By Molly Cerreta Smith
Back when famed local chef Aaron May open the first Over Easy location in Arcadia more than a decade ago, breakfast joints were much less common than they are today. A pioneer of the trend, Over Easy has changed ownership and expanded across the valley with partners Ryan and Jason Field and Troy and Trace Richards splitting operations of the valley locations.
“Initially the menu started with May’s Midwest background as the inspiration for the dishes,” says Ryan, who heads up Tatum and Shea location with Jason. “The breakfast concept really took off and we’re continuing to expand. But this location really bridges the gap between the Arcadia location and the east valley ones.” The Tatum and Shea location (10637 N. Tatum Blvd.) is one of the largest, with old school breakfast counter seating along with table seating inside as well as an ample patio — ideal for long lunches and brunching. Speaking of “old school,” Over Easy encompasses a seamless blend of retro style and modern simplicity. With bold yellow and teal hues literally waking up customers, the atmosphere is warm and inviting — like mama’s kitchen…but better. (Don’t tell mom I said that!)
Speaking of the menu, breakfast is, of course, a highlight — and many of the dishes have received their 15 minutes of fame on national TV. From Banana Nut French Toast to Chicken and Waffles, five of the morning dishes have been showcased on shows like Diners, Drive-ins and Dives and The Best Thing I Ever Ate. Other breakfast favorites include Chile Pork and Grits with hatch green chile sauce, slow-cooked pork, pepper parmesan grits and a sunny side up egg; the Basil Melt with shaved ham, scrambled eggs, basil pesto sauce, sharp cheddar and Swiss cheese on sourdough bread; and the OE-styled Hawaiian LoKo MoKo featuring a sunny side up egg, six-ounce ground beef patty, crispy onions, mushroom gravy and white rice. Let’s not forget a daytime cocktail to wash it down such as a mimosa flight (Strawberry Rosemary or Grapefruit Elderflower, anyone?), Morning Mule, Irish Chai or a “Bloody Good” Bloody Mary.
Beyond breakfast, Over Easy is becoming increasingly popular for its lunch menu. Featuring a selection of Avocado Toasts, Salads, Classic Sandwiches and a Build Your Own Burger, guests can dive into a hearty nooner anytime.
With such a variety of menu items, a full bar and specialty brews made with Press Coffee on tap, it’s no wonder Over Easy has accumulated a dedicated regular crowd. “Some people come in every single day,” Ryan admits, adding, “Breakfast has that vibe that encourages regulars. But we also have a lot of families that come in on the weekends and retirees that come in anytime.” As we sat and talked, many people were also scattered around the restaurant working on their laptops as they enjoyed a bite, and with such a wide selection of breakfast and lunch favorites as well as full bar and inspired morning cocktails, it should come as no surprise that Over Easy became my new favorite brunch spot.
For more information including a full menu and list of all locations, www.eatatovereasy.com.