Los Angeles, there at least one New York import that I simply insist you embrace:
The bacon, egg, and cheese.
Out here, you call it a "breakfast sandwich." It's got bacon, sure, eggs, yes, cheese, maybe. But it's usually served on a hamburger bun. And with mayo. *wince*
In any neighborhood in New York, at virtuously any time of day, you can obtain a bacon, egg, and cheese for usually under three dollars. At any bodega, diner, or corner deli (they're as ubiquitous as 7-11s) you can get a hot, fresh BE&C. Most bodegas have a small griddle behind the counter with two short order cooks slamming them out. These eggs are not nuked. They are not dried out. They pack the sandwich in foil so when you get the snack to your desk or your subway seat or your front stoop it's still hot and the cheese has delightfully melted. The proportions are usually perfect. They are spot on for breakfast and incredibly handy when intoxicated, or hung over, or both.
They put them (and most lunch sandwiches, too) on a Kaiser roll. You've seen Kaiser rolls here- they're in the bakery section at Ralph's and Howe's (sometimes), and there are usually only two of them. They have a swirl on the top and most often poppy seeds. They do not crumble or sog under the wet goodness of their contents, no. They are more like Ciabiatta than a hamburger bun. People even eat them, just them with butter, for breakfast in New York.
At my high school, they started to offer the bacon, egg, and cheese for before school breakfast. Not because they are a whole, hearty meal in a self contained package. But because no one was buying breakfast at school, we all headed over to the deli for a bacon, egg and cheese. The only way to compete was to conform.
When I worked in midtown Manhattan, I used to get a bacon, egg, and cheese and small cup of coffee delivered to my office every morning from Rupert's Hello Deli. Rupert of Letterman fame. He often took my order himself. He was always very polite, very down to earth. My breakfast, and a pack of cigarettes if need be, always arrived within fifteen minutes of my phone call.
Since I have moved to LA, I have had a few sightings of the Bacon- ehh-- breakfast sandwich.
First was at a hamburger joint on Melrose. On line in front of me, no joke, was Natalie Cole. She ordered extra mayo. **wince wince**
Next was at Fatburger, but I couldn't get past the hamburger bun. And they always put way too much pepper on it.
I have recently discovered Normandie Bakery on Jefferson- the bread is quite good. But they often forget the cheese and take about ten minutes to complete your order. I only go now if I'm running ten minutes early for work, which is not often enough.
Los Angeles, this is perfect car food. This is perfect drunk food. This is what In N Out would serve at breakfast if they served breakfast. This is quick, cheap, and satisfying. This is as good or better than a double grande non fat carmel macchiato with extra carmel (and yes, that is my drink).
I know there are expat New Yorkers living here that can testify. I invite you to sing the bacon egg and cheese's praises here.
May Los Angeles discover its wonder.
(we'll work on getting Dunkin' Donuts coffee next- small steps.)
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