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#1
Posted May 7th 2010, 10:28am
Fried Eggs on Everything: Basta!

Rob Leavitt, Mado’s main man, said over a year ago that “Anything I put a fried egg on, I know will sell out.”

That popular approval of this simple addition has not abated. People love the fried egg on hamburger, hot dog, and loads of higher end platters.

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[Photo by GWiv]

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[Photo by Hammond]

Me, I’m ready to see a fried egg only once a day: on my breakfast plate.

Used to be, just about the only place you’d get a fried egg on anything other than breakfast toast was at Klas, on the wiener schnitzel a la Holstein. That was no docile surrender to popular taste but rather a time-honored menu item that had been around probably since Al Capone played cards with the owner in the backroom upstairs. Klas isn’t the kind of place to go changing their menu, willy-nilly, every 50 or so years.

At Longman & Eagle last week, two of the five or so plates of food that MikeG and I ordered came with a fried egg on top. I mentioned this high percentage of egg toppers to Jill Gubesch, Bayless’ wine director as well as a neighbor (and big fan) of L&E, and she said she thought they put eggs on top of many dishes so you could see your food in the dark. That’s actually a pretty good rationale, but for me, the egg is becoming a chef’s cheat, like adding another stick of butter to the sauce, an easy way to amp up the visuals, the moisture and even the flavor of dishes that need help.

Now, I’m not one of those anti-egg people – I like eggs, take Zocor, and eat many, at home…but please, chefs of Chicago, can we ease up with the fried egg on everything?
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“We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni
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#2
Posted May 7th 2010, 10:34am
I couldn't agree more (about the fried-egg fatigue, and that it's a chef's cheat). My fried egg fatigue firmly set in after the Foss Hog. A fried egg on a sausage in a bun was a jump the shark moment for me for many reasons.
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#3
Posted May 7th 2010, 10:38am
i peronally donty mind the prevelance of fried eggs. it is what it is.

At home I am always tossing a fried egg on something(fried rice, pulled pork tacos, enchiladas, etc). its all good.
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#4
Posted May 7th 2010, 10:40am
Count me among the "enough with the fried eggs already" crowd. It was cool when it was a rarity, but now that it seems like every burger, order of fries, and glass of Bordeaux comes with a fried egg (and an additional $3 markup) on top, the concept has transitioned from "new hotness" to "old & busted".

What will be the next hot trend to be embraced & beaten into the ground? Top everything with cheese curds & gravy, call it the $3 poutine option? ;)
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#5
Posted May 7th 2010, 10:44am
You can always just not order the dish with egg on it. There are usually plenty.
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#6
Posted May 7th 2010, 10:44am
Nothing wrong with fried eggs where they belong. In addition to Klas, Resi's has always had Holstein schnitzel with runny fried egg. Don't mess with my fried eggs on various Thai dishes, which has nothing to do with trend or fashion. And leave me my fried eggs on bi bim bap. Like the schnitzel, fired eggs are just fine on Argentine Milanesas (a caballo).

What I find interesting is that for years I was always the guy ordering the ethnic dishes with fried eggs on top, the hamburger with fried eggs at Fatburger (not a trendoid place). And honestly, very often it grossed-out other diners (now that's mostly caused by my rule of always ordering the whole fish on any menu that has one). The herd mentality whereby a "real chef's" stamp of approval on fried eggs, anchovies, tacos al pastor, whatever leads to an immediate mass-lovefest for something that was seen as yucky or odd before is what irks me. Eggs, I like.

PS, as with the joking comment about The Piggery that pork has jumped the shark because it went from blue collar food to white toque fetish food and is now being reinterpreted as regular guy food (again) I don't necessarily agree that the widespread adoption of a particular condiment or ingredient becomes repulsive once it ceases to be "unique," "ironic," "cool" or whatever. Most restaurant food is mediocre (by definition). If throwing an egg on it makes it taste better, I'm for it.
Last edited by JeffB on May 7th 2010, 10:50am, edited 2 times in total.
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#7
Posted May 7th 2010, 10:48am
JeffB wrote:Nothing wrong with fried eggs where they belong.

Agreed. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Nothing to get outraged over, IMO.

=R=
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"When you’re young, it’s all fillet steak. But as you get older, you have to move onto the cheaper cuts..." --M. Gustave

I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider

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#8
Posted May 7th 2010, 10:49am
JeffB wrote:Nothing wrong with fried eggs where they belong. In addition to Klas, Resi's has always had Holstein schnitzel with runny fried egg.


Laschet's too.

To me, this is the pinnacle of the fried egg application: soft and runny egg against a crisp schnitzel. The broad cutlet is also an ample platter to ensure that none of the yolk winds up as a dry crust on the plate. With a squeeze of lemon, some capers, and a liter of beer, this is where the fried-egg-as-topping is perfected.
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#9
Posted May 7th 2010, 10:51am
eatchicago wrote:
JeffB wrote:Nothing wrong with fried eggs where they belong. In addition to Klas, Resi's has always had Holstein schnitzel with runny fried egg.


Laschet's too.

