Saturday, June 30, 2018

Breakfast Sandwich #121 - Lazy Jane's aka Still Lazy After All These Years

Sandwich: Speedy Eggwich
Location: Lazy Jane's Cafe
Date: June 24, 2018
Cost: $4.25

My previous review of Lazy Jane's was in May of 2016 but I didn't know that until I looked it up just now. It's likely I would have guessed it had been about two years. I usually don't consider going there due to the inevitable line-out-the-door but it was suggested to me on this early morning and I immediately heard the call of the scone. I knew if we got moving we'd beat the line and we did. It didn't appear that much had changed since my previous trip and why would they change anything? Why mess with a line that snakes out the door every weekend?

They wisely file would be diners past the bakery case (OK, they probably don't have a choice) and choosing your scone is probably more difficult than deciding what combo of eggs and protein you'll be getting. Not to spoil the review but in the future I might be better off ordering three scones and coffee and juice. I can make eggs but there is almost no chance I'm going to bake scones.

That's a proper cheese melt right there.

The cross section reveals truth.

The Sandwich - Speedy Eggwich. It's the only breakfast sandwich on the menu and there are no options offered. As luck would have it I was in the mood for sausage although I did briefly flirt with the idea of getting a scramble or something other than a sandwich. My sense of duty prevailed and I padded it with a side order of cheesy grits and a scone. Wholly unnecessary but irresistible. You may be aware that when I review a place for a second time I do not read my previous review so as to have an entirely fresh perspective. This can, and does, lead to redundancy or consistency, it depends on how you look at it. Having said that I'm pretty sure this order was a duplicate of the order from two years ago with the possible exception of scone choice.

Upon preparing for the cross section photo the first discovery was that the chicken egg was not runny. I fought back my tears and valiantly soldiered forward. Sense of duty, again. I've had plenty of sandwiches that didn't have a runny egg but I was really hoping for it on this one. Also apparent from the start was that the English Muffin was overly toasted and a bit too crunchy. It gave it a dryness I didn't appreciate. It was getting harder and harder to continue but I was hungry and of course I was going to devour this sandwich - let's not kid ourselves. On a positive note the sausage hit the right notes and the cheddar cheese was melted properly. 

The Result - 3.12 Senses of Duty out of 5 Senses of Duty. The sandwich was OK but I had higher hopes and ultimately it kind of missed the mark. It didn't have the squish or the goo-factor I'm looking for in the morning. Perhaps I should have trusted my instincts and left you people without an update on the Speedy Eggwich? I think the sandwich might be an obligatory menu offering - I'll bet it isn't ordered nearly as often as the scrambles and whatnot. Still, there are positives in these situations, such as the cheesy grits and scone. The cheesy grits aren't on the same level as those from Crema Cafe but that's an unrealistic standard. The scones are still fantastic. 

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Breakfast Sandwich #120 - Introducing the Big MacMuffin?

Sandwich - The Big MacMuffin
Date: June 20, 2018

It started during a short road trip a couple of weeks ago. It was late morning and we decided to hit a McDonald's for a quick breakfast sandwich and get back on the road. From a scholars perspective my interest in a McDonald's breakfast sandwich was not particularly high that day having already reviewed them for #17, #66, #83, #95 and #97. From a road-trippers perspective I was ready for one. But it was late morning and I kind of wanted a Quarter Pounder. I wondered aloud if they might put an egg on it but we knew that they wouldn't. They aren't "Have It Your Way" Burger King or "Think Outside The Bun" Taco Bell. They are "Billions and Billions served" which is another way of saying "this is how we make it and you'll like it just like everybody else".

Without getting too long winded here I screwed up my order and ended up with a "Sausage McMuffin with cheese" which does not include an egg and costs $1.84. It was kinda sad but I got over it, eventually. No egg - no review. That's how it works around here.

A week later I started thinking about Big Macs and what if McDonalds made a breakfast sandwich version of the Big Mac? I can see why they wouldn't want to mess around with it - branding, menu diversification, easily confused consumers and all that. Sure.

That's what the lab is for.

I wanted all components of a Big Mac represented and I already knew the song so I didn't have to research that.

