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Posted on Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 8 a.m.

Frugal Friday at The Broken Egg - comfort food, huge breakfast dishes will satisfy

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu | Contributor

Craig and I enjoyed a spur-of-the-moment lunch at The Broken Egg the other day, when my office closed early and I had some free time in the afternoon. Comfort food was calling; and so we enjoyed a meal at a place which excels at it, and which serves breakfast all day.

The Classic Belgian Waffle was Craig's choice — huge and fragrant and wonderful. Unfortunately, it just exceeds our $5 per person budget at $5.50. It's large enough to share, but I know how readers get a bit testy when I divvy up dishes. We did split a side order of bacon for $3.25.

For $4.75, I ordered The Light Side: two eggs, an enormous quantity of hash browns, and a generous serving of toast. I chose to have my eggs cooked over-easy, and I picked the rye bread. And although I'm a good eater — Craig and others can attest to this! — the plate of food was more than I could eat. It was very good, perfectly cooked, but a lot of food for a tremendous value.

Another breakfast option that qualifies for our project is the thick-cut toast, either studded with raisins or with cherries and walnuts. Oatmeal, bagels and sides of sausage or bacon or ham are other suggestions.

If you're not interested in breakfast, chili and soup both qualify for our mandatory frugal budget, as does the House Salad. Sandwiches are generous and are served with chips and pickles; they could easily be split, and all come in at under $9 total, for a per person share of $4.50 or less.

We arrived at the restaurant around 2:15 p.m., and were warmly welcomed despite having gotten there just a short time before closing at 3 p.m. We weren't rushed or pressured, and the staff was wonderfully friendly, making us feel like old friends.

The Broken Egg is just the sort of place you'd want to be a regular, with its wide variety of fabulous menu items, many of which are readily affordable on a frugal budget.

The Broken Egg 221 N. Main St. Ann Arbor, MI 48104 734-665-5340 Monday - Saturday: 7 a.m. - 3 p.m. Sunday: 8 a.m. - 3 p.m.

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Mary Bilyeu writes for on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, telling about her adventures in the kitchen - making dinner, celebrating holidays, entering cooking contests, meeting new friends ... whatever strikes her fancy. She is also on a mission to find great deals for her Frugal Floozie Friday posts, seeking fabulous food at restaurants on the limited budget of only $5 per person. Feel free to email her with questions, comments, or suggestions:

Go visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — where she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related; and look for her monthly articles in the Washtenaw Jewish News. "Like" her on Facebook, or send a tweet on Twitter, too.

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers - when you come to visit here, may you always be happy.



Mon, Oct 1, 2012 : 3:02 a.m.

This column has encouraged me to try the broken egg again. I have not been there for years due to the poor service and mediocre food i had. But I also know places can change. I have found Northside Grill to be a somewhat similar restaurant, but with consistently good food.

Pretty Gritty

Sun, Sep 30, 2012 : 10:25 p.m.

Mary, Does not seem to do well with feedback. It's an area for growth.


Sun, Oct 14, 2012 : 5:36 p.m.

I see that I was the one with the "feedback" removed. The fact that allows a condescending contributing "writer" tell readers to go elsewhere if they disagree with what she reports kind of speaks for itself.

Mary Bilyeu

Sat, Sep 29, 2012 : 1:16 a.m.

As to the comment that was removed, regarding my "testiness" when disagreed with: many readers' testiness each week - complaining about portions, color of food, and other petty matters - is tiresome. I'm entitled to reiterate a point, or to defend myself. I've been told repeatedly that I'm far too kind, that others would not be so polite. And I believe that my response to a2miguy, whose experiences have not been as good as mine, can hardly be considered testy; I'm very sorry he's been disappointed by a place I've enjoyed. Anyone who doesn't like the restaurants I pick, the generosity of my portions, or my responses when repeatedly nitpicked is welcome to read other columns ....

Soulful Adrenaline

Sat, Sep 29, 2012 : 3:33 p.m.

I like the info you present. I will go out check out Tuptin soon. The last time I was there it was Long John Silvers. I do think that 'frugal' is subjective. To me a frugal meal is going to Costco and getting a 1/4 lb. hot dog with all the fixin's and a fountain drink for $1.50 without even having a membership.


Sat, Sep 29, 2012 : 4:12 a.m.

Mary, I do not find you to be testy in the least. I always enjoy your column and look forward to it every week. Don't let the negative people get you down. Some folks just enjoy complaining about others. Keep up the good work! It's a fun, well written column.

Angry Moderate

Sat, Sep 29, 2012 : 12:11 a.m.

FYI, review columns that never say anything bad aren't very helpful.

Mary Bilyeu

Sat, Sep 29, 2012 : 12:42 a.m.

I'm neither a reviewer nor a critic, and have made that clear many times in the past. I'm an enthusiast whose sole purpose is to tell you where you can eat for very little money.

Soulful Adrenaline

Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 10:20 p.m.

If you want some good eats for nothing, go to the La Tienda Libertad grocery store across the road from Keybank on the corner of W. Stadium and Liberty. It's a straight up raw Mexican grocery store with an occasional fly on the floor and aloof employees, but you can get a variety of dank tacos for $1.50 that are by far better than Tmaz. You eat 3 tacos and you won't have to eat anything else the rest of the day. Their banana leaf tamales put all other tamales in the eastern time zone to shame.

Pretty Gritty

Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 9:32 p.m.

Maybe next week we can read about how 10 people can split a steak at the Chop House for only 4.50 each!

Mary Bilyeu

Sat, Sep 29, 2012 : 12:45 a.m.

If you read this more carefully, you'll see that no one split the waffle, only that it was large enough to do so; I only noted that we split the bacon just because I was telling the story of what was ordered. And as we've gone over many times in the past with others, generous portions can readily be split. There's no need to overeat; and while leftovers are always nice, there's no reason not to share a large plate of food.


Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 6:39 p.m.

I have tried in earnest to like The Broken Egg, but I just can't. I've been there 4 or 5 times. I've had the same service and food quality every time... both bad. The greeter was cranky every time. I waited an eternity for my food to arrive every time. The wait staff couldn't care less every time. The food was cold, eggs were dry and overcooked every time. I never dared send the food back, because God only knows how long it would take to get re-served. But at least they're consistent, right?


Sat, Sep 29, 2012 : 12:51 a.m.

Quit going there due to the poor service. It was as if they were doing me a favor by waiting on me.

Mary Bilyeu

Sat, Sep 29, 2012 : 12:46 a.m.

I've been eating at The Broken Egg for years and years, and never ever had a bad experience. I'm so sorry that you've had problems there ....

Pretty Gritty

Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 9:31 p.m.

Slow service and below average food sums that place up.


Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 8:03 p.m.

We have had the same experience... Really unpleasant food and staff, we avoid this place at all cost.


Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 5:35 p.m.

I've been wanting to go here for awhile. Thanks for the info.

Mary Bilyeu

Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 5:51 p.m.

There are many, many fabulous dishes at The Broken Egg - they're very creative! But even those on a budget can still get a great meal and friendly service ... :)

Soulful Adrenaline

Fri, Sep 28, 2012 : 5:34 p.m.

Although it's not 'Anthony Bourdain' material and doesn't have indie artsy flair, any Coney Island around here you can get bacon, eggs, potatoes, and toast for less than 4 bucks.