To me, this is the pinnacle of the fried egg application: soft and runny egg against a crisp schnitzel. The broad cutlet is also an ample platter to ensure that none of the yolk winds up as a dry crust on the plate. With a squeeze of lemon, some capers, and a liter of beer, this is where the fried-egg-as-topping is perfected.


Agreed. I never order plain Wiener Schnitzel. I always ask for it ala Holstein, whether it's on the menu or not. Been doing that since well before eggs became trendy enough to be called "hen eggs".
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#10
Posted May 7th 2010, 10:52am
eatchicago wrote:this is where the fried-egg-as-topping is perfected.


It's no slouch on a dolsot bibimbap either :) though I guess that's not fried
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#11
Posted May 7th 2010, 10:55am
stevez wrote:
eatchicago wrote:
JeffB wrote:Nothing wrong with fried eggs where they belong. In addition to Klas, Resi's has always had Holstein schnitzel with runny fried egg.


Laschet's too.

To me, this is the pinnacle of the fried egg application: soft and runny egg against a crisp schnitzel. The broad cutlet is also an ample platter to ensure that none of the yolk winds up as a dry crust on the plate. With a squeeze of lemon, some capers, and a liter of beer, this is where the fried-egg-as-topping is perfected.


Agreed. I never order plain Wiener Schnitzel. I always ask for it ala Holstein, whether it's on the menu or not. Been doing that since well before eggs became trendy enough to be called "hen eggs".


At Longman and Eagle, one dish had a quail egg and the other a duck egg, so I can see why specifying "hen egg" might seem necessary, though aside from the duck egg being a little richer and the quail egg a little smaller than the hen egg, eggs is pretty much eggs.
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#12
Posted May 7th 2010, 10:55am
ronnie_suburban wrote:
JeffB wrote:Nothing wrong with fried eggs where they belong.

Agreed. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Nothing to get outraged over, IMO.

=R=

Outraged, surely not. Casual topic of discussion to help pass the time during a boring Friday at work? I don't see the harm. I can use all the help I can get to make the day go faster :)
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#13
Posted May 7th 2010, 10:55am
JimTheBeerGuy wrote:
eatchicago wrote:this is where the fried-egg-as-topping is perfected.


It's no slouch on a dolsot bibimbap either :) though I guess that's not fried


Not exactly, but I'll allow it :)
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#14
Posted May 7th 2010, 10:57am
JimTheBeerGuy wrote:
eatchicago wrote:this is where the fried-egg-as-topping is perfected.


It's no slouch on a dolsot bibimbap either :) though I guess that's not fried


Hey now, don't resume This Thread Sucks. I done said that one. It often is fried [edit: on "regular bbb"], when it's not a dolsot bibimbap and the vessel isn't hot enough to "cook" the egg.

David, imagine a gourmet food truck where everything is topped with fried eggs -- is your mind blown?
Last edited by JeffB on May 7th 2010, 11:04am, edited 3 times in total.
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#15
Posted May 7th 2010, 11:01am
Whenever you see my name in the thread, you can assume I'm doing my own little reenactment called "This Post Sucks"
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Well I got drunk and I ate a chicken
I ate a chicken I found in my kitchen
Not just a leg and not just a wing
I'd like to let you know that I ate the whole damn thing
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#16
Posted May 7th 2010, 11:04am
Khaopaat wrote:
ronnie_suburban wrote:
JeffB wrote:Nothing wrong with fried eggs where they belong.

Agreed. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. Nothing to get outraged over, IMO.

=R=

Outraged, surely not. Casual topic of discussion to help pass the time during a boring Friday at work? I don't see the harm. I can use all the help I can get to make the day go faster :)

I should have added an emote because I was just sayin'. :wink:

Actually, I'm all in favor of this discussion and think it would be even better with a fried egg on it! :D

=R=
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"When you’re young, it’s all fillet steak. But as you get older, you have to move onto the cheaper cuts..." --M. Gustave

I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider

Twitter: ronniesuburban
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#17
Posted May 7th 2010, 11:05am
ronnie_suburban wrote:Actually, I'm all in favor of this discussion and think it would be even better with a fried egg on it! :D


:lol: And bacon...and shark meat!
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“We all have to stand before the kitchen gods.” Chef Jacob Sahaya Kumar Aruni
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#18
Posted May 7th 2010, 11:12am
By the way, Jump the Shark has, itself, culturally expired. Jump the Shark, but not eggs, IMO, suffers from Cousin Oliver Syndrome and is 'bout to Chachi.
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#19
Posted May 7th 2010, 11:12am
David Hammond wrote:
ronnie_suburban wrote:Actually, I'm all in favor of this discussion and think it would be even better with a fried egg on it! :D


:lol: And bacon...and shark meat!

In all seriousness, the trend is growing to the point where one can't help but think about it as possible culinary overmanipulation. I think this discussion is interesting.

