Too many delis, bodegas, restaurants and coffee shops in this city of great food have decided that THIS is the way to make an egg sandwich:
1. Throw over-scrambled eggs onto a griddle.
2. Do NOT season these eggs under any circumstance.
3. When egg is three minutes overdone, place one slice of American cheese atop the omelet.
4. Put omelet on roll.
5. Add unmade-to-order bacon or reheated frozen sausage patty and close roll.
6. Repeat step 2.
7. Wrap roll in white wax paper.
8. Wrap wax paper in aluminum foil and possibly put it into a plastic container which you then pierce with a fork several times.
9. Sell to customer for anywhere between $2 and $5.95.
But that’s NOT how to do it. I know everyone’s in a rush, but I’ve created a few simple rules that I will deliver – whether electronically, personally or via U.S. mail – to every purported egg sandwich purveyor in Midtown Manhattan, which for the purposes of this first project I will define as 55th Street down to 33rd Street, between 9th Avenue and Park Avenue. I understand some of them might already be doing it the right way, or maybe they’ve perfected their own egg sandwich that is great JUST the way it is. There’s not ONE right way to do this, but my guidelines will at least make an average egg sandwich much better.
The simple version of the list includes but is not limited to:
1. Crack two eggs onto the griddle.
2. Let cook for about 30 seconds, THEN break the yolk and gently smooth it over the white part. Cook for another minute and a half or so.
3. Flip the egg, immediately add two slices of cheese that cover the whole egg. If you need to add a third slice, DO IT.
4. If the customer ordered meat, reheat FRESH sliced sausage, or, if they ordered bacon, ask whether they’d prefer it crispy or juicy. Cook accordingly. Time it so the meat is done just as the egg is ready to go on the roll.
5. Place egg on the roll, cheese side UP (I said down earlier), and season the non-cheese side with salt and pepper.
6. Place breakfast meat, if ordered, on the sandwich.
7. Wrap in foil.
8. Sell to customers for anywhere between $2 and $5.95.
That’s it! A customer might have more specific requests, but THAT should be the default. There may even be more decadent and delicious ways to make egg sandwiches, but when everyone’s in a rush, this is the template: Properly cooked, properly seasoned egg sandwiches with cheese in every bite and – if applicable – breakfast meat that was made to order.
I need $310 for printing and mailing costs, as well as for my time researching every corner of Midtown Manhattan to find out who needs this breakfast-saving leaflet. That’s several tenths or hundredths of one cent for each of the 3.1 million people who work in the borough of Manhattan every day and may or may not want to eat an egg sandwich. If Midtown Manhattan works well, I plan to expand to other parts of the borough, and don't you think I've forgotten Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx or Staten Island if this thing starts changing the world.
I will provide regular updates of my progress - and any feedback - for all you little angel investors who just want a good egg sandwich. We're in this together.
Risks and challenges
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No. I'm offering some specific suggestions about how to make a good egg sandwich. There are many good ways to do it. Plus, maybe some of my very specific tips need small tweaks in order to get the customer out of the deli quicker. I'm just trying to help us think differently on this stuff.
I do, sometimes. And I do them pretty well. But sometimes, I'm somewhere that isn't my home and I decide I want an egg sandwich. I'd like to have a good one.
YES. Of course I do. These people work their asses off every single day and deserve to be commended. I just think that at some point, certain delis started making egg sandwiches in a less delicious way and I want to revisit the time where they were more delicious.
I don't think I am. You're allowed to. It's a free country.
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