A good quiche is hard to find in Macon. I’ve been to just about every restaurant in town at least once and I can only think of one that serves it, although I suspect others may. Perhaps it is because the one I can think of is so memorable.
Eggs are one of the most difficult things to perfect. A legend I once heard is that French cooking schools grade their incoming class by how well they can prepare eggs. If you graded the performance of most cooks, the proteins in their egg dishes has been robbed of all moisture as the heat forces them to squeeze out every molecule of water. Conversely some are under-cooked and almost soupy. The problem is that the window of done-ness is narrow for eggs and it takes a skilled cook or chef to find that sweet spot.
Paul Harpins has definitely found it in his quiches. When I decided to swing by, my plan was just to eat a light lunch, so I ordered their three cheese quiche which came with a side green salad and a cold pasta salad. The plate looked spectacular, and it is clear that they care about the presentation of their dishes. But even better was the taste and texture.
The quiche was firm, but not overly so. The combination of cheddar, Parmesan and feta blended perfectly into each savory bite. The crust was every so flaky and buttery
that you wished it surrounded the wedge so that there would be more of it. But you also cannot ignore the pasta and green salads which matched up well with the main entree. I enjoyed it so much, I bought a whole quiche from the takeaway bin for dinner that night.
The takeaway portion comes in a tin and I found heating it up for about 10-15 minutes in a 350 oven was sufficient. I really didn’t time it and just waited for the smell of the toasting cheese to make me hungry. Whatever you do, just warm it, as you do not want to continue to cook the egg or burn it. My five-year-old daughter Isobel liked it so much that she said they were the best eggs that she’s ever tasted. And I cook some great eggs myself. The experience has left us with a quiche craving and since we’ve made 2 ourselves.
But Harpin’s doesn’t only serve quiche, they have a wide range of classic dishes for a nice lunch, like chicken or seafood salad, brothy and creamy soups, and daily features. It’s best to follow them on Facebook to keep up to date. Once a month they serve dinner as well. This month featured steak au poivre (pepper steak).
On a subsequent visit, I had a chicken salad sandwich which was absolutely beautifully presented and the taste was just as high in quality. I upgraded the side to a bowl of crab and corn soup for a couple of extra dollars and it was also amazing.
Whether it’s a lunch or picking up a prepared takeaway dinner, Harpin’s serves high quality fair and never disappoints. You may pay a little more for lunch than at a run-of-the-mill place, but the quality, service, and friendliness make it a great value.