Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Breakfast? You Two Do the Oddest Things

Truffled Egg Toast -- 'Ino Cafe
'Ino Cafe

As unfathomable as it may sound, we have managed, through the years, to get other people to be our friends. 

We're not saying that we're completely unlikable people on our own, as we have each managed to procure quite enough friends to sustain us through life.  However, we tend to take pity on our mutual friends, as they are forced to put up with our inane conversations and nonsensical quests to have the Food Network dictate everything we eat.

One such mutual college friend (we all met in the marching band, so you can imagine the glowing level of hipness among us) came for a New York visit.  Naturally, we forced her into the action of our Best Thing I Ever Ate adventures with a trip to 'Ino Cafe to eat Scott Conant's favorite EGGSTRAORDINARY dish, the truffled egg toast.
Me Smell Truffle
We are set to arrive at what Ginger believes is the ungodly hour of 9:00am.  Unfortunately, come 9:00am, the only member of our party present at 'Ino Cafe is not only the one from out of town, but the one who had to travel the farthest across Manhattan in order to arrive.  Clearly, we fail at life (and as she later describes her recent forays to Europe, we realize just how hard we have failed).

Having both decided to try to walk off an eighth of the massive amounts of fried chicken and boxed wine we had consumed the day before, we arrive, panting, just after 9:00am.  The reason we are meeting so early in the first place is not just for scheduling convenience, but also because 'Ino Cafe is absurdly tiny, and Vodka is convinced that we will have to wait for a table if we arrive much after opening (and Vodka hates to wait almost as much as she hates to wait in the sun).  But when we stumble into 'Ino Cafe ten minutes after opening, metaphorical crickets can be heard: the place is empty.  In fact, it remains empty for 90% of our dining experience.  Clearly, Ginger isn't the only one in Manhattan who hates to eat early.
But the Early Bird Catches the... Egg?
And speaking of eating early, when Vodka had informed her mother that she and Ginger were meeting their friend for breakfast, her mother had responded, "Breakfast?  Who meets for breakfast?  You two do the oddest things."

In fact, breakfast is a rather convenient meal when your life philosophy is "It's Not Even Noon Somewhere."  Therefore, Vodka has no issue downing a bellini at 9:30am, and our guest joins her in mimosa consumption.
Mid-Morning Cocktails
Ginger, lamenting the previous day's box of wine and her subsequent pitcher of margaritas, sticks with (what Vodka finds to be appalling) black tea.
Poor Showing, Ginger
Our friend, who will have her Ph.D. in at least 18 subjects before the two of us figure out how to get anyone but our parents to read our blog, informs us that many studies have been completed at her academic institution showcasing the fact that people who drink alcohol regularly live much longer.  Ginger's assessment of this scientific fact?  "We're gonna live forever."

Onto the food, Vodka orders the chosen truffled egg toast, which arrives reeking of truffle oil (the one foodie smell we have now mastered).  A runny egg is perched on top of a thick slab of toast, all coated by a warm layer of chewy melted cheese and, of course, the truffle oil.  Miniature sprigs of asparagus also dot the plate, but they seem more an afterthought than part of the dish itself.  Stabbing into the egg, the yolk runs out across the cheese and toast (this runny yolk phenomenon is the reason Ginger refused to order the dish herself, as she apparently hates to see runny eggs in the morning).
Egg Running a Marathon
Biting in, the toast is crunchy and slightly tough on the corners but soft and warm on the inside, and it is in fact quite tasty.  Frankly, the combination of bread, cheese, and truffle oil would be fairly difficult to screw up, but the bird's nesting of the egg does indeed add to the proceedings.  If anything, the toast is a bit small for its $9 price, but the taste alone is worth it.
Cheese + Bread = Our Idea of a Good Time
Being unable to eat runny eggs before noon, Ginger decides on the Italian BLT, which has pancetta, lemon mayonnaise, rucola, and tomato in between two white slices of crustless bread.
Oh, and Some Lonely Looking Olives
This choice, too, proves to be pretty good, if nothing to write home about (Vodka believes an increase in bacon could have pushed the dish over the top, and the crustless bread makes it rather like an English tea time finger sandwich).
Fetch Us a Spot of Tea
And finally, our friend chooses the egg and cheese panino with sweet onion, which is a heftier sandwich than the other two and rather enjoyable (if a bit too sweet onion-heavy). 
Onion Overflow
As Ginger examines the lemon mayo on her sandwich, Vodka relates the fact that one of our other friends hates condiments in all forms, an opinion which horrifies Ginger, as she proclaims, "That's why I eat food: the condiments."  Therefore, perhaps the only thing standing in between the truffled egg toast and 5 star rating is a side of ketchup.

'Ino Cafe's Truffled Egg Toast: 4 stars

1 comment:

  1. Surprisingly enough, I actually still read your blog somewhat regularly and am rather amused by it. Julia and I would even be interested in tagging along for one of your adventures, if the opportunity presents itself.