Egg. Cheese. Some sort of pork. This should be easy, right? Right?
Turns out, not so much. For as straightforward as this meal sounds, it’s got endless variations and our three food writers all went in wildly different directions. Luckily, we had the current king of the breakfast game watching over (and mocking) our efforts. If you don’t know who Chef Alvin Cailan is, well, you haven’t been staying up on the A.M. eating scene. His food cart-turned-international-chain Eggslut is the sort of place that LA’s cool kids have been lining up at for years now. And not just because it’s popular on Instagram, but because the food is freaking delicious.
Read on as Vince Mancini, Zach Johnston, and I all clamor to impress Chef Alvin with our best breakfast sandwiches and burns. And be sure to check the chef’s newest season of The Burger Show on YouTube.
BLT Showdown — 1) Vince 2) Zach 3) Steve
Mac & Cheese Showdown — 1) Vince 2) (tie) Zach, Steve
Taco Showdown — 1) Steve 2) Zach 3) Vince
Winter Stew Showdown — 1) Zach 2) Steve 3) Vince
Date Night Showdown — 1) Zach 2) Vince 3) Steve
Pasta Showdown — 1) Steve 2) Zach 3) Vince
Hot Beef Showdown — 1) Zach 2) Vince 3) Steve
Shellfish Showdown — 1) Vince 2) Zach 3) Steve
BBQ Showdown — 1) Steve 2) Zach 3) Vince
Pumpkin Spice Showdown — 1) (tie) Vince, Zach 2) Steve
Thanksgiving Side Dish Showdown — 1) Vince 2) Steve 3) Zach
Christmas Dessert Showdown — 1) Steve 2) Vince 3) Zach
Chili Cook-off Showdown — 1) Zach 2) Steve 3) Vince
Nacho Showdown — 1) Vince 2) Steve 3) Zach
Burger Showdown — 1) Zach 2) Vince 3) Steve
Breakfast Burrito Showdown — 1) Vince 2) Zach 3) Steve
Fried Noodle Showdown — 1) Steve 2) Zach 3) Vince
Fried Chicken Sandwich Showdown — 1) Vince 2) Steve 3) Zach
Christmas Dessert Showdown Rematch: 1) Zach 2) Steve 3) Vince
Italian Comfort Food Showdown: 1) Steve 2) (tie) Zach & Vince
Date Night Showdown Part II: 1) Vince 2) Zach 3) Steve
Party Food Showdown: 1) Steve 2) Vince 3) Zach
Grilling Showdown: 1) Zach 2) Steve 3) Vince
Film and TV Food Showdown: 1) Vince 2) Zach 3) Steve
We’re giving three points to the winner and one to second place for each round. All votes are counted equally. As it stands, the score is:
VINCE’S SPICY FRENCH TOAST CRUNCH SNACK
As you may have noticed from my various loving odes to the Egg McMuffin, the AM Crunch Wrap, and hash browns in general, your man is a big-time breakfast piggy from the way back. True, I’m more of a breakfast burrito/breakfast taco kinda guy, and breakfast sandwiches tend more to be something portable I eat quickly in the car or on my cigarette boat. But for this challenge, I really tried to think about what kind of breakfast sandwich would convert me into a real, sit-down-and-eat-this-bitch-at-the-table kind of mood.
I tried to think about things I love and things that I hate in a breakfast sandwich. First off, and apparently this is somewhat controversial, but as much as I love a runny yolk in nearly all situations, I simply cannot abide yolk dripping down my hands and forearms when I’m eating a sandwich. For one thing, it’s tragic to lose precious yolk, and for another, it’s gross to have it on your hands and hard to get out of your arm hairs. Once we get to that level of messy I’d rather put the thing down and eat it with a knife and a fork, at which point it’s not really a sandwich anymore, it’s more like a half-assed benedict. Secondly, much less controversial, I hate a dry breakfast sandwich.
As for loves, I love most things that manage to incorporate fried potato (see AM Crunch Wrap above). Of course, it’s kind of hard to square “no runny yolks” with “not dry” and “incorporates potato.” But hey, that’s why it’s called a challenge!
