January 19, 2010: Fried Egg & Broccoli Rabe on a Roll at Mike D’s

Certain foods always make you think of somebody. Grease-truck egg sandwiches make me think of Dani, one of my best friends from high school, who  also lives in Philly. (There are a lot of North Jersey expats here! It’s wonderful!) She introduced me to egg sandwiches and grease trucks this summer, as we were loading up my car very early one Saturday morning to go to the shore. (Belmar.) We ate in almost complete silence, sucking up the sunshine and gearing up for a long day of gridlock on the turnpike, followed by reunion with our comrades and causation of trouble.

Dish Two: Fried Egg & Broccoli Rabe on a Roll at Mike D’s, 33rd and Market

This sandwich was absolutely worth waking up forty five minutes early to trek out to University City — I walk to the eateries in question to make up for some of the caloric intake (the rest is accounted for by a rigorous gym routine)– and I had to restrain myself from haughtily laughing at the Drexel students who watched me eat with expressions ranging from envy (the guys) to judgment (take a wild guess). I wonder what they had for breakfast. Wheaties with stale beer? Week old toast? No breakfast at all?

But the sandwich itself. The broccoli rabe is a perfect addition to the breakfast classic; the texture of the vegetable holds up well to being fried with the egg, and the slightly bitter green flavor is balanced perfectly by a heavy dusting of red pepper flakes. I was only able to eat about half and saved the rest for lunch, when I think it was even better. My mom always said that the test of a dish is to let it get cold. Almost anything is good hot, but when you’re scarfing down the leftovers, you know that you’ve found something incredible. And whether eaten by a red-eyed frat boy, girls preparing for a day in the sun, or an aspiring yuppie on a mission, it’s clear that this sandwich is something incredible.

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