The first breakfast of the new year has to be the best. I like to make my morning feast an egg sandwich, that crossover high-low specialty with the potential to be assembled well at good diners, neighborhood bagel shops, and home alike.
At its core, an egg sandwich is just bread and egg. Often, there’s also cheese and some kind of meat, too—a foursome that can also be gussied up with condiments like tapenade, and even vegetables like avocado or caramelized onions.
While it may originally be a makeshift meal—what college kid doesn’t have access to a couple eggs and a stale roll?—the egg sandwich has a second life as something a lot more exciting. The best egg sandwich makers demonstrate mastery of two big pillars of good cooking: the right texture and the right fat amount of fat. Of course, these essentials are the ones most often up for debate. For example: What should be crispy in an egg sandwich—the toast, the bacon, or the edges of an egg fried in oil? Should the egg have a runny yolk or a hardened one? And how much grease turns a sandwich from decadent into disgusting?
So whether you’re apt to wake in a house stocked with free-range organic eggs and homemade focaccia, or more likely to run out in sweats to the corner bodega, hungover eyeballs behind winter sunglasses, your January 1st egg sandwich—your first bite of the new year—will shepherd in 365 breakfasts to come. Better make it good.