My solution for dryness here was to turn the sandwich bread into French toast. I also used two cheese slices, avocado schmear, pickled some jalapeños for heat/tang/crunch, and chives from the garden for freshness. The bread was a nice, airy sourdough loaf from the local French bakery.
I think it works without, but I wanted bacon on there. Bacon is hack but it’s hack for a reason. Anyway, I was inspired by my recent trip to Australia, where numerous times I saw them cook bacon on a barbecue, which oddly I’d never thought to do before. It gave the bacon an even smokier flavor and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. So I took some thick-cut, applewood smoked bacon, dropped a little charcoal in the bottom of the grill and did my bacon on the outdoor barbecue.
I don’t know that there’s a “secret” to cooking good hash browns, other than practicing so you can get the temperature right.
- Two Yukon golds, peeled, then grated into a mesh strainer over a pan to drain some of the water.
- Enough oil to cover the entire bottom of the pan with a few millimeters depth (I use a mix of butter and olive oil).
- Oil should be hot enough to sizzle without burning the butter. You can tell when it’s ready to flip by the smell (you probably know what “done” potatoes smell like even if you think you don’t). They should be crunchy on the outside, cooked and still moist on the inside.
Basically, I wanted the batter to keep the bread moist and the flavors to mimic hollandaise sauce. So I made a batter out of:
- Egg yolks.
- Heavy cream.
- Juice of a whole lemon.
- Pinch of cayenne.
I grilled it up, slapped the cheese on (Monterey Jack — just wanted a good melting cheese without any crazy flavors), and popped it under the broiler to melt.
This is for two sandwiches. I was going for over medium with plenty of butter. That is, cooked on not too high heat juuuust enough for the yolk not to drip.
Sorry, this is long. But essentially, French Toast, cheese, avocado schmear (cut into a small cross-hatch then spread across the cheese like butter so that your avo slices don’t fall out while you eat), chives, hash brown, barbecued bacon, egg, pickled jalapeño slaw, more chives, cheese, toast.
Admittedly, it’s not what you’d call “light.” But this sandwich has everything you could want! Heat, crunch, spice, crispy potatoes, creamy avocados, melty cheese, smoke, a hint of acid and herbaceousness, and bread that tastes like it’s smothered in Hollandaise — and best of all, it stays perfectly together while you eat it with no yolk dripping onto your lap and ruining your leather pants. You might want to nap afterward, but you’ll have earned it. And anyway, that’s what Sundays are for. Take a rest, you big lug.
ZACH ON VINCE’S:
I never in a million years thought it’d be Mancini who brought the Monte Cristo back to the mainstream. Albeit a Fresno country club version that an 80-year-old grannie would eat half of, wrap the other half in a paper napkin and stow away in her purse, and then feed to her yappy little dog who’d then throw it up in the faux-grass backyard because it’s too rich.
Look, man, you want something that’s light and then you make freaking FRENCH TOAST? You want something that’s not dry? Dude, when have you ever had french toast that didn’t need a cup of maple syrup to cut through the inherently dry scrambled-egg bread? So. Many. Questions. Honestly, I would eat the shit out of this sandwich had it been presented in nice slices of toast with plenty of butter … and a runny yolk. But the french toasting seems like you’re doing the opposite of everything you’re aiming to achieve in your preamble.
Lastly, we need to talk about your hash browns. You know this is coming. But here’s how you make those so you don’t have that grey mush inside as I see in your cross-section of this sandwich. You missed a step or two to draw out water and starch which means I know these were crispy but mushy. You can’t trick me, Mancini!
STEVE ON VINCE’S:
Okay, there’s something I really love about this. And maybe it’s post-engagement Vince or Fresno Vince or The Glow of a Top-Rated Podcast Vince or whatever, but… You were creative. Like really creative. I dig that. Sure, you win this contest a lot. But your technique has generally been more about sly pandering than wild flights of fancy. You’ve almost never gotten weird with it.
