FEED ME: Cafe Genevieve – Tough love

By on April 16, 2013

JACKSON HOLE, WYO – I want to like Café Genevieve. I really, really do.

Photo cutline: Belgian waffle with a side of berries and whipped cream. Photo credit: Geraldine Mishev

Photo cutline: Belgian waffle with a side of berries and whipped cream.
Photo credit: Geraldine Mishev

I love the log cabin and its history. I love the location close to home. I love that it serves breakfast until 3 in the afternoon. I love that it serves alcohol all day and makes something called pig candy, which is every bit as delicious as it sounds. I love its outdoor deck and the cottonwood trees that tower over it.

But then I went and ordered one of their eggs Benedict specials. Instead of the traditional Canadian bacon between English muffin and poached eggs covered in Hollandaise sauce, I went for a crab cake version ($15). I made sure to ask whether it was indeed real crab. And by “real crab” I mean blue crab, the Maryland state crustacean and the kind of crab I grew up catching at the end of a pier jutting into Maryland’s Eastern Bay. As soon as it was affirmed the crab cakes in question were made from the sweet, juicy meat of blue crabs, the rest of the Café Genevieve menu was dead to me.

When the crab cake eggs Benedict arrived, I remembered I had tried Genevieve’s recipe before on a lunch sandwich that I found inedible. As someone who grew up eating blue crab in all its forms, I can assure you that true crab cakes are not deep-fried.

The two crab cakes included in my eggs Benedict (and also on the prior sandwich) were deep-fried. There should be no exterior coating, beyond a healthy dose of melted butter, of any sort between the eater and the crab cake. At Genevieve, there is, and it’s mushy, brown, and somewhat laborious to penetrate with a fork.

Perhaps if Genevieve’s deep frying technique and ingredients were more to my taste, I could have soldiered on. Alas, I found it overly greasy and with a taste akin to dirty socks. To the blue crabs that gave their lives so that I might enjoy a crab cake eggs Benedict at Café Genevieve, I regret your deaths were in vain.

My next time in, I did not make the same mistake. I went for the classic eggs Benedict ($12). Upon the order’s arrival, one of the poached eggs was raw, its uncooked, uncontained yolk matching the Hollandaise sauce in consistency as both ran over the English muffin’s edge and into the homestyle potatoes. Seriously? Did the server really not look at the plate she was delivering?

However, after calling it to her attention, I received an immediate apology and a new, perfectly poached egg atop a fresh muffin. At that point I couldn’t have asked for more.

Genevieve’s Hollandaise sauce is the best in town. It has a slow-building heat that, by the time you’re using any last vestiges of English muffin to soak up any last remains of egg and sauce off your plate, has your tongue and taste buds tingling nicely. Its complexity makes up for the lack of interest in the homestyle potatoes. Would it be that difficult to toss in the occasional sweet potato or yam chunk to mix things up a bit? Or, because Genevieve does celebrate the pig like no other eatery in town, how about adding a few nibs of pancetta?

While I was finally happy with my classic eggs Benedict, I still think my friend ordered better: a Belgian waffle ($8) with a side of berries and whipped cream ($3.50). The side of berries was substantial and looked very fresh.

Usually I pride myself on my ordering ability, fairly frequently ferreting out the best stuff on the menu, but I have not done well at Genevieve. I know many people love this place. Please pass along any ordering guidance so I too can love it.

135 E. Broadway,732-1910, genevievejh.com

About Geraldine Mishev

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