Over Easy charms with playful twists on breakfast classics
Over Easy, a six-month-old breakfast place at the corner of 168th and Q streets, is on a mission to thwart breakfast boredom with a playful, creative menu and emphasis on local flavor.
“These are comfort dishes that you’ve had thousands of times, but you’ve never had it this way or served like that,” said owner Nick Bartholomew.
Hash browns get upgraded to a hash round with a cheesy inside and crisp, fried-in-bacon-grease exterior. The Pop-Tarts of childhood go decidedly adult with sweet fruit fillings nestled in a hot, flaky pastry. And with a drive-thru window option, breakfast lovers can get chef-driven fare on the go.
“It’s the same way a warm blanket makes you feel,” Bartholomew said of the breakfast offerings. “When you start the day with this meal, it’s fun food.”
The café’s décor hints at its quirky but distinctly Nebraskan personality. One wall is decorated with a mosaic of reclaimed barn wood from six Nebraska barns, school houses and a church. The rustic theme contrasts with more contemporary bar lights, steel shelving and decorative glass flasks. Wall art is the work of Nebraska artists and photographers.
Chef Tim Maides created the clever menu with an eye on locally sourced ingredients. Popular dishes include the Vegetarian Biscuits & Gravy, a tasty take on the classic that appeals even to meat eaters. The Egg Boat is “basically a quiche baked into a mini loaf of bread, so it has everything you want for breakfast in one,” Maides said.
The Dutch Baby pancake offers a texture and presentation twist on the breakfast staple. The custardy cakes are served with house-made jams in a cast-iron skillet.
To create the menu, Maides drew inspiration from his childhood in Switzerland where he was exposed early on to farm-to-table cooking and gardening. “We loved visiting my grandma’s village, because she always cooked and grew the best food even using a wood-burning stove,” he said.
Accordingly, dishes at Over Easy conjure up such home-cooked meals. “We aren’t a diner and we aren’t a cafe, it’s just original and delicious food that you’d be more likely to eat at grandma’s house than at a restaurant,” Maides said.
Maides entered the restaurant industry following the footsteps of his older chef brother. He got his start as a dishwasher at Benson’s España, and from there learned about all aspects of the restaurant industry, including gardening, preserving and pickling foods. In travels throughout the world, he drew culinary lessons from street food vendors. Such simple, good food appeals to a broader audience than fine dining, he said.
“My philosophy has always been that good food happens anywhere,” he said. “I love seeing the spaces in which people create their food and how they deal with limitations like space and equipment.”
Bartholomew likens Over Easy’s twists on breakfast to playful art. Based on the response to the restaurant thus far, the community wants to be involved with their creations, he said. “We create an experience with you that you want to talk about,” he said.
Already in its six month, the restaurant has reached out to the community through a summer block party and a celebrity chef pop-up restaurant event. Throughout the summer, hungry patrons can find Over Easy at the Aksarben Village farmers market where it serves a locally sourced menu and grab-and-go items, including its popular Pop-Tarts.
Rooted in local events, ingredients and flavor, Over Easy aims to embrace its neighborhood and community.
“We’ve really found our niche as a progressive and unique restaurant out in West Omaha where it’s least expected,” Maides said
16859 Q St.
Hours: Open daily 7 a.m.-2 p.m.; drive-thru open at 6 a.m.