We need more of this Vince — if for no other reason than that it opens the door to better roasting. So here goes:
We all do a technique here of using our writing to caveat our cooking — inoculating our mistakes and conditioning the readers to our way of thinking. Generally, I’m as guilty as the next guy… unless the next guy is you. Because this shit is overboard. What you’ve written here is directly contradicted by your photos and it’s giving me #FakeNews-triggers. After all your yolk talk — and Jesus Christ, dude, how/where/what are you eating where yolk-in-arm-hair is a mention-worthy occurrence? — that yolk of yours is fully broken, spread, and cooked. I know because I have eyeballs and I’m looking at it. Your sidecut found a sliver or soft-ish yolk but “jusssssst enough for the yolk not to drip”?
Nah, dude. That’s dry and cooked. Fear not, your precious arm hairs are safe.
The same goes for the bread (we see the sidecut, it’s just plain ol’ bread inside) and the potatoes (Zach’s right, they needed a good rinse). But what I really can’t abide is this talk of extra smoky bacon, achieved on a cast-iron pan over either A) briquettes dropped loosely into the grease trap of a gas grill, as the writing implied, or B) gas itself, which is the same as what I cook with on my stove. The notion that this somehow rendered a smokier product than you could in the kitchen over a burner is objectively untrue and wins you the Rube Goldberg award for the month.
Still, the cayenne in the French Toast mix was a cool idea and I don’t fault your concept much. Though if I did it you’d dedicate 500 words to ranting about the roof of your mouth getting scraped. (Is food just too much for Vince? Should he just do liquids to keep arm hairs and soft tissue safe? Discuss).
Anyway, I applaud your creativity. Pretty damn good for the fucking Wolfman who lives ever-fearful of errant egg yolk.
ALVIN ON VINCE’S:
I’m the type of guy who loves breakfast sandwiches, obviously. I mean, I made a career out of it. And this is the one breakfast sandwich I preach against every single time because it takes so long to make. I mean, you’re making a French toast batter … Who has time in the morning to make this sandwich? It’s just so time-consuming. The last thing you want to do is eat a breakfast sandwich that takes half the morning to make.
The hash brown thing was just completely wrong. Dude, you’re missing a whole step. You’re supposed to really rinse that starch off. Just that right there and reading this about making it, again, I would never eat this sandwich because I hate the way starchy potatoes taste.
I do agree, I’m not a big egg-dripping yolk fan. You put it, “once we get to the level of messy, I’d rather put the thing down eat it with a knife and fork,” and that’s so dramatic. Like, come on, man! You can’t eat a breakfast sandwich with a knife and fork! Get outta here with that!
And as much as you say you dislike a dry sandwich, this just sounds like a dry sandwich. It even looks like it. The potatoes don’t look that appetizing.
I like the Chicano flavors of it.
Oh, yeah, you talk about grilling bacon. Who’s trying to start a grill up in the morning? I can’t judge this guy. You might be the kinda guy that goes home and is asleep by ten at night and is up in the morning by like 5:30 … and that’s 100 percent fine. But, I just don’t see why you’d have to start a grill to make bacon. Yes, you saw it in Australia and I feel like they throw everything on the barbie there but who’s really doing that? It’s also like my least desired way to cook bacon. The flare-ups alone and the taste of the soot hitting the fire and then, like, charring … the soot of the grill on your bacon is not the flavor you want on your bacon that early in the morning. It’s not my favorite idea.
ZACH’S CLASSIC B.E.C. WITH BLOODY MARY COMEBACK SAUCE
I love a good breakfast sandwich. It’s simple, nourishing, and texturally interesting. That’s why I’m going with classic bacon, egg, and cheese on a brioche. I know that sounds boring. But, when it comes to hangover food/breakfast sandwiches, you need basics that pop. And so, I’m making a simple sandwich with great ingredients that do, indeed, pop.
My nuance here is the sauce. I’m making a Bloody Mary sauce that’s a twist on a Southern Comeback Sauce. It’s a great, spicy addition to the classic B.E.C.
