Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Breakfast Sandwich #24 - Underground Butcher aka Swine Is Fine

Sandwich: Ham, Cheddar and Egg
Location: Underground Butcher
Date: May 24, 2015
Cost: $6

I didn't know Underground Butcher had sandwiches until just a few weeks ago, much less breakfast sandwiches. The breakfast sandwiches are only available on Saturday and Sunday but the regular sandwiches are on the menu all week long.

Their breakfast sandwiches are so elusive and rare they aren't even listed on the web site, you just have to know about them, I guess. Luckily for me, people are now always talking to me about breakfast sandwiches, even in weird places like hospital emergency rooms, churches and mosques, and public restrooms. Just the other day I was getting my teeth cleaned and the dental hygienist said, "So, who has the best breakfast sandwich?" to which I replied "whadayaradafuyyahblag?" which translates to "Why don't you read the fucking blog?" I didn't think she would understand me but I might have known better cause she shot me an annoyed look, put down her stabby-mouth toys, and left the room. She came back 25 minutes later and said "I think you were a little harsh on Cracker Barrel", and then proceeded to treat my gums like they were the epicenter of the tartar buildup revolution.

The point is that I heard about Underground Butcher breakfast sandwiches and a plan was hatched to meet a friend there to try one, and that's exactly what happened.
I forgot to take a picture of the chalkboard menu and since the breakfast sandwiches aren't listed on the web site I don't have a reliable way to convey the information to you other than my memory, which is not reliable. They have two sandwiches: Ham, Cheddar and Egg, or, Cheddar and Egg. Both are served on what I believe is a house-made biscuit. The sandwich without ham is $5, maybe. It's possible that they change up the breakfast sandwiches and offer different options from time to time, but I don't know. Like I said, their breakfast sandwiches are rare and elusive, even more rare than a bar on the east side of Madison without PBR Tall Boys. 

Holy smokes, she's a real HUMDINGER!

Do you realize what's happening here? Look at all that cheesy, eggy goo, and yet it is maintaining structural integrity. This sandwich is defying the laws of physics!

The Sandwich - Ham, Cheddar and Egg. At most places I would shy away from ham, expecting the sad, sweaty, deli variety, unceremoniously flopped between an egg and some bread. Not here, of course. They aren't playing around with the meat products at Underground. Besides, there was no option for bacon or whatever, but that's fine. The ham was a nice slice of salty, mildly fatty, goodness and the cheddar was properly melted. I think the egg was done over easy and it was wonderful. They offered hot sauce when the order was placed and I accepted. Not sure what type they used but it provided just a shade of heat that worked well with the rest of it.

The Result - 4.69 PBR Tall Boys out of 5 PBR Tall Boys. Simplicity has its place in the breakfast sandwich world and you could argue that the classic meat-egg-cheese is the cornerstone of the genre. There is certainly a place for greens and chive such-and-such, but if simple is done well it's really all you need. This was, simply, a great breakfast sandwich. It was tasty, sloppy and a great antidote for a rainy morning. I don't really have any complaints or suggestions as to what would make it better. These are answers we are all searching for, I believe.

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Friday, May 22, 2015

Breakfast Sandwich #23 - DLUX aka The Pig Came First

Sandwich: Spicy Sausage
Location: DLUX
Date: May 17, 2015
Cost: $6

DLUX has been on the list for awhile and I was really looking forward to trying the Chicken Fried Chicken Sandwich as a refreshing change from the typical breakfast sandwich fair. I already had some ideas about messing around with "which came first, the chicken sandwich or the egg sandwich", but when it came down to it, I had to trust my gut and order what I really wanted.

I like the DLUX space, I'm a sucker for a center bar, and the staff were really on their game. It was expectedly crowded for graduation weekend but they seemed to have the situation under control and the food came out relatively fast.

Most of the patrons were partaking in the "bottomless mimosa" deal which looks like a great way to kickoff a day-drinking session. I also think it might be the healthiest item on the menu. I had already decided on the espresso milkshake and didn't regret it, it comes with whipped cream on top and a sprinkling of espresso. As delicious as it was I couldn't finish it as I knew it would ruin my appetite, but I highly recommend it. The Fresh Donut Balls are tasty as well. This was not a low calorie breakfast experience.
You want options? They got options.

That's a side of the Breakfast Potatoes with blue cheese and bacon.

Who's a little sausage patty? Who is? You are!
The Sandwich - Spicy Sausage. Like I said, the idea was to mix it up and get the Chicken Fried Chicken Sandwich, but that just wasn't feeling right at the time. The person next to me at the bar got it, and it looks worthy of research, but I didn't go down that path. The sandwiches are a la cart, but you can get a side of breakfast potatoes with options to dress them up. The first thing I noticed about my sandwich was that initially the bun seemed too big. I think a breakfast sandwich should have a nice little lava flow of cheesy-egginess creeping out the side but that wasn't happening here. The egg is fried so that removes the option of yolk flow. The sausage was excellent though, and the first bite was packed with flavor. The pepper jack cheese really goes with the sausage and should be an option at more establishments. The sriracha mayo is not over done and that's a good thing. Too much mayo will crush your sandwich dreams every time. It didn't jump out as a distinct addition but blended in with the overall spicy flavor, which was on the mild side of spicy. I'd say it's a 2 star level of spicy if you were ordering at a thai restaurant, and that works for me in the morning. A little kick, but that's it. The bread was OK but there was too much of it. This sandwich could have used more filler, or less bread - the bread to innards ratio was off.

