Sometimes casual bets have deliciously high stakes.
In the introduction to Egg Shop: The Cookbook, available March 21, Chef Nick Korbee describes how a friendly argument led him to create 17 new variations on the breakfast sandwich.
After service one day, the team from the beloved Lower East Side brunch spot began to debate which item on their egg-focused menu was most popular. Korbee soon found himself at loggerheads with Egg Shop Founder Sarah Schneider: “I was so confident I asked Sarah to pick a number between 1 and 20. She picked 17, a bold move. I was hoping for a number under 10. But…the bet proceeded and the stakes were named. If Sarah was correct regarding which item had been the most popular, I would be obligated to create and prepare a tasting of 17 variations of the ham and egg sandwich.”
Says Korbee, “I did not emerge victorious.”
That’s a lot of sandwiches, even at a restaurant known for taking the ham-and-egg to new frontiers. Luckily for us, Korbee lived up to the challenge—and the team shared all the boundary-pushing breakfast sandwiches with Food & Wine. Check out Korbee’s 17 masterpieces below, and find even more egg-centric recipes in the new book. —Hannah Walhout
If a NYC bodega bacon-egg-and-cheese flew South, you’d get this Dixie-inspired breakfast sandwich: sorghum-topped grits and Benton’s country ham on a jalapeño-cheddar biscuit.
Cubano Con Huevo
Korbee achieves the impossible, improving a Cuban sandwich—that perfect combo of ham, cheese, pickles, mustard and all that is good in the world—by putting an egg on it.
This Bavarian beauty features a fried egg with beer cheese, caraway-spiced onions and Black Forest ham on pretzel. Ja!
A play on Eggs Benedict featuring asparagus, ginger-honey ham, and a jolt of red-eye gravy in place of the classic Hollandaise.
This tower of biscuits and eggs with “chicken-fried ham and ham-fried chicken” is like the KFC Double Down’s grown-up sibling.
Green Eggs and Ham
Despite the Seussical name, this breakfast sandwich is through-and-through Italian: pesto eggs with double-cream ricotta and prosciutto crudo on pizza bianca.
The Croque Madame—France’s favorite fried ham-and-cheese—gets a cheeky update with this toad-in-a-hole-style sandwich.
Topped with four different international hams, this toasty egg sandwich will make you feel connected with ham enthusiasts around the world.
Korbee’s avocado-and-ham hand roll includes not one, but two types of egg: a runny quail yolk and wasabi-infused tobiko, or flying fish roe.
Hamble on Rose
This fried egg sandwich pays homage to the Grateful Dead with rose jelly, Canadian bacon (a possible nod to their legendary Festival Express tour) and classic San Francisco sourdough.
A down-home egg sandwich featuring a combo of sweet corn pudding and fried bologna, making it the perfect hearty breakfast for roadtrippers, hitchhikers and train hoppers alike.
Hardcore ingredients—house-smoked ham, beer mustard, peasant cheese, Sriracha—make this the breakfast embodiment of a biker bar.
Hamson and Delilah
Get Biblical with this Middle Eastern-inspired sandwich featuring hummus, fattoush, hard-boiled eggs and halal/kosher turkey ham on pita.
Holiday in Waikiki
This eggwich incorporates island flavors, like grilled pickled pineapple, as well as other Hawaiian culinary influences—like Portuguese-inflected pan con tomate and SPAM-style fried ham.
I Ham What I Ham
Treat yourself with this unapologetic ham-and-egg sandwich featuring healthy accents like spinach spread, shaved green beans and a drizzle of olive oil.
I Ham Who I Ham
Described as a “stairway to ham heaven,” this three-story sandwich with layers of kale frittata and country ham might help you achieve nirvana.
Can you spot the wordplay? This biscuit and egg sandwich features Ferguson ham and black-eyed pea hummus.
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