Two all beef patties = two chicken eggs + bonus bacon
Special sauce = mayo on the middle bun (the "club" bun), Cholula green sauce on the crown.
Lettuce = fresh garden mix
Cheese = two slices of American
Pickles = finely chopped giardiniera mix
Onion = red onion
Sesame seed bun - 1.5 English muffins

Methodology - the eggs were puck-cooked in large Mason jar lids. (Side note - I'm done with those things. No matter how much cooking spray you use the egg sticks and they are a pain in the ass to clean and I'm going to buy some non-stick egg rings and do it right.) I wanted to cook the eggs over medium but I was afraid the sandwich would just become a mess so I went a little further. There was no runny yolk on this day. The English Muffins were pre-toasted (a little too lightly) and the finely chopped giardiniera was put on the heel so the pieces could wedge into the nooks and crannies. A couple of pieces of bacon were placed on top. Egg #1 was added along with a slice of cheese. The club bun had mayo applied and was added to the stack. Fresh greens were next, followed buy egg #2, cheese slice #2 and red onion. Green Cholula sauce was applied liberally before the sandwich was "crowned".


Same sandwich, different angle.
The Result - This was a winner even though there are a few improvements I could make. Toast the English muffin a bit more. Go for the runny eggs, why not? The cheese wasn't melted quite as much as I would have liked. Still, the flavors were there and nothing was overpowering. The giardiniera, bacon, hot sauce and American cheese all came together like champs. Those mixed greens made this a well rounded meal, right? The club bun was crucial so don't you dare say it was a gimmick. This was one of those sandwiches you pick up and don't put back down. It all paired nicely with a glass of cheap sauvignon blanc. I didn't try to cut this in half for a cross section photo, I knew it couldn't keep itself together.

I'll be forwarding this to McDonald's so they can add me to their board of directors or some other cushy position that only requires a few hours of work per month.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Breakfast Sandwich #119 - Willy Street Co-op (North) aka I'm Gonna Need You To Go Ahead And Make That Egg Yolk Runny, Mmmkay?

Sandwich: Sausage, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich
Location: Willy Street Co-op (North)
Date: May 27, 2018
Cost: $2.99

Sometimes you find the sandwich and sometimes the sandwich finds you. Welcome to yet another installment of "Accidental Sandwiching". 

There isn't a great story here and I won't try to gussy it up with hyperbolic verbiage and flowery anecdotes and prose. I am probably incapable of that anyway. I went to the North side farmers market and then angled over to the co-op to get one more thing. Sitting at the outside tables there was a couple eating breakfast sandwiches. You know what happened next. 

**Full Disclosure - I am a partial owner of the Willy Street Co-op. My involvement in the day to day business affairs of the co-op is virtually non-existent as the store essentially runs like a well oiled machine without my input. A patchouli oiled machine, but a machine none the less. Honestly, they don't treat me as an owner, more like just another Joe Schmoe walking around looking for bulk quinoa and organic water lily seeds. To them I don't even have a name, I'm just a number. From time to time I offer suggestions but I have the distinct feeling they think my ideas are "pure shit". Excuse me, "pure 100% organic composted manure". Some of my forward thinking ideas that they have ignored include putting a water park in the parking lot, responding to letters and complaints exclusively in haiku and bringing back Chad Vader as a shift manager. They refused all of them. You see what kind of people I'm dealing with?

There is just something about a grab 'n go hot case that I find comforting.

Capturing beauty in the early morning sun. That's a line from a Joni Mitchell song, I think.

Face the sausage patties into the sun, That's the extent of my sandwich photo advice. 
The Sandwich - Sausage, Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich. They also had a bacon version. These were of the pre-made grab 'n go variety so there were no options. I liked that they listed all the ingredients right there on the tiny sign and they were all actual identifiable things rather than partially-hyphenated-sodium-something-or-other. Nobody makes a grab n go sandwich with a runny egg, that's just the way it is. I don't have to like it but I have to accept it so I knew before I unwrapped this how the chicken egg was going to be, and it was. The sausage was surprisingly lacking in personality. It probably could have used more fat and a sprinkling of ingredients that would result in a volley of incensed letters being heaped upon the desk of the Co-op Reader editor. The cheese was somewhat lost in the shuffle here and didn't do anything to distinguish itself. The English Muffin could have used a toasting, it was a bit floppy, no doubt the result of being wrapped in foil in the hot case. These things happen but it's still a little bit sad when it does, isn't it? (It is.)

The Result - 3.11 Accidental Sandwiches out of 5 Accidental Sandwiches. The sandwich was fine but underwhelming. That was the description my companion uttered regarding the bacon sandwich and it mirrored my thoughts. It needed a kick, a boost, an elbow to the ribs. They probably had hot sauce inside and that would have made a big difference but I was outside and wasn't going back in. That would be the way to do it - give it a little makeover after you checkout and then wrap it back up and be on your merry way. I know the co-op can do better but I just wasn't angry enough to send them a letter itemizing my outrage. They get enough of those already.

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