By Christina Fuoco-Karasinski | May 19, 2021
George Gebran has spent his life working for his family’s beloved breakfast and lunch restaurant, U.S. Egg.
He didn’t consciously decide to do so. It was assumed he would follow in his family’s footsteps. Gebran says, for him, there was a simple answer for jumping headfirst into the dining industry.
“Also, none of us wanted real jobs,” Gebran says with a laugh. “We all went to college, but when we graduated, none of us wanted to work without each other.”
Led by patriarch Oscar Gebran and his four sons, U.S. Egg recently celebrated its 35th anniversary. The eatery is known for its egg dishes and savory sandwiches. Outside of its walls, U.S. Egg’s staff is known for working with foster children and veterans.
“We’re proud and we’re blessed and humbled to have such a strong family business,” Gebran says. “We’re very, very happy with being in the Valley and working hard all these years.”
With locations in Scottsdale, Tempe, Phoenix and Chandler, U.S. Egg is best known for its protein pancakes — a dish that came to fruition before its time.
“We’re the home of the original protein pancake,” Gebran says.
“Ever since then, it’s seeped into other menus in the Valley. That is definitely our signature dish. People line up out the door for our protein pancakes.”
Labeled on the menu as a “must have!” the protein pancakes are filled with wild Maine blueberries, homemade granola, cinnamon and slivered almonds ($13.89).
“We were way ahead of the curve to have protein anything,” he says. “That was definitely not the trend in the late ’80s and early ’90s. My brothers were into bodybuilding and working out and making protein shakes. That’s where it was born. We thought, ‘Why don’t we have a protein pancake?’ They started working on a recipe and developing it.”
Like the pancakes, the granola is made from scratch. U.S. Egg’s coffee is sold at retail as well.
Gebran entered the family business at age 17, just after graduating high school in Iowa. He attended Scottsdale Community College and then ASU.
“We all didn’t really see much beyond working together at the restaurant,” Gebran says with a laugh. It was fun to watch the brand expand.”
He attributes U.S. Egg’s success to the hierarchy of the family business and respect. Gebran and his siblings look up to their father, and that kindness trickles down throughout the family.
“We always worked really well together and always respected each other’s differences,” says Gebran, who lives in the Kierland area. “We really appreciate each other’s talents. What I can’t do, my brother can do, and vice versa.
“Our family structure of ‘father knows best’ and then the oldest brother works out well. It doesn’t mean that my youngest brother isn’t the smartest. We just have different talents in different ways. We respect the hierarchy of the family business. It’s a lot of work, really, rolling up our sleeves and working hard.”
Gebran says he’s hoping the family business will continue, as there are 13 grandchildren, some of whom have shown an interest.
“This is a family legacy brand,” he says. “We do want to continue expanding. We want to grow. I have children who will hopefully be interested in 10 years. There’s a big opportunity for them to step in.”
7119 E. Shea Boulevard, Scottsdale
3238 N. Scottsdale Road, Scottsdale
131 E. Bell Road, Tempe
402 E. Greenway Parkway, Phoenix
5840 W. Chandler Boulevard, Chandler
2957 W. Bell Road, Phoenix