The Endless Road Trip, Philly: A Smorgas-bread of Brunch Foods

Most tourists only make it to South Philly for the gloopy fake-cheese fest at the intersection of Pat’s and Geno’s, but it’s worth going just a little further south for a taste of the North Sea at Noord Eetcafe. Dutch-born chef Joncarl Lachman pays homage to his home country as well as the foods of Denmark, Norway and the rest of Northern Europe at this homey BYOB spot. Anyone who thinks Sunday brunch is the time for chefs to phone it in should check out the full-fledged flavors on display here, from warm, caraway-studded grilled bread and butter plopped on the table immediately…

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….to the pickled cauliflower, onions and green tomatoes that come with nearly everything, including the crispy fried mushroom and chicken kroket:

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Noord’s daily-changing take on Scandinavian smorrebrod sandwiches always features an array of smoked fish—salmon, scallops and head-on shrimp when I stopped in—finished with a deliciously creamy, mustard seed-spiked dressing, plus more of those lovely pickled veggies.

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The Endless Road Trip, Philly: Breakfast Sandwich of the Year

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A couple years back Endless Simmer took you to Philadelphia for an epic foodie road trip, taste testing everything from soup dumplings to Tastycakes. This week we’re returning to the city of brotherly love to find out what new foods Philly has on offer — and we were quite taken with several of Philadelphia’s newest restaurants.

Our follow-up on Philly’s five best new food items kicks off today with a breakfast sandwich that will make you forget it’s some ungodly low temperature outside.

Served at High Street on Market — a great farm-to-table find in the otherwise chain-y area near Independence Mall — the pastrami and has breakfast sandwich piles everything there is to love on breakfast onto one fresh-baked poppy seed roll: including a thick, extra-crispy square of hash browns (love that carb-on-carb action), a mound cheesy scrambled eggs, grilled red peppers, tender shaved pastrami and just a little Russian dressing, for a little Rueben-y kick to your morning,  along with a tart house-made hot sauce on the side.

I know it’s only February, but I’m confident saying this is the breakfast sandwich of the year.

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Endless Road Trip: Collingswood Pop Shop

There is more to South Jersey than the Real Housewives: there is food. We were recently visiting  to celebrate my future sister-in-law”s birthday and went to the Pop Shop in Collingswood, NJ. The name “pop shop” insinuates great ice cream floats, milk shakes, and fountain soda. However, I noticed that every waiter was wearing shirts touting their love for cheese. The shop was featured on Food Network”s Throwdown with Bobby Flay for their grilled cheese. The menu features the sandwiches from the show so some of us got that, while future sister-in-law ordered the trophy of dessert breakfasts – s”mores french toast. Then of course, we all gorged ourselves with desserts. Enough chit chat – on to the food.

S”mores French Toast:

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Under the heading of “Fantastic French Toast Dreams,” you will find cinnamon bun french toast, banana”s foster, and even ham and cheese. But then you see the s”mores french toast on the menu and by chance see a waiter flaunting a pile of french toast, graham crackers, chocolate, and marshmallow on what has to be a silver platter. Clearly someone at the table is ordering the s”mores french toast. Sister-in-law ordered it with a small amount of persuasion from the table and offers to give up half of their sandwich for a bite of the gooey french toast.  Well I got my bite in a trade for some bacon and cheese fries. The bite included savory fresh french toast  soaked with chocolate sauce. Then the marshmallow sauce that glues the stack of french toast together hits you. Your bite must include a piece of the top of the stack, since that is where the crunch of the graham cracker comes from. While I would never be able to finish an entire dish of it, I would suggest someone at my table order it again.

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Food Porn of the Day: Ultimate Hangover Sandwich

Ultimate Hangover Breakfast Sandwich Seattle

On a recent visit back to my hometown of Seattle, my friends and I were in a dire hangover situation. We needed greasy goodness but after a night of questionable “dining” choices (midnight quesadillas and – dare I admit it? Domino’s pizza) we also wanted something that was actually well-made and worth our time. No ordinary diner breakfast would do.

Luckily pub/restaurant Lot No. 3 had us covered. This is their grilled cheese (made with Beecher’s – some of the best cheese ever, also Seattle-based) with three important additions: a runny fried egg, caramelized onions, and BACON. But not just any bacon. House candied bacon. Be still my heart (literally, I think I had a mini heart attack while devouring this, but it was worth it). Plus, it doesn’t come with some bullshit salad on the side or whatever. It comes with a miniature bowl of tomato soup. TOMATO SOUP! What else could you possibly need when you’re hungo and hangry?!

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Bacon, Lettuce, & KIWI Sandwiches

BLK Kiwi Sandwiches

Yes, it’s not a BLT, but a BLK! It’s so crazy, it just might work. The good folks at Zespri Kiwifruit sent me an email of kiwi recipes and this was one of their ideas – at first it seemed a bit controversial, but kiwis have kiiiinda similar textures to tomatoes, plus that zingy bite. Not too sweet or mushy. And I do love incorporating as much tropical fruit as possible into my summertime meals… another bonus for easy summertime cooking, when you don’t want to spend hours slaving over the stove – this takes about five minutes to make. Two thumbs up, kiwi friends!

Bacon, Lettuce, & Kiwifruit Sandwich

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Growing a Serious Sandwich

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With spring weather (finally-maybe-is-it-really) coming to most of the country it’s about time to start talking gardening. Now, to put it nicely my cooking technique focuses on creativity and innovation at the expense of perfection and measurement, and my gardening experience, not surprisingly, has had about as much success as my baking repertoire. Which is to say…not much.

So I was excited to receive a shipment of Gro-ables, a foolproof new way to grow herbs and vegetables in your backyard, garden or kitchen. Gro-ables are ready-to-plant seed pods that come with a built-in environment for your seed. Each pod contains growing materials, plant food and seeds (basil, spinach, cilantro, dill, sweet peppers, cherry tomatoes and more). All you need to do is open the seed pod, drop it in some dirt and then water occasionally. Now that’s my kind of gardening.

With sunny weather on hand this week, I was inspired to get going with my Gro-ables — planting some basil, cherry tomatoes and lettuce on my windowsill. That in turn got me hungry for some fresh herbs and veggies, so while I’m waiting for those to grow, I took the basil I already had on hand, whipped up some fresh pesto and put together a new take on an ES favorite sandwich.

BLT Sandwich with Fresh Pesto, Mozzarella and Basil

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