Sandwich

The Epic, 8-Layer Breakfast Sandwich I Dream About

Sweet dreams are made of eggs, bacon, French toast, hollandaise, and so much more.

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June 25, 2019
Photo by Ty Mecham. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine.

There are a million ways to cook with eggs and we've partnered with Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs—whose family-run, free-range farms produce delicious, all-organic eggs—to share a few of our favorites. Here, Assistant Editor Erin Alexander shares her riff on a next-level breakfast sandwich (think: hollandaise, sunny side-up eggs, lots of bacon, and more) she first discovered in college. Heads up: You're going to need a lot of fresh eggs!


I don't daydream often, but when I do, it is usually about something I've eaten at a restaurant: the ethereal lemon pasta from New York City's I Sodi, the ridiculously cheesy spinach and artichoke dip at virtually any Hillstone location, and a perfect chili cheese dog I tried recently in New Jersey, to name a few.

Usually, my mind wanders off into different paths I might take to recreate the dish at home—for the pasta, was the secret lemon zest or lemon juice? Or was it both?—until something snaps me back to reality. But never has any meal (no matter how memorable) entered my actual dreams.

Until I met "The Alameda," a breakfast sandwich, at the Sunny Side Café in Berkeley, California.

Named after a charming island city not far from Berkeley (I've never thought to ask why), this breakfast behemoth is lightyears away from your average egg and cheese sandwich.

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Top Comment:
“That does look amazing. Not sure I'd tackle the whole thing for breakfast, but this article & recipe are giving me ideas. What else could I do with savory french toast? Maybe mushrooms and asparagus, or roasted tomatoes. So many possibilities! ”
— Noreen F.
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Let me tell you exactly what's in it.

In the Sunny Side Café's classic version, you have two slices of savory French toast, between which are stacked sautéed mushrooms, Hickory-smoked ham, roasted tomatoes, and Swiss cheese. But that's not all—the whole thing is topped with two sunny side-up eggs and drizzled with hollandaise sauce and a balsamic reduction. A behemoth indeed.

This dreamy, eggy breakfast sandwich wouldn't taste half as good without quality eggs, like the ones from Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs. Photo by Ty Mecham. Food Stylist: Samantha Seneviratne. Prop Stylist: Brooke Deonarine.

When I first ordered The Alameda, the two friends that I was with balked: All that food for just one person?

Not only was it absolutely delicious—the rich, creamy hollandaise and runny egg with the tangy tomato and sweet-tart balsamic work together like magic—but I also polished it off entirely by myself. And ever since I moved from California to New York, where I've yet to discover anything like it, I've dreamt about it on at least two occasions.

So I finally decided to try and reverse engineer the sandwich at home, which turned out to be easier than I thought. There are a lot of different components involved, but if you get all the different pieces prepped, it's just a matter of working your way through the steps.

I like to make Eric Ripert's blender hollandaise sauce recipe (it's as easy as it gets and doesn't require a double boiler) and the balsamic reduction first, and keep them covered in a warm spot until I'm ready to serve. Then all you need to do is whip up the French toast, pan-sear the tomato, sauté the mushrooms and spinach, crisp up the bacon (I prefer bacon to ham, personally, but you can use whichever you like), and fry up the eggs all in the same pan.

The key to a perfect sunny side-up egg: fresh eggs. But you'll also want to use a generous knob of butter and a very nonstick pan. Oh, and once you flip the egg with a wide, bendy spatula, you only need about 15 seconds to set the whites on the other side (without cooking the yolk).

Even though each part of this recipe is pretty straightforward, this probably isn't going to be the breakfast you make every day before work. If you're like me, you'll save it for lazy weekend mornings (or afternoons), the kind where you wake up in need of something exceptionally satisfying. And if you're really like me, you'll probably dream about it that same night.

What would you put in the breakfast sandwich of your dreams? Tell us in the comments below!

In partnership with Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs, we're highlighting our favorite eggy recipes, from this stacked breakfast sandwich (starring eggs every which way, from perfectly sunny-side-up to whisked into a luscious hollandaise sauce) to oozy Japanese omelets. But no matter which recipe you're whipping up, the final dish always tastes better when you're cooking with humanely raised, fresh eggs from Pete and Gerry's Organic Eggs—which have the brightness yolks and richest flavor of all the eggs you'll find at the grocery store.

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See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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    ELLE
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Erin Alexander is the Assistant Editor of Partner Content at Food52, covering pop culture, travel, foods of the internet, and all things #sponsored. Formerly at Men’s Journal, Men’s Fitness, Us Weekly, and Hearst, she currently lives in New York City.

4 Comments

Alexandra S. June 30, 2019
I am going to try the entire recipe without the bread, a Keto version. And I would love the bread but cannot have. Only in my dreams.
 
Mary June 26, 2019
Where do you add the balsamic reduction. Looks time consuming but delicious on a cold winter morning.
 
Noreen F. June 25, 2019
That does look amazing. Not sure I'd tackle the whole thing for breakfast, but this article & recipe are giving me ideas. What else could I do with savory french toast? Maybe mushrooms and asparagus, or roasted tomatoes. So many possibilities!
 
ELLE June 25, 2019
Easy does it! No wonder I see so many fat people.