Monthly Archives: November 2010

The Broken Yolk’s Stuffed Croissant

 

  • Stuffed Croissant #1
  • Stuffed Croissant #2
  • Stuffed Croissant #3

The Broken Yolk in New London, Connecticut is everything that a local diner should be.  My four years of college in New London gave me ample opportunity to visit The Broken Yolk many a time, and let me tell you, this place gets better with every meal.  Run by the amazing and effervescent Doreen, who literally controls the entire diner while cooking every dish and chatting up each customer, The Broken Yolk is one of those places that most people think only exist on television.

Breakfast at The Broken Yolk is always entertaining, but during my recent visit to Connecticut for alumni weekend I had an especially wonderful experience.  My friend Wells had decided to shoot his short film at the diner, and my friend Owen, the star of the short, and I accompanied him for breakfast before the work began.  I have said it before and I’ll say it again: the company you keep at mealtime can have just as much effect on the experience as the food itself.  At The Broken Yolk, the company is always good, and I had been looking forward to a delicious meal there from the moment I booked my flights.

Though I have many favorites on the menu, I wanted to give The Broken Yolk a chance to shine on AOAS, and so I ordered the stuffed croissant…a toasted croissant literally STUFFED with scrambled eggs, tomatoes, scallions, cream cheese, and smoked salmon, served with a side of home fries.  First of all, I LOVE breakfast sandwiches.  I had, for whatever reason, never really been exposed to breakfast sandwiches before I moved to the East Coast, and so I associate them with college and New England.  Thus, a breakfast sandwich was all I wanted, and the stuffed croissant more than fit the bill. Scrambled eggs and cream cheese is another weakness of mine (especially when tabasco is added to the mix), and if you throw in smoked salmon, I am immediately sold.  Therefore, I knew exactly what I was ordering the moment Owen told me that we were going to The Broken Yolk for breakfast.

I hadn’t had the stuffed croissant in a couple of years, but it most definitely lived up to my memories.  The croissant is perfectly buttery and flaky, made even more so by the slight toasting.  The eggs are scrambled exactly the way I like them: not underdone and runny, and not dry and overcooked.  All in all, this sandwich is delicious.  The only thing that would make it better would be avocado, but this is Connecticut folks, not Southern California (which I would constantly remind myself during my four years of college).

But in all seriousness, if you happen to find yourself in New London, CT, you really have to check this place out.  Anything you eat will be delicious (may I recommend the huevos rancheros or the eggs in a window?) and Doreen will always show you a good time.  The woman is truly one of a kind.

The Kaya Toast at Street

  • Kaya Toast #1
  • Kaya Toast #2
  • Kaya Toast #3

 

For my birthday, my parents took me to STREET, a restaurant in Hollywood that serves street food from all over the world tapas-style.  This was a perfect choice for my birthday dinner, as I consider a great meal to be one in which I get to enjoy many different foods, and not just one big entree.  Furthermore, I love trying new things, especially great local foods, which are most often embodied in the form of street food.

STREET is the creation of Susan Feniger, most well known for Border Grill in Santa Monica, and keeps much of the same feel of great food in a casual California setting.  Most of the seating is outside, keeping to the street concept, and there is enough variety that everyone will be happy (even the pickiest of eaters like my father).  My mom had been to the restaurant before, and was adamant that the kaya toast be a part of our meal.

It was one of the first items that we were served (I think we ended up ordering most of the menu), and wasn’t what I was expecting at all.  From the description (toast, coconut jam, egg, dark soy, white pepper), I was expecting more of a breakfast sandwich, but this was better than it ever could have been in breakfast form.  The coconut jam, though definitely sweet, was never overpowering, and well balanced by the distinctive flavors of the soy and white pepper.  The toast itself was buttery and perfectly golden, the best kind of toast, in my opinion, to dip in egg.  The egg was great, and all together, this dish was totally unexpectedly delicious.

Kaya toast, which takes its name after the jam used in the dish, is very popular in its native countries of Malaysia and Singapore.  Taken at face value, it may not seem like the kind of food you would find in these places, but kaya toast is actually the product of British influence.  Kaya, or coconut egg jam, is a traditional food, while the toast can be attributed to the British diet that infiltrated the culture through colonialism.  As the two cultures mingled, the jams and preserves that the British ate on their toast were replaced by the local kaya.  Soon, kaya toast became a staple food.  Today, there is even a franchise of restaurants that has become famous for its kaya toast.  In fact, Ya Kun Kaya Toast‘s slogan is “The toast that binds…Kinship, Friendship, Partnership.”  Not only is this reminiscent of the combination of the two distinct cultures that created kaya toast, but also highlights that food plays an important role in all cultures.

