Southern Indiana Living

NOV-DEC 2018

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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Nov/Dec 2018 • 35 B reakfast, meaning quite literally "to break the fasting period of the prior night," is the cornerstone of the daily meal trilogy. Along with its follow-up acts lunch and dinner, break- fast has its own assortment of associated foods, such as bacon, eggs, toast, orange juice, pancakes, waffles and hashbrowns. But for most of us, the daily fast-breaking meal consists of cereal grains in milk. However, for those of you in Southern Indiana who crave some excitement and creativity in your morning breakfast rou- tine and want to send your taste buds on a wildly scrumptious journey, Chris Ham- burger and his staff want to welcome you to the very aptly named Wild Eggs. A former director of golf and gen- eral manager at The Cardinal Club and former head golf professional at Valhalla Golf Club, Hamburger fell in love with the concept of Wild Eggs so much that he made the decision to "jump in and be- come a franchisee." The owner/operator of the Wild Eggs in Jeffersonville says the golf business and the restaurant indus- try aren't wildly different: "A lot of the principles are the same. It's customer ser- vice; it's cleanliness; it's speed; it's mak- ing people want to come back and be in your facility." These core principles allow Hamburger and his staff to create an early morning to early afternoon dining experi- ence that they are delighted to share. "This take, I would say, on breakfast is just so unique that it lures you back in time after time," Hamburger said. And with a menu that can feel somewhat over- whelming to first-time customers due to an abundance of delectable options, Ham- burger explained: "We can absolutely serve bacon and eggs, no problem. Pan- cakes and waffles? Sure, we can do all day long." For the more adventurous custom- ers, however, Hamburger said, "We take those ingredients that you would have in a normal breakfast scene and turn them upside down, and add our own chef-driv- en spin to them." Examples of these creative concoc- tions include one of the more popular items: the Kalamity Katie's Border Bene- dict. "It's a Benedict with a whole lot of Southwest flair," Hamburger said. The item includes green chili cheddar corn cakes, chorizo, pico de gallo, two poached eggs and queso fundido. Another popu- lar dish is the Mr. Potato Head Casse- role, which includes hashbrown potatoes baked with sour cream (with some diced onions, spices and cheddar-jack cheese), breakfast sausage and an egg cooked your way. The restaurant also offers a chil- dren's menu. "We love to have the kids. Having the kids here is awesome; it livens up the place, for sure," Hamburger said. There is even a gluten-free menu available upon request. One of the people at Wild Eggs en- suring that all the items on the various menus are consistently produced at the highest quality possible is kitchen manag- er Derek Nicholson. Having started with Wild Eggs nearly two years ago, Nichol- son, who has 18 years experience in the restaurant industry, became the kitchen manager after starting out as head prep cook. "Consistency is number one. We want to have it the same here as you will downtown or in Greenwood or wherever you go," he said. And "all of our ingredi- ents are fresh: made in-house," Hamburg- er added. "We fresh squeeze our orange juice in-house. We have a juicer; we juice two days a week, which is usually pret- ty cool; if it's going on, the whole place smells like oranges." Another key factor in the high lev- el of consistency of Wild Eggs' creations comes from their food distributors. "Ev- erything we use is local. The founders were very high on making sure that we pulled key ingredients from as many lo- cal vendors as we could," Hamburger said. Several of these distributors have locations throughout Kentucky, such as Pops' Pepper Patch Inc. (in Louisville) and Weisenberger Mills (in Midway). Evan Patterson, a manager and bar- tender for Wild Eggs (with six years of industry experience), has seen the list of regular clientele grow over her two years with the company. "We have a ton of regular business. There's so many people that come in here that I have a relation- ship with that have been coming in for two years and coming consistently, which is really really nice. I've gotten to know a lot of people from working here," Pat- terson said. She noted that remembering preferred orders is one of the aspects of customer service that goes a long way to making customers' experiences special. In regards to the kitchen, Nicholson said he goes to great lengths for those customers with dietary restrictions. "If somebody goes out of their way to tell me, 'Hey, I have this issue,' then I of course take it very seriously," Nicholson said. He begins by trying to identify the base ingredients for whatever product is in question. After taking this step, he said he then tries to "build it from the ground up. Of course, fresh utensils, fresh cutting board if need- ed — just a clean area." Combining both the front of house and kitchen's dedication to customer ser- vice, consistency and freshly made delica- cies, one can see the resulting recipe for a successful restaurant. However, with the restaurant's success, Hamburger of- ""Everything we use is local. The founders were very high on making sure that we pulled key ingredients from as many local vendors as we could." - Chris Hamburger, Owner / Operator

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