No, it’s not two for $3, and yes, it’s worth every extra penny
Anyone with a passion for whiskey knows it’s easy to argue until closing time about the respective merits of Scotch and bourbon. And anyone who regularly gets into these debates (along with the requisite tastings) knows it’s equally easy to argue about the best way to nurse yourself back to health the morning after. The key is to introduce — in decreasing order of importance — fat, salt, and carbs in the most readily digestible form possible. Now, a lot of foods come close to this ideal — a Bloody Mary has salt but no fat, day-old pizza has everything except the digestion factor — but only one comestible covers all four bases. I’m talking about that booze-sponge ne plus ultra: the breakfast sandwich.
Up until now, I’ve been perfectly content with the fast-food version: the rubbery pre-cooked eggs get nicely concealed by drippy, fatty American cheese and dissolve-in-your-mouth bacon. I’d never considered what would happen if you took this sandwich to the extreme.
Fortunately for Cambridge, local-food champion Will Gilson at Garden at the Cellar did. Let’s start from the center and work our way out. First, toss the microwaved rectangular egg patties and replace them with free-range local eggs fried until the yolks are set just enough to avoid jeans-staining drips, but runny enough to slide smoothly down your throat without complaining. Then top them with three strips of New Hampshire applewood-smoked bacon that actually tastes like bacon, rather than unembellished salt and fat.
While the aged Vermont cheddar cheese has the local home-team advantage and a vastly superior flavor, it’s missing the meat-coating gooiness of American cheese. The solution? A fatty dollop of homemade garlicky mayo. Add to this mix the fattiest of all green vegetables (the avocado), replace the nooks and crannies of an English muffin with the rich butteriness of a toasted Iggy’s brioche, and cram a side of signature truffle-rosemary fries on the plate, and you’ve got yourself a perfect morning-after remedy. The best part? The sandwich is served all day and evening, so you can start battling that hangover even while you’re still creating it.
Available for $9 at Garden at the Cellar, 991 Mass Ave, in Cambridge. Call 617.876.2580.
: Hot Plate
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