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Johnnie Mars egg-sperts: They're not just for breakfast anymore
EGG-SPERT OMELETS

Johnnie Mars egg-sperts: They're not just for breakfast anymore

From the Collection: Recent area food stories series

They're not just for breakfast anymore

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SIOUX CITY | No yolk about it, Tommy Baryo does a crack-up job when it comes to made-to-order omelets.

The Johnnie Mars manager can easily go through nearly 4,000 eggs over the course of a week.

"Everybody wants eggs," said Baryo said. "Especially on the weekend."

Baryo learned the over-easy tricks of the trade from his dad, John Baryo, at the family-owned restaurant at 2401 Fifth St.

"I train every one of our cooks to make omelets the same way," John Baryo said. "You must always use a clean spatula, cook the eggs slowly, and never roll the omelet onto itself.

"An omelet should be a perfect square when it's done," he said, as Tommy Baryo prepared a Johnnie Mars omelet -- a massive four-egg omelet teeming with ham, onions and peppers, along with American and feta cheese. "Now, it makes for a beautiful plate."

With more than 30 years of restaurant experience, John Baryo has perfected his all-day breakfast philosophy.

"Eggs are great morning, noon or night," he said.

Katie Coyle, director of consumer affairs for the Iowa Poultry Association, said eggs were the No. 1 trending food for restaurants nationwide.

Eggs contain Vitamins A, B, D, E and K, along with 6 grams of protein. Averaging around 70 calories per egg, they also have appeal for those hoping to watch their diets as a New Year's resolution.

"Because of their health benefits, eggs are considered a 'superfood' and essential to one's diet," she said.

In addition to fluffy omelets and frittata, Coyle said eggs can be incorporated into soups, salads and potato dishes for an additional creamy element.

"Many chefs are also using eggs as a way to top pizzas, burgers and other savory dishes," she said. "There's no need to think of eggs as a food eaten solely for breakfast."

Coyle said she regularly hard-boils eggs on the weekend to provide a quick, nutritious snack for her kids during the week.

"My children love hard-boiled eggs and so do I," she said. "Eggs are certainly a better option than junk food."

While Johnnie Mars patrons won't find eggs gracing any of the restaurant's mainstay burgers, sandwiches or gyros, John Baryo said they will always be a part of the restaurant's classic breakfast menu.

From scrambled, sunny-side up, basted, over-easy or over-hard, he knows eggs are a crackable component to his success.

Looking over a menu loaded with an assortment of Denver, Western and mushroom and cheese omelets, John Baryo said nothing is more enticing or as appetizing as an egg.

"You can get a plate of eggs anywhere," he said. "Getting a fluffy, perfectly-cooked omelet is a thing of beauty."

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