Spring is the season of new beginnings, a time of renewal and the earth coming to life again. Flowers bloom, birds sing, farmers plant their seeds and each April we celebrate the Easter holiday. As we embrace all things spring, let us take a moment to properly honor the egg.
The egg is so much more than an omelet, or an object used for hide-and-seek. Have you ever wondered why eggs are associated with spring? Why they’re a popular Easter dish? Or where the tradition of egg dyeing came from?
Illustration by Emily Handy
According to digital agriculture magazine Farm Flavor, the connection between eggs and spring is directly related to the hours of daylight. Traditionally, the longer days of spring encourage more egg laying and hatching.
Many scholars believe that Easter originates from an early Anglo-Saxon festival that celebrated the goddess Eostre and the coming of spring. Eggs were a part of the celebration—they were eaten and buried in the ground to encourage fertility. Historians say that the tradition of painting eggs pre-dates Christianity. However, early Christianity didn’t allow the ingestion of animal products—including eggs—so farmers would hard-boil eggs to preserve them for later, hence why traditional Easter foods contain hard-boiled eggs.
England has been decorating eggs in gold, silver and dyes as far back as 1290—when King Edward I commissioned the decorating of 450 eggs to be given out among the royal entourage at Easter. And for hundreds of years, parents in Germany passed down the tradition of the “Osterhase,” a fabled rabbit that left behind colored eggs for children and is believed to have come to America with German immigrants in the 1700s.
From England to Germany, there are tales about the egg throughout different regions and traditions. So, as we embrace spring and Easter—and the egg—find yourself an omelet. An eggs Benedict, perhaps. To celebrate the season, we have selected a few Woodbury restaurants with some of the best breakfast or brunch around. So, gather your friends and family and find the perfect place.
The Woodbury Cafe
For 13 years, The Woodbury Cafe has been cooking up breakfast goodness for the neighborhood, with the goal to revolutionize the common conception of breakfast—starting with their wide variety of egg dishes.
“Our head chef Cesar Juarez has been with the cafe since we opened, and is now the general and kitchen manager,” says manager Molly Minnell. “He has an eggs Benedict on the menu for anyone.” And she’s not wrong—from a traditional eggs Benedict to caprese or spicy Cajun to the crab cake Benedict, there’s a variety of choices.
Plus, the cafe’s organic fair-trade coffee—picked, roasted and flown directly from Brazil—makes a great match for any of the breakfast dishes. Minnell says that other menu favorites include the Zydeco pancakes, “[It’s] two golden buttermilk pancakes with syrup, blueberries, fresh bananas and pecans.” Or if you’re looking for something a little untraditional, try the cafe's house specialties: biscuits and gravy or the walleye breakfast.
803 Bielenberg Drive
Keys Cafe & Bakery
Keys Cafe & Bakery is the kind of place you go for food that you’ve grown up with—and it’s a Minnesota classic, no matter where you are in the metro. Keys originally opened in its St. Paul location in 1973, but has since expanded to nine locations throughout the Twin Cities, with Woodbury being a prized location.
Popular breakfast options include “The Usual,” or the egg dishes, No. 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, offering a different combination of eggs, toast and hash browns. Go for the classic No. 1 for two fresh eggs, hash browns and toast or go for the Italian No. 2 for eggs and Italian hash.
For something special, try the Cajun breakfast—two eggs served up with a variety of vegetables, hash browns and topped with cheese and a hollandaise sauce. Not a big meat eater? The veggie scrambler, with a choice of three vegetables, is the way to go.
1750 Weir Drive
For a different kind of classic, check out Ze’s Diner, where guests are welcomed by an authentic American diner experience. With its retro '50s style atmosphere, Ze’s is known for serving breakfast all day, along with homemade rhubarb jams.
Menu items feature classics like country fried steak, or guests can also choose from dishes with more comical monikers like the “Little Stooges Sandwich,” a good old-fashioned egg and cheese sandwich with your choice of bacon, ham or sausage on an English muffin. Choose from the “Minnesota Rancher” or the, “O My Gosh Breakfast,” a delicious plate of hash browns topped with diced ham, green peppers, onion, served with two eggs any style and toast.
2190 Eagle Creek Lane
Check out these fun facts about eggs!
- According to the American Egg Board, the U.S. produces approximately 75 billion eggs each year, about 10 percent of the world supply.
- Minnesota ranks in the top 10 egg producingstates in the U.S.
- Most eggs produced today will be at the grocery store within 72 hours.
- A chef’s hat is said to have a pleat for each of the many ways eggs can be cooked.
- On average, Americans eat 250 eggs per person each year.
- Egg shell colors vary according to the breed of the hen producing it. Colors can range from white to deep brown. Because breeds that lay brown eggs are typically slightly larger birds, they require more food, therefore brown eggs are usually more expensive.
- The hen’s diet determines the color of the yolk.