Once upon a time, there were four omelets. The stinkbomb, the nostalgia, the ideal, and the winner.
The stinkbomb was disgusting. I made it in the microwave when I was eight years old. I was curious: I wanted to know what beaten eggs mixed with random food would smell and taste like. It turned into a fluffy, yet smelly mess and I couldn’t eat it. I did not want to eat eggs for a long time.
It later grew on me to try scrambled eggs. Then I tried different variations of eggs, such as fried egg sandwiches in my college’s dining hall, and of course, omelets. I fell in love with vegetable omelets while at Quinnipiac University at the Acropolis Diner. I always think back to this omelet; for me, this is the nostalgia. The juicy vegetables mixed in with the fluffy eggs made my impression of omelets spark.
Then came the ideal. This was the omelet i saw on the internet. Chef Jacques Pepin explains how to make the ideal on the Travel Channel show “No Reservations:”
Crack open some eggs. Do it on a flat surface so the yolks don’t break. Put them in a bowl with some salt and pepper. Break yolks with a fork. Beat them so there are no egg whites left. Add fillings such as fresh chives. Pour mixture in frying pan coated with butter. Make sure eggs that are solidifying get pushed around with a fork (did you know eggs cooked at high temperatures can toughen them?). Fold over when a crust starts to form. Plate when it gets just a little brown.
Compared to the nostalgia omelet, Jacques’ omelet is too soft. The nostalgia omelet is light, fluffy and just a tad brown.
The winner comes from Stella’s Diner, tucked away in the Northside section of Syracuse at 110 Wolf St. This diner won not only Best Diner this year in the Syracuse New Times, but also in Table Hopping.
The menu at Stella’s lists its omelettes (spelled the French way, where the dish originated in the mid-16th century) on the first page. The 14 omelets listed ($5.69-$6.59) take me on a culinary trip, including omelets such as the San Francisco, (broccoli, spinach, tomato and Swiss), and the one I found most unique: the New Orleans: onion, peppers, sausage, Cheddar and Creole sauce. I chose the “New Yorker” omelet (broccoli, mushrooms and Cheddar cheese).
This omelet is a winner: I’ve tasted tough, browned omelets before and omelets too soft for me. My “New Yorker” was a bright yellow half-moon pouf filled with broccoli and mushroom pieces cooked just right: not too tough, not too soft and just a tad brown. As I took each bite, I could clearly pick out the soft, yet textured green broccoli pieces from the meaty, gray mushrooms. What really surprised me was the sharpness and texture of the cheddar: I was not expecting it to taste so sharp and look so stringy versus gooey.
With tax and tip, I paid around $11 for my meal. Considering the large portions, not bad.
Omelets at Stella’s are a must. It is my winner. This omelet is no stinkbomb, and packs the punch of the omelet-to-try in the Syracuse area.
110 Wolf St.
5 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. (Mon. – Tues.)
5 a.m. – 9 p.m. (Wed. – Sun.)
(Note: the preceding is a food essay I wrote back in January, 2011 and am posting now.)