First, let’s talk brioche. I grabbed a really nice, fresh potato-flour based brioche from my local bakery. It’s soft, super flavorful, and has a little sweetness.
Next, I grabbed some cage-free organic extra-large eggs. I grabbed extra-large because I want the egg to fit the bun.
Then there’s the bacon. I picked up some extra-thick cut locally cured and smoked bacon from a butcher that’s been making this particular pork since 1912. It’s coated in smoked paprika, adding a nice dimension to the flavor.
I’m using American Cheese for that nice level of melt while still holding its shape.
Lastly, there’s the sauce. I’m making a spicy, tomato-y sauce with some deep umami and plenty of celery. It’s fire!
First things first, I fill my skillet with four slices of bacon, each of them cut in half. I want the bacon to fit on the bun without spilling over the sides. I put the skillet on the heat to let it all warm up together and render out some fat while it fries.
While that’s cooking, I get my sauce going. It’s equal parts mayo, Creme Fraiche, and ketchup (I use a low sugar version). I’m only making a small amount here, so I use a tablespoon of each. I then add a teaspoon of each horseradish and habanero paste, a few dashes of Worcester sauce, and healthy doses of celery salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
I stir that all together and add more pepper and celery salt to taste.
By now, it’s time to flip over the bacon. I then place by buns, cut side down, over the bacon to let them steam and soak in some fat.
I then get my egg going — and holy shit, it’s a double yolk. Anyway, I have little egg cooking pans that are the same size as the brioche bun. So I add in a small nob of butter and get that melting. I crack my eggs into a bowl and then slide them into the pan.
I turn the heat down to low and place a plate over the pan to let the eggs cook without burning the bottoms. After a minute or so, I add the slice of cheese and remove the eggs from the heat. I let the eggs sit for about two minutes while the bacon crisps up. Basically, I want a just runny egg so that yolk blends with the sauce and cheese.
Basically, everything is ready. I take my pipping hot brioche buns off the bacon and put the bacon onto a serving plate. I’m ready to build!
So, I set up a small station. First, I put some of the Bloody Mary sauce on the top and bottom of the buns. I then line up four pieces of bacon and slide the egg with melty cheese over it.
I pop on the top bun and serve the B.E.C. in a small paper sandwich bag. This helps the whole thing stay together and eases the mess of a semi-runny egg. By the end of the sandwich, you have a sauce with the yolk, Bloody Mary sauce, bacon fat, and cheese that’s basically a flavor bomb.
Overall, this is everything I wanted after flying across an ocean and landing a few short hours earlier. It was texturally on point with the soft bun holding up the crisp bacon and melty cheese. The egg fits perfectly and had that wonderful balance of set whites and just runny yolks. And the sauce was exactly what I wanted with a nice hit of umami, sharp spice, and lush texture.
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I'm taking on @stevebram and @filmdrunk in the next @uproxx Cooking Battle with my B.E.C breakfast sandwich! That's a brioche steamed over frying bacon, an egg fried in butter with a runny DOUBLE yolk, 2 pieces of thick cut smoked paprika cured bacon, and a Bloody Mary Comeback sauce. Served in a paper wrap to keep all the goodness in. It was dope! 👌💯🔥
VINCE ON ZACH’S:
Oh, Zach, you clever bitch, trying to pre-empt my inevitable runny yolk critique! It’s not gonna work! I just know that yolk is inevitably going to escape its waxy prison and drool on my crotch! And if I wanted viscous drool that smelled of Worcester sauce on my crotch I’d call your mother. To be fair, this sandwich does roughly fit my criteria of “simple” and “portable.” The sauce seems… a bit overwrought and involved, but not un-tasty. And I expect overwrought and involved from a man who can tell the origin story of his butcher. “It was 1667. A thick fog hung over the land. Adolphus Schwienskopf stared past the fat bellies of his passel, drooling slightly and daydreaming of his stout wife, who’d died earlier that spring of the plague…”
A few minor quibbles: the brioche looks delicious but may be too bulky for a breakfast sandwich? It seems like a lot. Also, American cheese is fine if I’m at McDonald’s, but if I have a choice I’m going with literally anything else. Cheddar, jack, Colby jack, muenster, gruyere, Havarti… honestly anything else. American cheese is just melty with no flavor, the barest idea of cheese, a pointless milky nothing — which was my nickname back in Pop Warner. Anyway, solid B+.
