Saturday, September 29, 2018

Breakfast Sandwich #125 - A Lab Toss Off

Sandwich: Bacon, American Cheese, Soft Scramble Egg, Sourdough Bread
Date: 9/26/18

This lab sandwich was the result of serendipitous circumstances and dumb luck and coincidence which were as follows - I woke up at 5:00 am for no good reason and while making coffee realized I had bacon, eggs, American cheese slices and a loaf of cheap sourdough bread. These are the perfect items for constructing a diner-style breakfast sandwich.

The only thing that made this sandwich worthy of a lab report (that's debatable) is the sourdough bread. I don't usually have it on hand so I've not used it. The soft scramble eggs are also a newer process adopted by the lab but not worthy of reportage on their own.
Yeah, I could have buttered that bread to make it more like an actual diner sandwich but this was the healthier route to go.

That bacon isn't as well done as it appears. It's dark in the lab at 5:30 am before all the assistants and interns arrive with their nervous energy and ill-fitting lab coats and need for fluorescent lighting.
The Sandwich - I've pretty much covered that already. There isn't anything special to say about this but I do love how American cheese slices get all melty. There were 4 slices of bacon and 2 chicken eggs. That seems like crucial information. 

The Result - Simple. Tasty. Quick. Everything as expected. If you ordered this off a laminated tri-fold menu for $3.49 you'd be pleased with your choice especially if a lady with a beehive hairdo served it to you and called you "Hon" and had the pot of coffee in hand ready to warm up your cup. I don't want to tell you how to feel but I think you'd be very happy indeed and if you don't agree I'm not even sure why you're here but you should hang around anyway.

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Saturday, September 22, 2018

Breakfast Sandwich #124 - The Old Fashioned aka More Like A Lunchfast Sandwich

Sandwich: The Old Fashioned House Burger
Location: The Old Fashioned
Date: September 16, 2018
Cost: $9.95

I hadn't been to The Old Fashioned in quite some time and it had been even longer since I reviewed one of their sandwiches

There isn't anything fresh and new that needs to be said about The Old Fashioned. They continue to deliver excellent food, drinks and atmosphere even if I do think the Wiscocentric theme is a touch corny. It doesn't matter and it isn't half as annoying as anything related to Texas pride. (Oh relax, Texas.)

My Sunday evolved into lunch at The Old Fashioned prior to the Willy Street Fair so the opportunity to review a sandwich fell into my lap. While I looked over the menu I tried to find something that I wanted more than the house burger and I couldn't do it. I consciously tried to avoid this review and it couldn't be done. The Sandwich Gods had spoken.

Is referring to a burger with an egg on it as a "breakfast sandwich" a bit of a stretch? Probably, although there is precedent here - I had The Buzzy Sandwich with a burger patty on January 1. That particular burger patty was served on bread and consumed before Noon whereas this one was on a proper burger bun and eaten well after Noon. I don't care. One of these days I'm going to review breakfast tacos or a burrito and I'm not even going to pretend to apologize for it. Oh jeez, I just remembered my last review was a HOT DOG. Never mind. I should just delete this entire paragraph. 

SAKES ALIVE! She's a beauty! That yolk is on the move. So precarious. The bartender caught me taking this shot and said "How's everything looking?" which I think was his way of saying I'm a dickhead for taking photos of my food. I didn't have the heart to tell him I'm a professional and he probably spends more time on his hair than I've spent on this review but I still tipped him well even though I had to give him "the look" to get another beer which should never happen in a proper Wisconsin tavern. 

I used up all my caption material on the previous photo. #yolkpuddle

The Sandwich - The Old Fashioned House Burger:

No. 30
The Old Fashioned House Burger-grilled over a live fire and topped with fried onions, Bavaria’s hickory-smoked bacon, aged Cheddar, garlic sauce and a soft-cooked egg on a buttered and toasted roll…..$9.95

No options are offered. It's grilled over a "live fire" which only makes me think of Live Wire - a video that features live fire but no grilling. I ordered it medium-rare and it was a touch more done than that although that may have been for the better. This is a gooey burger. It's every bit as sloppy as I remember it but everything blends well and the most prominent flavor is the hickory-smoked bacon. The garlic sauce and cheddar cheese move to the background although they certainly contribute to the overall taste explosion. Everything combines so well I can't really deconstruct the individual components. It's just a fantastic hamburger sandwich. Every time. I ordered it with the greens on the side which I've said many times is my preferred side to a breakfast sandwich. These were no exception - zippy and tangy, just how I like them. 

The Result - 4.6 Hamburger Sandwiches out of 5 Hamburger Sandwiches. I docked it a tiny bit cause it doesn't really feel like a breakfast sandwich. Is that fair? Probably not. I don't care, I've already thrown the rules out with the bath water. I like my metaphors like I like my drinks - mixed. I'm just making things up now, a clear sign I need to wrap this up. It was a fantastic sandwich, I think that is obvious. 

Side note - I went to the Willy Street Fair after this and it was too hot and I tried to find a tie-dyed bandana to wipe sweat off my head and I couldn't find one!! What has happened to the east side? Is this what gentrification looks like? May as well pack it up and move to Middleton. 

Recap - The Whole Damn Year End Lists aka It Depends On What Your Definition of "Best" Is

I'd like to address a recurring situation - I meet somebody and the subject of this blog comes up, generally because I always wear a t-shirt that says "Ask Me About My Breakfast Sandwich Blog" or they see my bumper sticker that reads "Honk If You Like It Over Easy". This happens often. The inevitable first question is "Who has the best breakfast sandwich in Madison?" The correct answer to this is "It depends...", followed by a litany of scenarios and inquiries about their expectations. Nobody wants to hear that nonsense. They want to hear a passionate description of the sandwich I had at "Freddy's Sandwich Hut" so they can make a mental note and move on. That makes sense but that isn't what happens. What they generally get is me stammering and sputtering about while trying to recall some of the top ranking sandwiches which for some reason I cannot do when put on the spot. There is a reason for this though. There is a lot of grey area in noting the pleasures of a sandwich and as I've often said, the key to the reviews is in the descriptions and not necessarily the numbered ranking. The ranking is not intended to be like the final score of a base-ball game and yet I know I have to put a number on it so casual readers and those with a short attention span can get back to shrieking about the headlines of the day. Everybody's busy. Nobody has time to read. Did you know that they teach "Emoji" as a credited second language in California high schools? It's totally true, or will be soon. There's a reason the "Year End Lists" get the most clicks around these parts. The list for 2015 is by far the most popular, which makes sense - I ate the most sandwiches that year and this was all fresh and new. It was the Year of The Breakfast Sandwich. The world had never before seen a breakfast sandwich blog and everybody stopped by to check it out and pay their respects. Many clicks, some of which I'm told were Guy Fieri's assistants reading it to him. The list for 2016 isn't nearly as popular but has respectable numbers. There isn't much to be said about the response to the list for 2017 but "tepid" will suffice. This isn't fresh and new anymore and most people have gone back to their favorite porn sites.

But this was never about the clicks. It's about finding out if a sandwich can shape your perspective on the day and therefore set you up to achieve your goals. This has been answered unequivocally but the research continues because flavor and joy and sustenance matter.

So, to get back to my initial point, the oft-asked question "Who has the best breakfast sandwich in Madison?". I don't have your answer but I hope to guide you. Only you can walk the path of your day, the long and winding yellow brick road to your local sandwichery.