I must say that I was skeptical of the kaya toast at first, but I ate the last bite while regretfully wishing there was more on the plate and that I hadn’t had to share it in the first place.  Next time I eat at STREET, and there will definitely be a next time, I will be just as adamant as my mom in my recommendation.

 

R + D Kitchen and the Reubenesque

  • Reubenesque #1
  • Reubenesque #2

Since I have posted on R + D before, I won’t go into too much depth about the restaurant itself, but this sandwich is more than worth mentioning.

I went to R + D one night after work with a coworker, and, like always, encountered one hell of a wait for a table.  Luckily, the company was good and the Chimay was cold, and soon we were seated.  As previously mentioned, the menu is not very large, and I had already tried that night’s sandwich special, so I took the opportunity to try the Reubenesque.  Upon my recommendation, Aaron ordered the chicken meatballs, and we patiently waited for our food with a second round.

When the Reubenesque was set down in front of me, I knew that this was going to be a sandwich worth writing home about (or at least blogging).  The Reubenesque is the epitome of R + D: a classic sandwich with a modern twist so subtle that it is simply more delicious than the original.  Take for example, the corn rye bread.  It’s still rye, keeping the basic component of the sandwich the same, yet the corn intensifies the flavor, augmenting the other ingredients, rather than letting them hide behind the taste of the rye.  The corned beef is fantastic, and if you closed your eyes, you would think you were in a nice Jewish deli, albeit a time-warped modern deli.  The baby swiss is mild enough to allow the rest of the flavors to shine, and unlike most reubens, is not melted.  To top it all off, R + D combines the last ingredients, the sauerkraut and sauce (be it Thousand Island or Russian) into one fantastic creamy coleslaw.  Furthermore, as you can see in the pictures, there is one obvious difference between the classic reuben and the Reubenesque: the coleslaw makes up most of the sandwich.  This, in addition to the cheese, makes the sandwich cold and hot at the same time, since the bread is toasted, which is definitely different from the traditional grilled aspect of a reuben.

Basically, this sandwich is so good that despite the awesomeness of the chicken meatballs, Aaron stared hungrily at my plate, and one bite only made him want it more.  So much more, in fact, that he went back the next day and got one.

No Reservations

  • Good Fellas #1
  • Good Fellas #2
  • Silence of the Lambs

The food truck phenomenon that has swept Los Angeles, and for that matter, the country, has been the subject of both praise and criticism.  Thus far, however, I have only had good experiences.

A few months ago, I received a phone call from my mother telling me that a food truck called No Reservations was on a street by our house and that I should go check it out.  For those of you who don’t know me, I am an avid fan of Anthony Bourdain, who has a fantastic television show by the name of No Reservations.  I therefore decided to go see if this truck had anything to do with Tony or his show (knowing that it most likely didn’t) and hoped that regardless, I would get some good food out of the whole adventure.

It turned out that the truck had absolutely no connection to Bourdain, but my disappointment was quickly countered by the menu, which boasts simply:

HOT WRAPS: $8.00

Needless to say, I was stoked.  Not only that, but each wrap is comprised of interesting ingredients with a movie title for a name.  In addition, I was lucky enough to stop at the truck as a new employee was trying out each wrap.  As I waited for my wrap, the Good Fellas, I hovered over the array of deliciousness being lined up in front of me.  The girl eventually noticed me, and the guy showing her the wraps (manager? owner?) offered me half of the Silence of the Lambs (marinated roasted leg of lamb, middle eastern rice, spaghetti squash, red pepper hummus, and pomegranate red wine sauce).  I couldn’t stop myself from digging in before taking a picture (photo #3).  The wrap was unbelievable…the lamb was a little well done for my tastes, but the flavor was great and complemented perfectly by the spices in the rice and the surprising texture of the spaghetti squash.  Most amazing was the tanginess that the pomegranate delivered, creating an unusual flavor profile.

I finally got my wrap and headed home, where I encountered a similar experience: though every component of the wrap made sense as a complete whole, there were tastes that were surprising and different.  This wrap consisted of grilled New York steak, roasted garlic potatoes, gorgonzola cheese with cracked peppercorns and red beet horseradish creme fraiche, comprising a sandwich that has not one ingredient that I wouldn’t eat in a heartbeat.  In the Good Fellas, I found that the gorgonzola provided a great bridge between the classic meat and potatoes and the modern red beet horseradish creme fraiche.  The creamy texture of the cheese, combined with the strength of its flavor, matched the power of the creme fraiche while evening it out to balance the heaviness of the rest of the ingredients.

All in all, I was very sad that I didn’t get to meet Anthony Bourdain, but this exciting and surprising food experience was definitely worth the disappointment.