STEVE ON ZACH’S:
Zach, my dude, editing you has taught me so much about you. I know your Indigenous roots, I know the righteous rage you feel when we disagree and you’re sure I’m wrong, I know that you’re funny and talented and deeply creative. But I also know when you feel someone peeking over your shoulder.
Sometimes it’s me, acting as your editor on a big project. But today, that someone is Alvin.
I feel him all over this sandwich. And he’s made you hold back. No stories of your time tending hens with the cult from Midsommar? No winding tale of curing bacon in the Black Forest? You cooked at food stalls in Thailand and ate caviar with the Russian Ambassador, for Christ’s sake — give me some damn story! How are we going to score you that guest spot on The Burger Show?
Story aside, this feels… underwhelming. It’s the opposite of Vince’s — perfectly executed but not fully imagined. Bacon, egg, cheese, mayo-ketchup mix (I feel 99% sure your habeñero is completely masked, but a straight habeñero mayo would have won this thing). Simple is fine. Simple is cool. Simple is PROBABLY BETTER COOKING. But it doesn’t excite me. Not when there are chefs with big ideas around every corner and McDonald’s has a breakfast sandwich with friggin’ pancake buns right down the street.
This is the least Zach you’ve ever Zached and I have to say, it leaves me a little melancholy. Give me foraged truffle, funky cheese Zach. Sure, I’ll roast him within an inch of his life, but at least it won’t be boring.
ALVIN ON ZACH’S:
My main rip on this is you can get a little bit more creative with the bread choice. You can call me out as a hypocrite because all of my breakfast sandwiches are on a brioche but it’s just so played out. If you’re in New York City, there are just so much better bread choices out there. You know, what if you did it on a croissant? I think that would probably be best.
Overall, I like this sandwich. It pulls a lot of heartstrings for me. I don’t agree with the thick bacon. Again, you’re making a sandwich and thick bacon is a lot harder to eat. I like the flavor profile of the bacon that was sourced.
Using American cheese, again, heartstrings, I love it. It’s the perfect texture, reminds you of the bodega cheese. It’s a great idea.
But, the sauce, right? I think the sauce is an amazing concept. Bloody Mary sauce, I’m a super huge fan of celery salt. I think that brings that “x-factor” that a lot of people don’t understand what kind of flavor that brings to the game. But, crème fraîche? That’s fancy. Like, I get it, you’re trying to lighten up the mayo. But crème fraîche? You’re basically slapping France. Crème fraîche is a delicate sauce. Basically, they temperature control it to get it to a super delicate situation then you’re throwing ketchup on it. Then you’re trying to soften the blow by calling a “low sugar version.” Yeah, okay, kudos. You’re watching your sugar intake but who really cares??? Other than that I put “triple hearts flavor profile” next to this one.
I think overall, this is a breakfast sandwich you can make pretty quickly. You know, you’re not going to be making this for four-and-a-half hours in the morning. I’m a big fan of that. I like the aesthetics of it. I like the fact that you wrapped it with the runny yolk in mind. Wrapping up like that is right up my alley as that’s what I devised when I came up with the Eggslut menu.
STEVE’S “MEXICALI EXPRESS” — DOUBLE YOLKED CHOPPED CHEESE
Judging by the score, I don’t win this thing often enough. And the reasons why — considering I think of myself as a better chef than both of these hacks — are deeply tied to my personality. On competition day, I’m often rushed. Or disorganized. Or tired. Or I have six people over for dinner when I should really just be cooking for myself and one friend with an awesome photography setup.
