First things first, don’t call them breakfast sandwiches. Cracked Eggery’s egg sandwiches are meant for all hours of the day. That’s why one of the food truck’s first brick-and-mortar shop in Shaw, set for an early summer debut, plans to eventually operate 24 hours over weekends (when nightlife is able to return). A second fast-casual restaurant—open for lunch and dinner, though not 3 AM cravings—is slated for Cleveland Park this spring.
Cracked Eggery started with brunch parties from friends Mike Tabb, Ross Brickelmaier, and AJ Zarinsky and grew into a Cleveland Park farmers market stand in spring of 2019. Their truck launched at the beginning of last year, just a few months before the pandemic would totally transform the dining and mobile vending scene.
With downtown turned into a ghost town, Cracked Eggery searched for new turf. “There’s 200 people in line in front of the Whole Foods in Logan Circle, and there are no restaurants open. So we started going to grocery stores and more residential [areas],” Tabb recalls. Eventually, they realized delivery platforms would allow them to change their address, so they had drivers coming to their parked truck to pick up orders.
“DoorDash drivers they don’t understand to look for a truck, so there were a lot of growing pains with that,” Tabb says.
The team had been in talks with landlords to open a brick-and-mortar space before the pandemic hit, but those quickly were put on hold. Ultimately, though, they were able to seize on two different real estate opportunities. (Their food truck will continue to operate even after the new shops open.)
Expect the restaurant menus to be expanded versions of what’s available at the truck. Cracked Eggery prides itself on local ingredients, including challah buns from Lyon Bakery, sausage from Logan’s Sausage, and smoked salmon from Ivy City Smokehouse. One of its signature sandwiches is “The Mayor” with bacon, scrambled eggs, American and cheddar cheese, and “cracked sauce” (a mayo-based remoulade). Others incorporate fried eggs with cream cheese and smoked salmon or pulled pork and slaw. A kids’ menu with smaller versions of some sandwiches will also be available.
You’ll find a few non-egg options too, including a bacon-cheeseburger and grilled cheese with an inverted bun for better toasting. The latter is named “The Frankie” after one of their regular kid customers who first requested it. Want to skip the bun? There will also be a selection of eggy bowls, including one with pork belly, sushi rice, kimchi slaw, and a fried egg.
Another specialty of the egg sandwich purveyors is tater tots, which will come in a variety of flavors from Old Bay to cinnamon and sugar to poutine-style. The menu will be rounded out by some side salads and Compass coffee brews.
Both locations will have some seating but the emphasis will be on takeout and delivery.
“This was the first we were able to build a store inspired, if you will, by the Covid restrictions,” Tabb says. “We wanted to do a takeout window for late-night. When we brought it up before, the landlords were like ‘no.’ Now, they’re like ‘absolutely.'”
Cracked Eggery. 3420 Connecticut Ave., NW; 1921 8th St., NW.
CORRECTION: This story initially misspelled Ross Brickelmaier’s name.