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Eggs Benny with Emily: The Mission Begins

June 14, 2018

When Emily L approached me about writing periodic guest posts for the FLB I was excited.

Sure, there is the part about encouraging new voices to chime in on the local and regional food scene. But more than that, there was something very specific she had in mind. Emily wanted to chronicle her hunt for the best eggs benedict in the Capital Region.

Now that we’ve gotten to know her a little bit through a few of her earlier posts, I’m thrilled to share the first of hopefully many posts on which eggs benny are worth eating, and which ones are better skipped.

Even if you’re not a fan of poached eggs topped with an egg yolk and butter sauce, there are still some good takeaways from Emily’s brunch experiences. And they can be especially helpful as you start to think about the weekend, and what you might eat for brunch.

The Eggs Benedict Challenge: Cafe Madison Loudon

I am on a mission. A very important food mission.
I want to find the best eggs benedict in the Capital Region.

With so many restaurants around offering brunch now, this seems like the perfect food challenge.

At first, the boyfriend and I thought we would try the classic combination of an english muffin, poached egg, ham, and hollandaise sauce. However, we found out, most restaurants in the area don’t actually offer this; they all have their speciality “bennys”. So we aim to try them all.

First up: the new Cafe Madison in Loudon.

This new cafe was created to accommodate a larger crowd than its sister restaurant on Madison Avenue. When we got to the restaurant on Sunday around 1 pm, we were seated immediately unlike our other experiences at the original Cafe Madison.

However, because the restaurant is just two months old, they have a lot to figure out still. After waiting almost an hour for our food, my Chesapeake Benny arrived. Described as “two crab cakes, peppers and onions, two poached eggs, hollandaise, hot sauce and home fries” ($14), I opted to change my homefries to a side salad for an additional $3 charge.

This was no life changing benedict. The crab cakes were pretty soggy (not crispy and fresh), they seemed to have forgotten to add the hot sauce, and there were only a few onions and peppers on the dish. While the eggs were perfectly poached, the side salad was extremely small and underwhelming considering the additional cost. The hollandaise sauce was rich, but standard. Perhaps a mimosa or boozy brunch cocktail would have hazed my food disappointment, but alas, I was sober.

The boyfriend won out on the food during this experience. He had carefully selected the super breakfast featuring dill toast, poached eggs, corned beef hash, home fries, and cinnamon bun pancakes. I guilted him into sharing the cinnamon bun pancakes and we both walked away in a sugar haze.

Our waitress was very nice and accommodating, but it took almost 45 minutes to receive our check and pay out. The decor was bright and fun, but during our time there, we saw several patrons frustrated with the long waits.

Will I be back to Cafe Madison? Yes. Will I be back for the eggs benedict? No.

And so the mission continues.

This story actually reminds me of the time that Mrs. Fussy went out for brunch a million years ago. We went to the restaurant at Wente Vineyards and I ordered the brioche french toast with a berry compote. She ordered the duck confit hash. Her meal was so much better, and she was gracious enough to give me a few bites. From that point on, which ever dish was the best at a meal would be dubbed “the duck confit hash”.

Ordering at restaurants can be tricky. Sometimes the dish that sounds like it will ring all the right bells, just leaves you flat. And occasionally it’s something you don’t expect that knocks your socks off. Now you have a couple more data points for Cafe Madison, which looks like a very cute spot to hang out and enjoy some creative breakfast offerings.

Now, if you have any suggestions for where Emily can get some killer eggs benny in the Capital region, I’m sure she’s all ears.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. Bill N permalink
    June 14, 2018 11:24 am

    I am a big fan of the original Madison Cafe.
    Carissa, the manager, has recently moved to the Loudonville location.
    Nobody better to address & resolve problems.
    I encourage the reviewer to give them another try in a month or so.

    • albanylandlord permalink
      June 15, 2018 11:10 am

      While the original Madison Cafe is still a good place in a great location, I haven’t had a dish there in a few years that made me say wow. Maybe there was a great chef that left, maybe ownership changed, but it has gone from frequently giving wows to consistently good.

  2. Debra permalink
    June 14, 2018 12:50 pm

    The Illium Cafe in Troy. Plus, they have killer corned beef hash too.

  3. MikeH permalink
    June 14, 2018 1:44 pm

    Not exactly local but one of the best eggs benedict I have had was at the Downtown Diner in Lake Placid. Locally, I think the eggs benedict at the Colonie DIner on Central Ave is great.

  4. Chelsea permalink
    June 14, 2018 2:31 pm

    Triangle diner, 100%

    • Emily Lang permalink
      June 15, 2018 1:00 pm

      Ooh you have me looking at reviews now. I think I may have to be making a trip to Saratoga in the next few months!

  5. Brian S permalink
    June 14, 2018 9:37 pm

    Tipsy moose. Hands down.

    • Emily Lang permalink
      June 15, 2018 12:59 pm

      All of the eggs benedict there are so heavy! So much meat, not nearly enough hollandaise.

  6. Melanie permalink
    June 14, 2018 11:50 pm

    Eggs Benedict Arnold at Four Corners in Delmar…the best! Canadian bacon and asparagus on a home made English muffin With great home fries to boot!

  7. albanylandlord permalink
    June 15, 2018 11:13 am

    Emily, I just watched the America’s Test Kitchen episode on Eggs Benedict. Maybe you want to make it once at home and add that to the comparison… The big change is a different way to make Hollandaise sauce so it won’t break and it will keep for hours (while remaining very true to the traditional recipe) and finding out that you can keep poached eggs warm in a water bath at 150 degrees if you are making it for a crowd.

    • Emily Lang permalink
      June 15, 2018 12:59 pm

      I was actually going to do a version of my own using all New York products to still tie into the local food scene! Love America’s Test kitchen. The reason why I always get eggs benedict out is because I haven’t perfected how to poach an egg so this gives me an excuse to try :)

      • June 15, 2018 4:21 pm

        For what its worth – I couldn’t for the life of me poach an egg until I tried the Good Eats method [] – use a nonstick skillet instead of a pot, and pour the eggs from a ramekin into just a few inches of water. Its foolproof, and I went through two dozen eggs last week just because I was so excited about this!

  8. Timothy permalink
    June 15, 2018 2:58 pm

    On the hill cafe in Latham

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