Short Orders: Norma's Cafe, Farmers Branch

Norma's Cafe
3330 Belt Line
Farmers Branch

I love diners that serve breakfast all day long. There's just something about pancakes in the middle of the day or an evening meal of sausage and hash browns topped with a rich, runny egg...except that you can't order sunny side up in Farmers Branch.

At least that's what my waitress in the Joey Galloway jersey told me when I stopped for a very late breakfast on Sunday. No "undercooked" eggs.

Hmm. One wonders how they make a Hollandaise...

Their menu includes eggs Benedict, of course. And my corned beef hash--now with a scrambled egg--also comes with the classic French sauce. Or, rather, a lame variation.

I hate it when communities interfere with longstanding cooking techniques, as you know. Banning foie gras, banning raw-ish eggs, banning lard--it's all so misguided. Hell, as cruised along Belt Line toward Norma's, I saw an ambulance pulling into Pete's Cafe. Maybe a guest choked on solid egg yolk.

That being said, Norma's in Farmers Branch gives you the same retro-diner come as you are warmth as the Oak Cliff original. Joey Galloway was quick with refills and Southern in banter, approaching us with "what can I get for you darlins?"

A more up-to-date jersey for you, perhaps.

The diced hash browns pick up rustic flavors from the pan. Corned beef has the tangy-tinny-salty character you expect, cream gravy for the biscuits breaks down too readily, but carries a nice peppery sting. On the other hand, their biscuits were crumbly and the egg scrambled...and lukewarm to start.

Norma's is opening a new location in North Dallas--far north, as in Trinity Mills and the Tollway--which should be a little less constrained (at least in the kitchen). But this one, for suburbanites, just about beats a haul to the original.

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