If Robb Frahm ever gets a chance to make omelettes, it's at his home with his family on Sunday mornings. He'll even customize each family member's order. The kids will most likely want ham and cheese, while his wife prefers mushrooms and Swiss cheese with spinach to suit her more adult tastes.
But what about corned beef and cabbage omelettes? Frahm just shook his head and smiled. "That's just for St. Patrick's Day," he said.
Frahm will make these Irish-inspired creations on the morning of St. Paddy's Day over at Work & Church Booze Parlor. He's been making the annual corned beef and cabbage omelettes since 2007, but the tradition has been going on well before then.
Work & Church co-owner Mac Dolan came up with the idea for the holiday-themed breakfast when he owned Tailgator. He wanted something to get people in the bar early for St. Patrick's Day.
"I figured we ought to do something other than drink at 6 in the morning," said Dolan. "So we came up with the corned beef and cabbage omelettes."
The first year, Dolan only sold six omelettes. But word spread fast the following year, resulting in 25 corned beef and cabbage omelettes sold to hungry St. Patrick's Day patrons. The tradition carried over to Dolan's next establishment, Mac Behr's, where Frahm served as a cook.
"I was just making omelettes for the waitresses in the morning," said Frahm. "Mac, seeing me doing it, asked me if I would want to come in early on a St. Patrick's Day to make corned beef and cabbage omelettes."
The two-egg omelettes are cooked on a flat-top griddle. After a quick flip with a spatula, Frahm adds hearty helpings of cabbage and corned beef with a sprinkle of cheese before carefully folding the omelette. He serves the final product on a plate with two wedges of toast.
"It's as easy as that," he said.
Well, it certainly comes easy for Frahm, whose first job was working as a cook at IHOP. That was Frahm's first introduction to the art of breakfast making. Over the years, he worked in several restaurants before deciding he didn't want to be a cook forever.
He has since moved on to working at Gerkin Windows & Doors and even runs his own Facebook page called Creative Glass by Robb, in which Frahm showcases his creativity through glass engraving. Dolan keeps a Frahm-made mirror engraved with the Work & Church "prayer" on the wall of his establishment.
Though Frahm has stepped away from cooking as a profession, he still finds joy cooking summer foods at home whenever he can. Beer can chicken on the grill and taverns are always a lot of fun to make and share with the family.
But even with his Mac Behr's cooking days behind him, Frahm still takes a vacation day every St. Patrick's Day to cook Dolan's corned beef and cabbage omelettes. It has quickly become Frahm's holiday ritual.
"I loved Mac Behr's and working for Mac," he said. "And my wife is part Irish so it's kind of a big holiday for us. We always go to to the parade and bring the kids. I just take St. Patrick's Day off and enjoy the whole day."
If anything, cooking the corned beef and cabbage omelettes brings back old memories of his time spent at Mac Behr's. It's a time Frahm remembers fondly.
"I do miss it sometimes. It brings it back. And it's nice to take a day off from my everyday job to come and do something different."
And, hey, it gives Frahm a chance to brush up on his cooking skills, right?
"No, it never goes away," he said with a laugh.