Food Fight: Jersey Breakfast Sandwich
As a Jersey native, I consider the breakfast sandwich to be a sacred item. With magical hangover-healing powers, the traditional Jersey breakfast sandwich consists of pork roll -- Taylor Ham is the most well-known brand of the crispy, salty, delicious, life-altering pork roll -- fried egg and cheese between two luscious halves of either a hard roll or bagel.
Since I've recently been seeking out Houston's Jersey-inspired food, I decided to conduct a Jersey breakfast sandwich food fight. And in homage to Jersey Shore, "Snooki Poofs" rate the positive aspects of a dish, and "Grenade Whistles" rate the negatives.
BRC's Jersey Boy Sandwich
One recent hungover morning, this sandwich soothed my alcohol-raddled body. One Snooki Poof. I noticed the pork roll right away - it was perfectly crisp, with nice thickness, and even cut correctly with those four little notches. This gained the sandwich two more Snooki Poofs, one for taste and one for authenticity. As for the fried egg, well, that poor thing was just drowning in grease, earning the first Grenade Whistle.
Cheddar cheese, melted just right and in the correct proportion, perfectly complemented the other ingredients. Snooki Poof. Then came the bread -- such a heartbreaker. I wanted to love it and I almost did, but all that griddled sourdough did was soak up gross amounts of grease and drip everywhere when I took a bite. This is why God invented hard rolls and bagels. Though it pains me, the bread earned the sandwich another Grenade Whistle.
Score: 4 Snook Poofs to 2 Grenade Whistles.
Hot Bagel Breakfast Bagel
This is typically where I go for bagels, even though it breaks my Jersey bagel-loving heart. Though not fried, the scrambled eggs were very nice and perfectly acceptable for Jersey breakfast sandwich standards. One Snooki Poof. I anticipated the lack of to pork roll to inhibit the quality of this sandwich, but the bacon was not bad, simultaneously crispy and chewy. Half a Snooki Poof.
Then came the cheese and the bagel itself. The quality of the cheese compared to the cheddar at BRC was noticeable. It lacked a sharp flavor and did not add much to the sandwich aside from a creamy background, earning a Grenade Whistle.
The bagel, if you can really call it that, had a disappointingly intense doughy flavor and was lacking both the right crust and correct amount of chewiness. Although the bagel stood up better to the grease, for overall flavor I must award another Grenade Whistle. However, for hangover-curing powers, I award this sandwich a final, resounding, Snooki Poof.
Score: 2 ½ Snooki Poofs to 2 Grenade Whistles.
Winner: BRC's Jersey Boy Sandwich.
Get the Dining Newsletter
The week's top local food news and events, plus interviews with chefs and restaurant owners, dining tips, and a peek at our print review.