Breakfast: The $2 Breakfast Sandwich

photo(2)Ahh, the nuances of the breakfast sandwich. Last week I discovered the breakfast sandwich on an English muffin (not that different, really), this week I found the cheapest: Egg, ham or bacon, cheese on a roll. Guess how much (pretend I don’t give the answer away in the title of the blog post)? Just $2! Even the corner deli charges $2.50 – in sandwich terms, an additional 20% – for that combo.

photoAnd it’s not a bad sandwich: The cook shaves off slices of ham on the delicatessen-grade meat and cheese slicer – you know, that huge one where they slide the loaf of meat back-and-forth – while the eggs bubble away on the cooktop; the ham and cheese are then piled on top of the eggs until the whole stack is heated through and the cheese begins to melt. The chef then transfers the hot mess to a fresh-sliced roll via a wide griddle spatula, gives a couple of shakes of the salt and pepper, closes the thing up and with one deft move (that he’s clearly done a thousand times) slices the sandwich in half, and bundles up the foil.

I feel somewhat vindicated in my aghast-ness at Dean & Deluca’s $6 breakfast sandwich – for someone, that could have been breakfast sandwiches for three days.

[ED NOTE: The sandwich can be found at J.L.H. Deli, 307 W. 38th St. between 8th and 9th avenues. Missed adding that first time around.]

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Dinner: The “I Almost Don’t Want to Share This Place” Post

photo(2)The original plan was to get a couple of beers at Ginger Man, but at 7p last night the Ginger Man was a loud, raucous house-party, so I decided to check out what else was in the neighborhood. There’s a bunch of bars back-to-back on W. 35th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues that have vaguely intrigued me, in the cheesy faux-Irish bar / movie set / sort of way, but last night they, too, were various scenes of bad top 40s music, young professionals getting tipsy off well vodka martini specials, and general debauchery.

photoThen, on the south side of the street, there’s Brendan’s Bar and Grill. I’ve never noticed it before. I walked inside, hoping for the best as this was sort of the last resort. It was just perfect.

Everything about Brendan’s is comfort; it’s the bar you’ve been in hundreds of times in cities all over the country: A dozen beers on tap, you know them all; glasses of wine are $7; there’s a menu called “bar snacks” that includes crab cakes, potato skins, mozzarella sticks, etc.; the bartender is actually Irish (note: he’s working here, not at the fake Irish pub across the street).

Brendan’s is your anywhere bar, only set in a stunning room with vaulted ceilings, black-and-white tiled floor, tall wooden pillars, a soft, warm light. (The space must have been a bank or some type enterprise in the past.)

Next time I’m stuck near Harold’s Square and need to escape the tourist mayhem, I’m heading here.