Once again Time Out New York released their Top 100 Dishes of the year and once again, I’m going to eat my way through every one. And no price point or subway delay will stop me. In no particular order, here’s my take on their Top 100.
The latest cuisine to descend on the hipsters of the New York food scene is Canadian food. Who’d have seen that coming?
In addition to one of my favorite new spots, Mile End, another Quebecois-style breakfast spot recently opened. M. Wells is in an old-school diner in the warehouse heavy neighborhood of Long Island City, Queens. I’ve been reading about this place for a while, but they’re currently only open for breakfast and brunch and it’s rare that I get out of the house much before noon. So I’m thankful it found its way onto Time Out’s list (although some regulars who had to wait longer than usual were not as thankful). The list finally motivated me to get up and go get some breakfast.
Everything sounded so good and all the other NY publications raved about something different (the burger, the meat pies, the tortilla). We sort of ignored them all (except Time Out) and went with the waiter’s suggestion of the gravlax. We also had a side of maple ploye (which are like a hybrid of crepes and pancakes).
It was a nice balanced breakfast (in flavor, not in nutrition). The buckwheat ploye were sticky and sweet and it was a great way to sample a little pancake-flavor without overdoing it. The gravlax was amazing! It’s cured in house and paired with crunchy sunchokes, earthy fennel, and some spiced up with some horseradish sauce. It was light and full of flavor.
But we can’t forget the thing that brought use here in the first place. The star of the show: the egg-sausage sandwich. There was a similar sandwich on last year’s list from Bark Hot Dogs, but M. Wells’ take on it is just outrageous.
The eggs are fluffed up in a microwave and then finished on the griddle. It’s sandwiched between a fresh and buttery housemade English muffin along with a gigantic homemade sage sausage patty (it’s practically a pork burger!), smoked Vermont cheddar cheese (one of the few things not made in the restaurant), tomatoes, a layer of mayonnaise (you guessed it – homemade), and pickled jalapeños. Whew!
The sandwich was really good. My only problem was that all the flavors were so bold and rich that it almost got to be too much. Yet I just couldn’t stop eating it. I also wish I got a bit more of the jalapeños. I sensed a briny spice in one particular bite which got my heart racing. But then I couldn’t seem to find that experience again. Imagine that – the jalapeño flavor got overwhelmed! This is not your typical diner egg sandwich.
But, of course, M. Wells is not your typical diner. Other things on the menu include foie gras, bone marrow, and escargots. And everything I tasted was pretty darn delicious. I can’t wait to get back and work my way down their constantly changing menu. If this is the way they do things in Canada, I may look into immigrating.
Would M. Wells’ Egg Sausage Sandwich make my Top 100 of the year? Most likely. It’s a great portion in a great new diner with great familiar and new flavors all together at once. It gets a 9 out of 10.
|21-17 49th Avenue (at 21st Street)
Long Island City, Queens