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Eggmann? Earl? How about both!

Making sure you know about Boise's best-kept new-ish breakfast joint, Eggman and Earl.

Article by Rob Lanterman

Photography by Jeannie Jackson

Originally published in Meridian Lifestyle

If you’ve lived in Boise long enough, you are probably aware of the strip mall off Boise Ave and Apple, across from Timberline High School. You may also know that there's a breakfast spot in the complex. But if you've never stepped foot there, now is the time to do so. In late 2017, that breakfast joint was revitalized as Eggmann and Earl. Now, it’s one of the best in the city.

To say a lot of “love” goes into Eggmann and Earl may ring cliche, but it's true. “Dining to me is emotional,” says Timberline alumni Jeannie Jackson, who co-owns and runs the restaurant with her husband, Josh Jackson. "That’s how [my family does] everything: Food. We’re celebrating? We’re mourning? We’re doing a birthday? There’s a death? We’re eating food.” This outlook on eating drove them to start Eggmann and Earl. “My husband loves to cook. Most of [our] recipes are his that he cooked for my son and I," she says.

With that emotional appreciation for eating motivating them, the Jacksons and staff work hard to make customers' dining experiences top-notch. Once you visit, you'll notice that the staff already has personal rapport with most of the customers. Plus, most of them have known Jeannie for a long time. The restaurant's walls are decorated with a mix of Wes Anderson works and hilarious gifts from customers. Though Jeannie jokes that she is a “collector of bad art,” the relatable lack of taking themselves too seriously makes the restaurant feel like home. “Most places, it’s like, 'go for the service, don’t stay for the food,'” Jeannie observes. “When you read our reviews, you consistently have ‘best service, best food, best atmosphere.’ It’s kinda like we’re hitting all the notches on the belt to make a perfect dining experience.” 

Of course, the most important part of any restaurant is its food. At Eggmann and Earl, it's the food they work hardest on, starting with carefully selecting ingredients. “We use clarified butter, not that move-over synthetic butter. We source most of our needs here in Idaho. We make everything from scratch, but we do not skip on the details of our food. It’s small, intimate batch-making on everything,” Jeannie says. This knack for local support makes them another local restaurant looking to continue putting Boise first amidst its recent growth.

That extra effort continues to the food's presentation. Eggmann's menu disarms visitors with humor and wit. For instance, some of their breakfast staples are named things like the Netflix & Chill burrito and the Keep Calm and Scrambler On. After polling her staff, Jeannie tells us that the Loaded Hangover Hashbrowns, the house benedict, and The Walrus are their most defining recipes. There's much to say about the latter of the three. “The Walrus is a heaping amount of seasoned and hand-chopped red earls and our proprietary seasoning. Then we layer it with our house-made biscuit, our house-made sausage patty, then hit it with two ladles of our housemade gravy, and eggs [made] your way. And then two bacon,” Jeannie explains, before concluding that “it’s supposed to look like a walrus. The eggs are eyeballs and the bacon are the tusks.”

It’s no surprise that this comedic yet focused attitude toward dining has attracted so many locals. Jeannie and Josh have only run Eggmann and Earl for five years (two of which during the pandemic's high points), but they’ve built a community around their restaurant that longstanding places in the Valley dream about. Don't sleep on it: Eggmann and Earl is one of Boise’s best-kept breakfast spots. If you haven’t been there, visit soon and experience the magic.