Zen and the Art of the BEC
Most of my weekdays begin the same way. I get up, get dressed, and drive to work. If I leave my house after 8 I invariably have to maneuver around the asinine traffic that builds up around a certain Dunkin Donuts. People decide that since the drive-through line is full, they’ll just stop in the middle of the one lane road and wait for their turn. I hate these people.
Personally, I don’t go to Dunkin Donuts that much. Only when I’m jonesing for an iced coffee although their decision to use Rachael Ray as spokesperson has forced me to entertain the idea of a boycott. Nothing against her, (I actually respect her self-promoting skills) it’s just that she’s on the TV whenever I turn it on, in every isle of the grocery store, and plastered all over my beloved Triscuits. I have to draw the line somewhere. But I digress. When I do visit Dunkin, I usually go inside. There’s something enjoyable, patriotic, nostalgic about ordering breakfast over a counter. I think it reminds me of the bagel shops and delis that do short order breakfasts in bigger cities. Well, I had one in my home town (a few actually) and that’s about as small as towns get. Maybe it’s just Rochester.
That’s when the epiphany came: Rochester is in short supply of a good, family owned deli that does egg sandwiches, hot pastrami, various macaroni salads, all those wonderful American food staples. The kind of place that always has a super cute girl working behind the counter but you’re afraid to even smile at her because the owner is her father and he, along with his three large sons will do unthinkable things to you or your food if you infer anything but innocence of their beloved daughter/sister. Every new food place around here gets branded to death or is a chain to begin with. I don’t want that fake gourmet crap Bruegger’s serves, I don’t want the soggy P.O.S. sandwiches from a fast food place.
I want a real BEC that’s wrapped in foil devoid of a logo or mission statement. I want the egg and bacon of that sandwich cooked on a griddle that I can see. I want who’s ever cooking it to have cooked thousands of these and be more concerned with how fast he gets the out the door than what after-prom party he’s attending. I want the sandwich on a regular bagel or hamburger bun. Maybe with some poppy seeds, but that’s it. I want that bread grilled so it doesn’t become a soggy mess. I want the egg over hard, misshapen and a little crispy on the outside. I want it to come with home fries that are cut out of the huge mound on the back of said griddle, even if I won’t eat them. I want the cheese on the sandwich to be cold when added, but melted when I unwrap the package at my desk. I want it be called a “bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich” not a “morning sunriser” or some other bullshit. I want it to cost less than $3. I want to wash it all down with a cup of coffee that doesn’t taste like donkey piss. Start your morning with a sandwich like that and I defy you to have a bad day. That’s something I’d gladly wait in line for. Just not a drive-through because that’s obnoxious.