Boxcar Benny Review: Southern Benny

A southern-styled eggs benedict at Hops at 84th East in Holland, Michigan.

A southern style eggs benedict

After a wild night exploring all that the city of Holland has to offer, we stopped at Hops at 84th East — an utterly amazing bar with a great build your own bloody mary station and extensive craft tap list.

Their brunch menu offers a traditional eggs benedict, along with a southern style eggs benedict that features grilled biscuit, house bacon, wilted spinach, poached egg, and sausage gravy with croquettes. And after reading that, I was sold on the southern. Here’s how it ranked.

Hollandaise: 2/5

I hate to lead with the sauce, but this dish could have been near perfect it wasn’t for the hollandaise here. Well technically it wasn’t even hollandaise, and while that’s perfectly okay (I love a benny that’s not afraid to go bold with a new approach) the sausage gravy was as plain as you could get. It offered very little in the way of sausage flavor or gravy, and if it wasn’t for the menu description I would have had no idea that it was even meant to be sausage gravy. And what’s saddest of all is that almost everything about this dish was so perfect, if the gravy could have stepped it up a notch, this would be the upper echelon of all-time greats.

Eggs: 5/5

The egg was perfect in every way. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen such perfectly poached eggs before. The fork cut through them like butter, and the center was filled with a golden yolk of goodness that cascaded down over the biscuit. For as hungover as I was, the sight of that sunshiney egg bursting open was like the equivalent of seeing the gates of heaven open.

Meat: 2.5/5

You would think for a southern eggs benny they would opt for a nice slice of hearty breakfast ham. But the house bacon was offered instead, and unfortunately, it was just average, if not a little greasy and a bit too chewy.

Muffin: 5/5

Another perfect score. This grilled biscuit was better than any english muffin I’ve ever had. It was an airy, almost cloud-like piece of dough that was well-buttered and maintained a crispy grilled outside with a pillow-like inside. Perfection.

Side: 5/5

And here we have another perfect score. The side is genius. I mean what better brunch companion than a ball of fried mashed potato? It was absolutely delicious and a perfect addition for a southern style eggs benedict and for that hangover hungriness.

Overall: 19.5/25

Overall, a great choice. While there were a few misses, I think the perfect scores for the sides, biscuit, and eggs, makes this a definite must-try choice for eggs benedict. At 19.5 it ranks at the coveted #3 Best Eggs Benedict so far, putting it just behind Baldwin Street Grille’s Badass Eggs Benedict at 20, and just a half-point ahead of SIP Eggs Benedict at 19 points.