Eggs one of the most affordable sources of protein.
Originally published on Forbes.com.
A few blocks away, outside a former pizza restaurant in the Venice neighborhood of Los Angeles, a line of hungry hipsters forms and rounds the corner under the iconic Venice sign that appears way too often in Showtime’s "Californication." Their mission, this and every day, at all hours, is to indulge in one of the eight sandwiches and other offerings with one ingredient in common: eggs.
The restaurant is Eggslut ? a bawdy name that has upped the quality of egg cuisine to a new level of culinary excellence and brought breakfast all day far beyond what McDonald’s could ever dream of.
Eggslut is paving the way for other egg-based restaurants like LA’s The Crack Shack, New York City’s Egg Shop and egg, Las Vegas’ The Cracked Egg and the Jersey Shore’s The Chicken or the Egg to become the next big trend in fast casual dining ? and quite possibly create a new nationwide fast-casual format, with a high-profit margin and a limited menu that appeals to the millennials and Gen Z members searching for exotic menu offerings at a reasonable price point.
My favorite sandwich at Eggslut is the Fairfax: cage-free soft scrambled eggs and chives, mixed with cheddar cheese, caramelized onions and sriracha in a warm brioche bun. Take that, Egg McMuffin!
Other sandwich offerings include the Bacon, Egg & Cheese; the Gaucho (made with seared Wagyu tri-tip steak); and, of course, an Angus beef cheeseburger with over-medium egg. For purists, there is a coddled egg on a potato puree, poached in a glass jar, aptly named Slut. There is no question: These are gourmet recipes and presentations that range from $6 to $9 for the aforementioned Slut.
Eggs have been a hot (pardon the reference) trend since the disastrous HPAI H5 Avian Flu in April 2015 culled over 42 million birds from our food supply, reducing laying hen populations by about 10 percent and driving egg prices to their highest levels. The unfortunate timing came only months after the publication of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines, which concluded that dietary cholesterol should “no longer be considered a nutrient of concern” and exonerated eggs. The prior year, high-protein diets rushed to the forefront as studies linked protein-rich diets to weight loss, added muscle mass and increased strength, giving diet plans including Atkins, Paleo and The Zone a second life.
Burger restaurants quickly started offering a fried egg atop their burgers, found consumers flocking to the offering and upped their menu pricing far beyond what the egg cost.
The American Egg Board’s annual tracker research reports that the number of heavy egg users, those who purchase more than three dozen eggs per month, has increased to 45%, and retail egg sales are up almost 4 percent as of September 2016, according to Nielsen.
And now, egg prices are down. As the flocks were replaced, egg prices dropped to an average of $1.33 a dozen in July, the last month reported according to BLS ? less than half the cost of the record high in September 2015, when the price reached $2.96. That makes eggs one of the most affordable sources of protein. Interesting timing as we start to see burger joints across the nation shuttering their doors, even trendy ones like Shake Shack, which reported a 2.5% decline in same-store sales earlier this year. According to The NPD Group, one major cause is the rising prices of burgers.
I admit it. I’m an egg slut and proud of it.