The Result - 3.7 milkshakes out of 5 milkshakes. I enjoyed this sandwich but the bread ratio knocked it down a few points. It could use some greens on the side. If you decide to hit DLUX I would recommend bringing a couple friends so you can share the donut balls and the espresso milkshake. I'm going to try to get back there for the chicken fried chicken sandwich.

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Saturday, May 9, 2015

Breakfast Sandwich #22 - The Old Fashioned aka Keep On The Sunny Side

Sandwich: Breakfast Sandwich
Location: The Old Fashioned
Date: May 5, 2015
Cost: $5

When The Old Fashioned first announced their Wisconsin-centric theme I thought it sounded pretty cheesy (ahem), but they did it right and they deliver excellent food and beer every time I'm there. The place is fantastic.

I didn't know they served weekday breakfast until I started putting together my list of places to check out. The Old Fashioned pulled a kind of flippity flappity floop on the normal breakfast/brunch menu - they offer the breakfast sandwich only during the week, it is not on the weekend brunch menu.

I'm rarely on the Capitol Square during the week so when I had a morning appointment I factored in a little time for research.

I forgot to take a photo of the menu when it was in my hands, luckily there is one on the door.
What's going on with that little piece of red leaf lettuce?

In real life the sandwich was not this blurry. This might be the shittiest collection of photos to date.
The Sandwich - Breakfast Sandwich. There is only one sandwich on the menu and no options are offered, which was perfect for me on this day. I was in a bit of a hurry and didn't want to think about it too much. I think this is the first sandwich that came with the egg sunny side up. I'm OK with that, I like the egg kind of runny and it's fun to say "sunny side up", or even just read it on a menu. It does make the sandwich rather sloppy though, and this one was goopier than a Bootsy Collins bass solo. I mean that in a good way. However, the English Muffin wasn't quite up to the task. Maybe a little more toasting would have helped, or a heartier bread. The sandwich didn't fall apart but the muffin got kind of soggy. The bacon was nice and crisp but a tiny bit burned on one end. I liked the little sprinkling of pepper on the egg when it came out and the sandwich had a good level of cheesiness.

I'm not sure what was going on with that scrap of red leaf lettuce. Was it a garnish? Was I supposed to put in on the sandwich? Even on an English Muffin it would have covered only half of the sandwich. I was perplexed. Ultimately I decided it was garnish and I left it for the Garnish Gods.

The Result - 3.79 lettuce scraps out of 5 lettuce scraps. This was a good sandwich but the ratio of egg goo to bread-heartiness was a little off. Definitely a two napkin sandwich. I don't know if many folks get these to go but it might not hold up to being transported to your office and you'll need a wet-wipe or something before you handle those important documents. That's not necessarily a bad thing but could be vital information. Most of these are probably consumed on site, is my guess.

There could probably be whole subset of sandwiches offered near the Capitol that are designed as "grab 'n go" and held to a slightly different criteria. I'm not going to be able to effectively explore that angle.

The purpose of this research is to determine if a breakfast sandwich can effectively brighten you day and this sandwich was able to do that. It was a rainy morning, a bit chilly out, and the "sunny side up" sandwich was able to nudge this day in the right direction.

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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Diversions - Deconstructing A Chicago Bear's Sandwich

Matt Forte of the Chicago Bears recently did an "Ask Me Anything" on Reddit and a fellow named ToddTheTurnip asked him this question:

What's your favorite breakfast?

Matt Forte:

I eat really healthy so I like turkey bacon -- not just any kind, but Oscar Meyers turkey bacon. I'll fry an egg and make a breakfast sandwich. I also make green smoothies with kale and ginger.
Forte was born in 1985 and this Oscar Mayer jingle was before his time so I guess I should give him a pass on spelling Oscar Mayer wrong.

Turkey bacon. I don't know about that. I haven't had it for at least a couple of years. Maybe I should try it again but I'm skeptical. Very skeptical. I question the Oscar Mayer brand as well, I'd probably lean towards something like this.

I'm willing to let those things go but he didn't mention any cheese. You can't really have a breakfast sandwich without some cheese. Maybe he really doesn't use cheese? It could be some residual hatred of Wisconsin/Packers/Cheeseheads. The questioning was done by the time I saw it or I would have asked him about the cheese and his bread choice.

Anyway, that sandwich sounds kind of plain and dry. I didn't eat it, but I'm pretending to eat one in my head right now. It's on an English Muffin that is perfectly toasted. Still, it needs cheese or some wasabi aioli or something.

I give it 1.33 Cheeseheads out of 5 Cheeseheads. That smoothie sounds pretty damn tasty though.