With a name like Egg and Pie Diner, one enters the doors of Chaska’s newest restaurant with two expectations: There’s hearty, tasty breakfast waiting, along with a fresh slice of pie. Well, breakfast is served all day, though the words “hearty” and “tasty” aren’t the first adjectives that come to mind, and you might get a little pie if you ask repeatedly. But unless you like waiting a long time for unremarkable food, Egg and Pie likely isn’t going to be your breakfast / dessert nirvana.
Egg and Pie Diner is owned by a former partner [updated: 4-17-13] of Betty’s Cafe and Pie in Eagan and offers a similar ’50s theme, and the menu reflects its second-run status with very little originality. Omelets, pancakes, biscuits and gravy, and eggs Benedict — check. The O’Brien hash browns ($7) promise diced ham, onions, and peppers mixed with shredded potatoes, but instead the dish arrives with the meat and vegetables tossed on top of the hash browns and two eggs to the side. The plate was passable, but when the buttered white toast is the highlight of the dish, you know it’s nothing special. Similarly, the corned beef hash ($5.50) tastes like the meat comes from a can, and the “two eggs any way you like them” is a misnomer when you ask for poached and are told that’s not an option. The pancakes ($5 for a short stack) fall in between fluffy and flat and need a generous pour of syrup to make up for the lack of malty sweetness.
The classic french toast ($5 for three slices) offers a respite from mediocrity — the bread is cut thick and is appropriately eggy, the texture is light, and the delicately browned crust soaks up the syrup nicely. The stuffed version ($7) turns the toast into a vaguely McGriddle-type concoction, with a sausage patty, egg, and slice of cheese wedged in between two slices. The wan-looking sausage adds little to the dish, so a platter of the solo toast is the better way to go.
As for the pie, it’s completely hit or miss what kinds are available — and if you’ll be able to order any in the first place. It took three requests to get the daily lineup, and sadly, only two graced the small pie case. While the filling of the blueberry cobbler pie ($3.50 per slice, add 99 cents for a la mode) bests the blueberry versions Heavy Table sampled during Pie Week two years ago, it also doesn’t taste like it is made with fresh berries. With a scoop of vanilla ice cream, the pie is a decent dessert but not one to remember.
The ho-humness of the food would be easier to swallow (pun intended) if Egg and Pie’s service was up to par. But keeping customers waiting upward of 40 minutes for an uncomplicated lineup of breakfast dishes is hard to defend, especially when the restaurant is only half-full. The ever-annoying Disappearing Server Syndrome also afflicts Egg and Pie, and the response to a comment about the slow service merely elicited a “Yeah, well, we’re busy” from the cashier. Charming. At least with nothing priced more than $9 for breakfast, the bill doesn’t make the situation worse.
Like its nearby counterpart Tommy’s Malt Shop, Egg and Pie Diner lures customers with the promise of a classic dining experience but falls way short. As one member of our group remarked on our way out of the restaurant, “That place made no compelling case not to go to Perkins.” Luckily (?), there’s one only 3 miles away.
Egg and Pie Diner
Classic diner fare in Chaska
222 N Chestnut St
Chaska, MN 55318
OWNER: Ayman Abdelsamie
Sun 7am-3:30 pm
RESERVATIONS / RECOMMENDED: No / No
VEGETARIAN / VEGAN: Yes / No
ENTREE RANGE: $3-9 for breakfast, $4-14 for lunch and dinner