Sometimes, you just have to give it up and go with the flow.
It was obvious early on that prompt service wasn't a strong suit of The Daily Egg. Although we were greeted and seated promptly, a request for the cafe au lait listed on the menu was answered with a cup of just plain coffee - decent enough but definitely garden variety. A question brought the response that the specialty coffee machine was broken, which made the substitution understandable, but an explanation would've been nice.
After ordering, it seemed that we had to wait an excessive amount of time to get our orders, even though the restaurant wasn't busy. When we got them, a pancake was delivered without any accompanying syrup, and it was a while before we could snag the attention of an employee. Whole-wheat toast had been ordered, white delivered. Getting a glass of water and the check posed additional challenges. No wonder the older guys at a nearby table were taking their time, chatting over numerous cups of coffee. They may not have been retirees when they came in, but they were by the time they finished their coffee.
But here's the thing about The Daily Egg that persuaded us to sit back, forget about the time and relax: The food is really, really good.
Take, for example, the Classic Gyro Omelet ($9.79), which may be a fairly common dish in the Greek towns of the Industrial North but a rarity in Las Vegas, where we don't have a surfeit of Greek restaurants that serve breakfast.
The four-egg omelet was surprisingly fluffy, considering it was loaded with gyro meat and served in a cakelike fashion. It also was absolutely loaded with flavor, the characteristic seasonings of the juicy meat augmented by lots of diced tomatoes and just enough chopped onion. The omelet was great on its own, even better when we dipped from the cup of tzatziki sauce, that magical condiment of yogurt, cucumbers, garlic and dill that added a fresh, springlike accent.
Although we were tempted by The Daily Egg's crepes with pastry cream, Belgian waffles and lemon-poppyseed pancakes, we were positively intrigued by the Shawarma Breakfast Pita ($8.79 for chicken, $9.79 for beef), choosing the chicken version. Again, four eggs, and again, they were fluffy, and tucked with the marinated grilled meat into warm pita bread.
But wait! There's more! If prices listed here struck you as a bit on the high side, know that that's because the omelets and combinations served there are large enough to fuel most of us for a day. Each is offered with two side dishes, from which one can choose hash browns, toast, an English muffin, pancakes, cottage cheese or fresh fruit, and our selections revealed still more quirky aspects of The Daily Egg. One is that the toast was comprised of one slice. We're not actually complaining about this because it was still more than we could eat, but it's odd to see one slice of toast when an order is customarily two. And the little packet of butter that accompanied it was melted, which made it really messy when we opened it. On the other hand, the hash browns were crisp, fresh and free of excess oil.
When we asked our server what kind of fruit was available and she just said "mixed" we weren't expecting much, but to our surprise we were served a good-sized bowl containing fresh watermelon, cantaloupe, strawberries, grapes and pineapple.
The "pancakes" was "pancake," but one the size of a dinner plate. And it was a fine example of the pancake art, thickish but extremely fluffy toward the center, more conventional around the edges, and topped with lots of whipped butter. When we asked for the missing syrup and the server offered to bring us a hot pancake if it had gotten cold, he made points that went a long way toward making us forget - or at least forgive - the other service flaws.
And, as I said, so did the food, and in a really big way. I wouldn't recommend that you go to The Daily Egg expecting a standard of service that is anything but, shall we say, relaxed. But I would definitely recommend that you go there for the food.
Las Vegas Review-Journal restaurant reviews are done anonymously at Review-Journal expense. Contact Heidi Knapp Rinella at 383-0474 or firstname.lastname@example.org.