Eggs are fairly rich and I think they tend to work best when paired with smoked, cured and/or acidic elements, which counter the richness on the palate. A loose-cooked egg yolk makes a great sauce in the right application, as well. I have yet to encounter (or can't remember) a dish where an egg seemed like completely unnecessary overkill but hey, I don't get out much. :wink:

=R=
_______________________________________

"When you’re young, it’s all fillet steak. But as you get older, you have to move onto the cheaper cuts..." --M. Gustave

I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider

Twitter: ronniesuburban
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#20
Posted May 7th 2010, 11:14am
JeffB wrote:By the way, Jump the Shark has, itself, culturally expired. Jump the Shark, but not eggs, IMO, suffers from Cousin Oliver Syndrome and is 'bout to Chachi.


Thanks Jeff. I'll be sure to run future posts by you for cultural ripeness.
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#21
Posted May 7th 2010, 11:18am
OK. Don't be embarrassed. It actually happened during this thread. Making this thread particularly relevant, culturally.
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#22
Posted May 7th 2010, 11:26am
aschie30 wrote:
JeffB wrote:By the way, Jump the Shark has, itself, culturally expired. Jump the Shark, but not eggs, IMO, suffers from Cousin Oliver Syndrome and is 'bout to Chachi.


Thanks Jeff. I'll be sure to run future posts by you for cultural ripeness.


In the summer of 2008, it changed to "nuke the fridge"... although some people claim that that rule only applies to movie franchises.
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#23
Posted May 7th 2010, 11:46am
stevez wrote:
eatchicago wrote:
JeffB wrote:Nothing wrong with fried eggs where they belong. In addition to Klas, Resi's has always had Holstein schnitzel with runny fried egg.



Agreed. I never order plain Wiener Schnitzel. I always ask for it ala Holstein, whether it's on the menu or not. Been doing that since well before eggs became trendy enough to be called "hen eggs".


Actually the addition of a fried egg renders it no longer Weiner Schnitzel; it's now Schnitzel Holstein or Schnitzel ala Holstein, a Berlin specialty. Weiner Schnitzel refers specifically to a breaded veal cutlet, fried in butter/oil, and traditionally served with a lemon wedge. In Austria if the schnitzel is pork, not veal, it becomes Schnitzel ala Weiner Art (Schnitzel in the Vienna style).
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#24
Posted May 7th 2010, 12:07pm
little500 wrote:Schnitzel ala Weiner Art (Schnitzel in the Vienna style).

Wasn't there a show about wiener art in Vegas a while back?

Edit: Ah, yes, this one.
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#25
Posted May 7th 2010, 12:35pm
I'm just waiting for the inevitable fried-egg and bacon cupcakes that you just know someone is working on right now.
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#26
Posted May 7th 2010, 2:37pm
Suzy Creamcheese wrote:I'm just waiting for the inevitable fried-egg and bacon cupcakes that you just know someone is working on right now.


and, done
http://deepfriedkimchee.com/2009/03/26/ ... cakes.aspx
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#27
Posted May 7th 2010, 2:52pm
You know, thinking about it, the one place where I think eggs are overkill is on burgers. I don't think they add much flavorwise because they kind of get lost behind the meat. But beyond that, a really good burger shouldn't need anything, especially an egg. When the meat's of good quality and the burger is properly cooked, a little salt and pepper are all that I need. An egg may actually get in the way of a really good burger.

=R=
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"When you’re young, it’s all fillet steak. But as you get older, you have to move onto the cheaper cuts..." --M. Gustave

I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider

Twitter: ronniesuburban
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#28
Posted May 7th 2010, 2:57pm
Ronnie-
You have obviously not had a one-eyed bacon cheeseburger at the University Diner in Charlottesville after half a bottle of southern comfort.

-Will
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#29
Posted May 7th 2010, 2:58pm
ronnie_suburban wrote:You know, thinking about it, the one place where I think eggs are overkill is on burgers. I don't think they add much flavorwise because they kind of get lost behind the meat. But beyond that, a really good burger shouldn't need anything, especially an egg. When the meat's of good quality and the burger is properly cooked, a little salt and pepper are all that I need. An egg may actually get in the way of a really good burger.

=R=


Instinctively I agree with you, but I do really like some good aioli on a burger, which one might think would have similar problems to the ones you described about the fried egg.
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#30
Posted May 7th 2010, 3:02pm
Kennyz wrote:
ronnie_suburban wrote:You know, thinking about it, the one place where I think eggs are overkill is on burgers. I don't think they add much flavorwise because they kind of get lost behind the meat. But beyond that, a really good burger shouldn't need anything, especially an egg. When the meat's of good quality and the burger is properly cooked, a little salt and pepper are all that I need. An egg may actually get in the way of a really good burger.

=R=


Instinctively I agree with you, but I do really like some good aioli on a burger, which one might think would have similar problems to the ones you described about the fried egg.

No, that can be really good, too. I agree. But the aioli has more acidity than an egg so it can complement the beef and fat really nicely. It's also an opportunity to impart some herbaciousness, which can be a nice addition.

=R=
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"When you’re young, it’s all fillet steak. But as you get older, you have to move onto the cheaper cuts..." --M. Gustave

I just wanna live until I gotta die. I know I ain't perfect but God knows I try --Todd Snider

Twitter: ronniesuburban
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