It’s never for a lack of ideas. Creativity is my currency and I had a lot of ideas for this meal. I wanted to riff on the McGriddle. I wanted to do a biscuit. I wanted to use blueberries in the sausage. I wanted, in typical Steve fashion, to combine all those elements at once. Then, at the last second, inspiration struck.
It would be Mexican, Californian, and Uptown NYC all at once. It would be part insufferable hippy (avocado! organic! free range!) and part pure gluttony (American cheese! two types of sausage! double yolk!). It would be named “Mexicali Express” — for a bluffing dice game, a border town, and the 8th Avenue Express A Train to Harlem, where the best chopped cheese is found. Most of all, it would have so much flavor and such a cool concept that Alvin would call me for the recipe, have me make it on his show, franchise the concept, and I’d immediately be a zillionaire forever.
Simple ambitions, ya dig?
As the great Bernie Mac once said, “I ain’t scared of you motherfuckers.” I know you’re gonna obsess over the fact that I added black beans so let’s just get it out of the way. I’m not even going to counterprogram your objections by telling you that the black beans reference a Mexican torta. Because guess what?
My black beans are good and I know it. Not because of me, but because of Lizano. Lizano makes beans so good that they sell them in pouches in Costa Rica, which the planet’s entire network of pro surfers stash in their board bags like they were drugs.
And my recipe has the same three secrets as the Lizano beans:
- Lizano salsa.
It’s not rocket science. I soak some beans and boil them down in a bone broth. When they thicken and split, I add msg, lard, and the Lizano salsa to taste. The salsa — it’s not “salsa” the way we know it, more a thick, black umami-bomb syrup — adds a certain tang that gets you way back in the back of your mouth, the way a sharp cheese does. This is the easiest/best recipe I know.
Not sure what stage of this process to show. I just always sort of worry that someone will be like “WAIT, HE DIDN’T MAKE THAT FROM SCRATCH” so I keep lots of receipts. Anyway, this is another relatively simple component. But it’s my tomato and sauce and onion elements all at once, so… it’s vital.
- Bacon fat
- Apple cider vinegar
- Balsamic vinegar
- Italian tomato paste
- Maple syrup
- Mustard powder
This is jam in the truest sense. There’s some sweet to balance the tart of the tomatoes and the onions are still firm enough to be onions, not a mush.
50-50 breakfast sausage and chorizo with garlic paste (yes, I bought tubed garlic, it works better on a flat top and never goes acrid when it gets soaked into the meat) and thyme from the garden. Sear, cook, and chop. Add American cheese. I use the Extra-Sharp Cheddar Kraft Singles, which has the American melt and legit sharp-cheese flavor. Win-win.
This is a McDonald’s-style folded egg, cooked for mere seconds in butter. It stays loose and creamy, which is a good tee up for a “your mom” joke but an even a better way to cook eggs.
- Toasted brioche bun, in butter obvs
- The thinnest little black bean smear, don’t you f*cking start with me
- Chopped cheese, breakfast-style
- Folded egg, the Eggslut-meets-McD’s way
- Second egg yolk, mixed with a fork and drizzled.
- Avocado, hippie shit
- Onion tomato jam, tangy AF
- Chives on chives on chives
- Toasted brioche bun
And done. With pics to show it held together (shouts to the brioche!) and that the yolk caused a delicious mess but not a nasty one.
ZACH ON STEVE’S:
For the love that is all good and sacred in the universe. You lost me at the first few paragraphs about black-goddamn-beans. I mean, damn, people give me shit for being overwrought. I didn’t even realize we were making a sandwich until I was 1,000 words in.
I don’t know where to start… The mishappen avo? The randomly “diced” chives? The something, something scrambled eggs? What did you do? It was folded? Italian tomato paste? Maple syrup? A “your mom” joke? I have a headache and I haven’t even eaten this.
