It’s been 26 years since the Gebran family moved to Arizona from Iowa, bringing love and passion to the most important meal of the day.
U.S. Egg started as one restaurant in Tempe, but has since expanded to six locations across the Valley, with spots also in Phoenix, Chandler and Scottsdale.
With its full lunch and breakfast menu, featuring burgers ($9.89-$15.89), pancakes (to $10.99) and, of course, omelets ($10.89-$11.99), U.S. Egg has become a favorite for locals and visitors.
“It’s what we know, it’s what we breathe and it’s something that we really enjoy and look forward to coming to work to do,” says Gebran Gebran, sitting in a booth at his North Scottsdale location.
A job in the restaurant business wasn’t a stretch for Gebran and his brothers, Michael, Mario and George. They literally grew up in the Iowa restaurant owned by their father, Oscar.
Gebran inspired his dad’s move to Arizona after discovering the original U.S. Egg while attending ASU. The family was entrenched in Iowa, but the older brothers’ desire to move out of state helped Oscar realize Iowa wasn’t quite metropolitan enough to hold the family together.
“So here we are, 26 years later, and his plan worked,” says younger brother, George, with a laugh. “We’re all here in Arizona, none of us are in a different state and we’re working together.”
Even with expansions across the Valley, the brothers and father are still on their feet everyday, checking in or working at the restaurants. On a recent weekday afternoon, Oscar smiled and greeted customers as Gebran looked on.
“We take pride in what we do,” Gebran says. “We’re a family restaurant, which is something that’s becoming a thing of the past.”
Working with family may not suit everyone, but for the brothers, who know their roles and positions within the restaurant, it fits perfectly.
“We’ve always gotten along, we’ve always had a good rapport,” Gebran says. “We don’t take each other too seriously outside of work.”
At work, however, the brothers are busy connecting with the community and improving the business. In Arizona, a game changer was the protein pancake, an idea that came to fitness buffs Gebran and his brother, Michael, in the ’90s.
“The key is the flavor,” George says. “It crunches because of the granola and then the blueberries give you the right flavor.”
Food isn’t the only thing for which the restaurant is known. U.S. Egg works with many Arizona charities, including the 100 Club, AASK, MANA House and Packages from Home. In July, they are working with Packages from Home on a letter-writing campaign that gives diners the chance to write letters to soldiers.
The hustle and bustle of successful restaurants doesn’t afford the brothers weekends off. However, the breakfast and lunch model allows them time in the evening to unwind and relax. The Gebran family flocks to mom’s house for “mandatory” Sunday dinners.
“It’s something that keeps our family together,” George says. “Sunday dinners, the kids, the grandkids all get together.”
With almost 30 years under their belt, the brothers say it’s fulfilling to see their customers leave happy.
“It’s a blessing that we’re able to work with each other and have such a good relationship,” Gebran says. “Serving the community and watching people come in and leave with the satisfaction from a good meal—what’s better than that?”
7119 E. Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale
3238 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
131 E. Baseline Road, Tempe
402 E. Greenway Parkway, Phoenix
5840 W. Chandler Boulevard, Chandler
2957 W. Bell Road, Phoenix
– Carson Mlnarik, The Entertainer! / Edited for Phoenix.org