Breakfast of Champions

Ready to wake up your morning routine? Just a few simple upgrades can transform the average egg sandwich into an unforgettable meal.
by Adina Steiman


Like pizza and cheeseburgers, egg sandwiches are one of those magical foods that taste delicious no matter how badly they’re prepared. The alchemical combination of runny egg, toasted roll, and melted cheese pretty much guarantees a good time.

Eli Kulp, chef of Philadelphia’s High Street on Market and Fork Restaurant, is definitely a fan. “Everyone wants a breakfast sandwich, even if they don’t think they do,” Kulp says. No wonder they form the centerpiece of Kulp’s morning menu for the newly opened restaurant. But Kulp’s sandwiches are a far cry from the wax-paper-wrapped standbys from the street cart.

Take the Hickory Town, Kulp’s favorite sandwich on the menu: It features a runny fried egg, frizzled slices of sweet Lancaster bologna, peppery Amish cheddar, mustard-seed-studded gherkin mayo, and crispy fried onions. The house-baked, poppy-seed-covered Kaiser roll has enough backbone to contain the delicious mess, but only barely. “We want people to have to work to keep the sandwich together,” says Kulp.

We asked Kulp to break down The Hickory Town for us, sharing just how he (and cooks at home) can upgrade their own egg sandwiches.

Kulp encases his sandwich in a house-baked, poppy-seed-covered Kaiser roll with a cloud-like interior that doesn’t add unnecessary heft. “But a storebought kaiser, or a small ciabatta roll or even a brioche would be a good substitute,” he says. Just toast the cut sides like he does: Butter them and set them in a small skillet over medium heat to get nicely browned.

Kulp adds another layer of flavor with a handful of freshly battered and fried red onions. At home, if you’re not as excited about using up a whole bottle of oil to deep-fry your onions, take a tip from Kulp: Score a container of French’s Fried Onions instead, and apply liberally.

To balance out all the richness, Kulp serves a small squeeze bottle of homemade charred jalapeno hot sauce alongside the sandwich for guests to apply at will. “Green Tabasco would be a great sub,” he points out.

4) MAYO:
Skeptical about slathering your egg sandwich with mayo? Think of it as a sauce that carries a range of pungent ingredients. Kulp’s mayo sauce is like a souped-up remoulade, combining Hellmann’s mayonnaise with grainy mustard, minced gherkins, horseradish, and lemon. “I’m an acid freak, so my food will always have a sweet-sour-spicy combo. Even as a kid, I’d always have yellow mustard on my egg sandwich.”

A thin slice of Amish smoked white cheddar adds another layer of flavor to the sandwich. The heat of the bread, meat, and eggs turns it melty.

6) EGG:
No frizzled edges on this fried egg. “It’s all about gentle cooking. I can’t stand any brown on my eggs and my cooks know that.”

7) MEAT:
Lancaster bologna is its own breed of lunchmeat: Delicately sweet but with plenty of robust beefiness. Kulp scores his from an Amish butcher who makes his own, but recommends thinly sliced kosher beef salami or non-fancy summer sausage as stand-ins. single butcher. Just prep it like he does: By sizzling it in the pan just until gently warmed. Pro tip: Do this before you cook the eggs so that you can fry them in the flavorful rendered fat in the pan.

Get the recipe: Egg Sandwich with Bologna, Gherkin Mayo, and Crispy Onions

Photo by Charles Masters. Food styling by Michelle Gatton.
0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply