EGG | 135 N. 5th St., Brooklyn | 718.302.5151 | | |

YES. THERE WAS a brief scare of a period this week that I thought—well, believed—that PHUDE-nyc was going on hiatus. There was/is a lot going on in my personal life and, without going into detail, I just thought that there would be no way I could get to it.

Even if I could, I also didn't want to involve my personal life into my PHUDE work. But then I realized that this very site is an extremely personal endeavor of mine, involving three of my greatest passions: food, photography, and writing. (And sometimes it involves a fourth passion: the company of a fun, smart woman...!)

I've started to realize that as the recession hits people—some far more severely than others (I fully aware I'm not the only one suffering)—they have sought solace in whatever comforts they can, literally and figuratively, afford themselves. That's why the foodie culture has exploded over the last two years, causing otherwise rational—if otherwise stressed and frustrated—people to debate over what restaurant serves the best falafel and which neighborhood boasts the most culturally diverse cuisine. These things, all of sudden, become our passion, and, hence, we care about them that much more. Or is it the other way around?

I particular issues (problems) aren't financial, it's just that being broke kind of highlights them tenfold. And being broke also keeps me from enjoying the distraction of hanging out at a bar chatting up some pretty girl and showing her pictures of my last meal on my pocket point and shoot. And it seriously cuts into my dining expenses. Which is why I though PHUDE would have to suffer.

But, for now, it's the one thing I can't give up. Mainly because it's one of the few things that I can still both control and enjoy. It's the one time a day I feel calm and peace and very much like myself. I can think straight and reassess my life with the most objectivity. Even if it's only for an hour. PHUDE-nyc had become the equivalent of a shrink.

So this morning, I decided to make an appointment with a highly heralded Southern-rooted, comfort food restaurant in Williamsburg called, simply, Egg, for breakfast (not brunch since it was just after 9 in the morning and I wasn't remotely hungover), which has been enjoy rave reviews on sites such as Menupages and Yelp!, and got a shout from New York magazine for having one of the 101 best sandwiches in the city.

Four street blocks, three 6 train stops, 3 L rain stops, and two more street blocks had me turning the corner on N. 5th Street in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (my second time since my last visit to Pies 'n' Thighs), and alighting on a most modest and simple space, with a straightforward array of seating, and not much decor besides a couple of homey touches, and a smattering of customers despite the fact that they had only been open for only about 15 minutes.

I knew I was going to have to try Egg's breakfast Country Biscuit sandwich—the one that everyone's been raving about and wound up on NY Mag's best sandwich list—but after I realized that it it did not, in fact, contain any egg (I can't go to a place called EGG for the first time and not order eggs! That's like going to Peter Luger's Steakhouse for the first time and ordering the fish!), I ordered a side of scrambled eggs, as well as a side of scrapple, a breakfast staple in Philly and in the south, and a "personal" favorite of mine.

While the chefs were busy making my breakfast (and others, I'm sure), I was treated to a nice, light and airy doughnut hole, which was a nice two bites to accompany my surprising large glass of fresh squeezed orange juice.

My dishes soon followed. The Country Ham Biscuit, a towering appearance on the plate, boasts ham (from Col. Bill Newsom's in Princeton, Kentucky.... [?!] ...Exactly....), homemade fig jam, grafton cheddar, and a side of organic grits.

My verdict? The sandwich is a winner. They're starting with extra points with just the home-baked buttermilk biscuit, but add to that some porky, tasty lean and fatty ham, cut it's natural saltiness with the rich, earthy sweetness of the fig jam, then complement that sweetness with an oozy cheddar that's both smooth and sharp.... Well, you get the idea. It hit on all cylinders.

The buttery organic grits had the consistency that I like (just a little thicker than, say, risotto), and were served nicely by a thick and "kicky" hot sauce.

Another plate held my "sides" of scrambled egg and scrapple, although together on the plate resembled a full entrée. I can appreciate the difficulty in making eggs well, and try not to be too picky. But it's a gift when they are scrambled the way that I like, coming to the table fluffy and just wet enough to finish setting as I ate it. I loved the scrapple (seasoned ground mix of all the parts of the pig you didn't think people were eating or even heard of until you started watching Andrew Zimmern!), softer than sausage, but just as tasty, eventually mixing well with bits of biscuit and egg on each recurring forkful.

I ran into a friend of mine while finishing up my breakfast. She's one of the Redskins fans that overtake the bar where I work on Sundays during the regular football season. She was with a friend and, as we exchanged hugs, cheek kisses, and pleasantries, we asked other how we were doing. Turns out, her boyfriend had just moved out of the apartment they just moved into together (across the street from Egg), and her friend want to console her but was having her own issue herself.

Then they asked me how I was doing and I responded with a "Very well, thank you!", and probably, at that moment, meant it. I had again successfully taken myself out of my personal misery and was, not just content, but in a pretty good mood.

I said my goodbyes, realizing suddenly that, after that particular meal, I would need to return home with more than a modicum of expediency. (Too personal...?!) The place was packed by the time I was walking out—at not even 10 a.m.—and I felt refreshed. Like afternoon a good session with a shrink, I assume (oh, and I'll probably be finding out soon enough!).

And I only felt a little guilty about holding up all of the other patient "patients", waiting for their session. With this kind of loyalty and praise, I suggest you guys make an appointment yourselves.

Bun Apple Tea!


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EGG | 135 N. 5th St., Brooklyn | 718.302.5151 | | |