tongue. “I want everything,” said Julie, who’s never
met a meat or sweet she didn’t want to eat.
was exercised. Strong Oslo iced coffee was ordered, as were several
courses that made me rethink my stance on chicken embryos.
scrambled-egg sandwich rose above its hot-griddle roots, thanks to a
fluffy, house-baked English muffin, fat slab of sage sausage, smoked
cheddar and several slices of pickled jalapeños. (I tossed the tomato to
sandwich was transcendent, the everyday made exemplary, as was the
crispy hash with a plank of crunchy bacon. On top, a slow-poached egg
sat like a tiara. I punctured it, releasing yolk like a runaway river
across the potatoes and contrasting bites of peas and mint.
the yogurt was tangy bliss, swimming with granola and a smattering of
bright, fresh berries that were most certainly not Chinatown-bought.
This was the best breakfast grub I’d devoured in months, a guaranteed
way to start any day with a contented stomach and a smile.
“That was goooooooood,” Julie
said, spearing an errant pea. “What did you think?” “I think,” I said,
running my finger through a yellow dab of yolk, “I love eggs again.”
What’s your latest breakfast discovery? Tell me at firstname.lastname@example.org.