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An open letter to the short order cooks of Orange - please respect the eggs

Sloppy eggs on display as part of a Full English.

Upon moving to Orange five years ago I happened upon a café offering a breakfast special of a bacon and egg roll with a coffee.

I can't abide sloppy eggs or undercooked bacon, and so ordering anywhere is always a bit laborious: "Can I please have the egg well done, cooked through; and can you please cook the bacon until it is crispy."

Whoever is taking the order dutifully scribbles furiously on their pad, and the order is dispatched.

Wherever I go, in any town or city, it's always the same: sometimes they get the bacon right, sometimes they get the egg right, but rarely are both achieved in harmony.

And so one becomes reticent, and considers - only briefly, of course - ordering the muesli cup instead.

On my first visit to this particular café, my bacon and egg roll was cooked to order. I had found a new friend.

On my second visit the bacon was cooked to order but the egg was runny, oozing through the bacon and bread, thus rendering all inedible.

I sent it back.

By the time it was ready for a second time, my coffee cup was empty and I had to order another one so I had something to drink as I ate.

The third time I visited I was given sloppy egg and undercooked bacon. The coffee was also rubbish. A trifecta of misery.

I gave it one last shot, but when the B&E again came out undercooked, our time together came to an end.

One Thursday morning recently I ventured to a different café. I liked the look of the menu, and its reasonable prices.

At the ordering stage of the adventure I asked that my egg be cooked all the way through, hard, well done; and that my bacon be crispy.

When the plate landed about 10 minutes later the egg was so shiny and plump, like a boil awaiting the pop, that I had to look away.

I immediately said to the staffer that I had asked for the egg to be well done. The plate was swiftly taken back to the kitchen.

It returned about five minutes later, in the hands of a different staffer, but the egg looked no different.

I again asked that it be cooked well done. I may have mentioned the word "cremated".

Again the plate was returned to the kitchen, and again it returned a few minutes later.

This time it had clearly been run across a pan, at least, but it was still shiny and bubbly, and way too orange.

The egg after being sent back three times.

I conceded defeat and ate everything else on the plate, which was perfectly fine.

The egg was left behind in the hope someone would put two and two together and realise the full magnitude of the situation surrounding the abandoned protein.

Or not.

When paying, I was asked how the meal was.

"All good, except for the egg."

"Oh?" asked the staffer.

"Yeah," I said, "I sent it back three times. I can't eat runny egg, makes me feel unwell. And it infiltrates everything else; it can't be undone."

"I'm the same!" the staffer replied. "I can't do it. But nobody cooks it properly. That's why I order scrambled instead."

I appreciated the tip, and enjoyed the brief moment of camaraderie between a fellow culinary traveller.

However, my egg requirements are quite narrow - hard boiled egg, or cremated fried egg. That's it.

There is simply no room for maneuvering here - no poached, and certainly no scrambled, which for reasons I'm not even vaguely sure of, I simply do not trust.


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