Melted cheese, crispy bacon, runny egg. You’re on your way to nachos nirvana.
Every Saturday morning, my wife and I walk our dog to a nearby bagel spot and order two bacon, egg, and cheese sandwiches on everything bagels. It’s a ritual that marks the start of the weekend, and it’s one of our few (OK, several) weekly indulgences. Some fist-shaking New Yorkers might argue that a true New York BEC should always be served on a roll. But we’ve concluded that the everything bagel is a much more extravagant vehicle: The chew, slight hint of fermentation, and iconic seasoning of sesame seeds, dried minced onion, poppy seeds, and dehydrated garlic make for a superior sandwich. Don’t get me wrong—a roll is a fine delivery mechanism. But a heavily encrusted bagel gives every bite an explosion of crunchy goodness.
We think about sandwiches. A lot. Not just the BEC, but the bánh mì, muffaletta, and even ice cream sandwiches from the supermarket freezer. Pizza may be our true love (we run an occasional pop-up out of our apartment), but sandwiches are a close second—so much so that we go to a conference every year in Wassaic, New York, to meet with fellow sandwich enthusiasts.
“Something Different” was the theme of this year’s Sandwich Summit, the sixth conference run by artists Breanne Trammell and Shannon Finnegan. The focus of this summit was side dishes, the unsung hero that turns a sandwich into a meal, whether it be coleslaw, a dill pickle, or French fries. Taking it one step beyond, we thought it would be fun to convert one of our favorite sandwiches into a side. Chips, be they BBQ flavored or classic potato, are the natural companions of any sandwich, and nachos turn ordinary chips into a meal. It’s a no-brainer that dipping a chip into runny yolk is absolutely delicious (ever try it? You should!), and that throwing on some melted cheese and crispy bacon would be just adding more tracks to this hot mixtape. A dash of everything-style seeds, salts, and spices on top ties it all together, adding a little pop, reconfiguring our Saturday-morning breakfast sandwich from the top down.
The transfiguration of foods from one form to another isn’t a profound innovation. Applebee’s has been hawking wonton tacos for the past couple years, and gas-station favorite Combos turns pizza into pretzels. But here we are not just changing the shape as a novelty; we’re turning a solo affair into fun for the whole family. The BEC is a New York classic because it’s an on-the-go sandwich, a power-up to boost your willpower on your morning commute before enduring ruinous MTA delays or just a carb-y sponge to soak up the booze from last night. Conversely, these nachos are no single-player mission; they’re meant to be shared among friends while discussing which new Netflix original is worth bingeing and how so-and-so is moving out to Ridgewood—never to be seen again, until we all move out to Queens.
Obviously, breakfast for dinner is not new—McDonald’s introduced all-day breakfast back in 2015—but instead of a syrupy short stack, this dish is a savory pile of heaven. It’s not bacon for the sake of bacon. It’s just that eggs and bacon belong together. Imagine the smiley face breakfast plate—two sunny-side-up eggs for eyes and a strip of bacon for a mouth. These ingredients work with one another aesthetically just as much as they do in your mouth. Their various gooey proteins and fat are just asking for bread to soak them up. It’s an all-American pairing that fits in the home of the Cleavers, the Jeffersons, or even the Simpsons.