Okay, okay, I’ll be serious. Eggs are overcooked. Sausage is not in a patty (mess anyone?). Slimy looking avo. Man, I am really, really trying here. I feel like I would have eaten this sammie on the streets of Beverly Blvd. next to limpy Cliff Booth around 1971 when he’s financially and physically bankrupt while watching a Sears TV screen through a window of Rick-FUCKING-Dalton eating my sandwich.
VINCE ON STEVE’S:
Steve, I dub this sandwich “The Sloppy No.”
This dish is classic Steve, combining the big ideas and irrepressible enthusiasm of a college freshman bon vivant on edibles with the execution of a blind man on a ketamine trip. Honestly, when I saw that Steve was using two types of sausage I did get a little worried. Zach and I both used bacon on bread, so a nice sausage patty on a biscuit would’ve been the obvious counter-programming. Leave it to Steve to turn the conventional sausage wisdom ON ITS HEAD and give us… a whole bunch of loose sausage. But it’s supposed to be like that because of NEW YAWK. Ay, I’m walkin’ heah! New Yawk City. My city. Da best city inna worl. Out heah you either end up dead or covuhd in loose sausage. We got da best loose sausage inna worl, it’s cuzza da watah.
But I’m glad you “kept the receipts” on your mahogany-diarrhea slurry because this breakfast sandwich really has everything people that look for in a breakfast sandwich. I mean we’re talkin’…
- Loose sausage!
- Drippy beans!
- Completely raw egg yolk!
- Avocado sliced by my 6-year-old nephew with a pumpkin carver!
- Savory “jam” roughly the same color and texture as the beans!
- A finished product that looks like it got run over by a truck and photographed non-consensually!
Finally, I can ruin a pair of pants while I get salmonella! This is your finest work yet.
ALVIN ON STEVE’S:
The name of this one is hilarious. Again with the brioche. But I see what you’re doing. You’re making a breakfast torta. Again, brioche though. The thing about the torta is the bread, the Bolillo bread. I grew up in East L.A., so the bolillo bread is a sacred bread. And this sandwich screams for that. Why are we putting brioche on everything? Let’s just stop doing that.
Oh my gosh, the chopped cheese sausage chorizo blend… That is either the dumbest thing I’ve ever heard of or the most genius thing that can happen. The reason being, no one really wants to eat pork, especially ground pork, if it’s not cooked properly. When you’re sowing cheese into a chopped pork situation, you’re dancing a fine line of getting someone fucking severely sick. OR it’s something completely genius. But leaving that up to someone to cook at home is something that I wouldn’t risk. But, you know, it’s out there now and I don’t know what to say. Hey, good luck! I hope it comes out right.
I hope you sear the meat properly. The reason why they use the chopped cheese with beef is that you can get away with it kind of being undercooked. It’s okay. With pork, that’s a whole other story.
Black bean puree, understood. I like the beans method. Totally agree with that. I think he’s putting MSG in just to put MSG in that. Just … because … why not? Yeah, cool, the obligatory MSG shout out to David Chang situation. It’s cool. I wouldn’t have put that on my soapbox for that particular portion of a breakfast sandwich but I like that … then again, there’s the whole chopped cheese thing. Ugh.
Okay, so, here’s the situation and people are probably going to stop me in the streets when they read this but, here we go. I’ve made a living making soft scrambled eggs and that’s what makes my videos pop on YouTube. BUT, when I do make eggs for my sandwiches at home, I definitely do it the way you did it. It’s folded. It has some structure to it. I have to give your eggs the chef nod on that.
ALVIN’S FINAL WORD:
Ultimately, the last two sandwiches are the ones that I would eat and replicate. The first one, I just have so much anger towards it. You know? You’re telling me I have to make a French toast batter AND I have to turn my grill on in the morning? What kind of human being does that in the morning? Then the middle one, to me, makes the most sense and the brioche is forgivable because it’s a spicy wake-up for your mouth situation. It’s quick. The one thing that separates the middle one and the last one and why I chose the middle sandwich was the bread. If you’re making a breakfast torta, you use bolillo bread. It’s amazing. It’s the perfect bread for that particular sandwich and that’s where Steve faltered.