March 11, 2019

886 The Best of New York 2019 Grub Street

Appreciation, Food Post by

Breakfast Sandwich: Modernist-chef labs and restaurant incubators are okay, and international institutes of culinary arts are well and good, but some of the finest dishes that end up on restaurant menus today originate in college-dorm rooms. The theory is that, necessity being the mother of invention, good things happen when undergrads — presumably stoned out of their minds — look into their mini-fridges at three in the morning, whip out their contraband toaster ovens, and get to work. Take, for instance, the Stef, a brunch-only scrambled-egg sandwich built like a Chevy Silverado on flaky Chinese flatbread, named after Stefani Kung, the general manager of this Taiwanese restaurant. The Stef comes with two slabs of griddled Spam, three slices of American cheese, gobs of Skippy peanut butter, and a healthy dose of the chile-forward Indonesian condiment sambal. The prototype of the sandwich, says Stef, was developed at Purdue one night when she was “loopy with hunger and out of instant noodles.” And the amazing thing is that, despite its sounding like a textbook stunt sandwich, there’s a strange perfection to be found in the Stef’s unexpected balance of flavors and textures. You don’t even have to be stoned out of your mind or loopy with hunger to appreciate it.

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