Renaissance Sausage

31 10 2011

On a Friday, it’s often that there’s no more food at home to bring my lunch, so this past week I was forced to get out of my office and sample a sandwich from the Renaissance Sausage truck that was parked right outside of my building.  The appeal of Renaissance Sausage is the locally produced ingredients and freshly made sandwiches.

I can always go for a bacon egg and cheese (just see my series of breakfast sandwich posts from 2009), so I placed my order and was easily talked into a specialty hot apple cider.  As I was standing there waiting, a group of students ran up to the truck, one of them exclaiming, “I’ve been looking for this truck! They have the best hot apple cider!”

The menu wasn’t extensive, but the truck seemed to have lots of regular customers and a strong presence on Facebook and twitter (@TheSausageTruck).

The sausage is advertised as being made in South Philadelphia, so I asked where my smoked bacon was from, and got the prompt response, “Green Meadow Farm in Gap, PA.”  I like it when the people making food for me know where it’s from.

The sandwich was really good.  It wasn’t amazing, but the bacon had tons of flavor–it tasted like a pig should taste, I think–and it certainly didn’t need to be smothered in ketchup, which is the sad fate of many of my breakfast sandwiches.

I have a lot of other new trucks to try this winter (what’s up with the influx of grilled cheese trucks?  Not that I’m complaining.) so it may take me a while to get back to Renaissance, but I am so happy to see a rise of local and fresh foods traveling our fine city and becoming popular. Next we’ll be seeing them feeding groups of #Occupy supporters.





Winter breakfast sandwich

24 01 2010

Even though my summer breakfast sandwich experiment is long since over, I still crave that eggy and cheesy goodness of breakfast all-in-one once in a while.  I made one for my dinner the other night when Matt wasn’t home with some sausage, spinach, and goat cheese.

With the Almost Meatless Frittata as my inspiration, I fried up one sausage cut into small pieces, put the pieces in the bottom of a small (single-serve) casserole dish, and put a layer of spinach leaves on top.  I whisked two eggs and a splash of milk and poured that mixture on top of the spinach and sausage.  The oven temperature alluded me, but 350 seemed to be the best choice.  You can season with salt and pepper to your taste. When the egg was almost set, I spooned a few dollops of goat cheese on top and when it was almost brown, I took the frittata out of the oven.

Now, you can eat it as is, or make it into a sandwich like I did:

MMM! I love biting into something like this and knowing I am eating all four food groups at once.  How’s that for multi-tasking?





No Name Breakfast Sandwich

21 09 2009

After a long hiatus, I tried the penultimate and 12th breakfast sandwich from a Truck with No Name on Montgomery Ave. between Broad and 13th streets. The Winner will be announced tomorrow after I try the last and 13th sandwich.  I am on pins & needles!





The sandwich looked great except for the not-toasted-enough bread. It was cut in half, with the egg all nicely tucked and I couldn’t wait to dig in. The sandwich was very sturdy despite the white-bread-that-was-hardly toast. Maybe it was the massive amount of bacon in there! With the lack of sogginess, loads of bacon, and excellent egg tuckage, I really really wanted to fall in love this sandwich but I just couldn’t.  It’s like I loved this sandwich, but I wasn’t in love with the sandwich.

The egg was cooked well, there was lots of it (and bacon–did I mention the bacon?), and the cheese was nice and melty, but the taste just wasn’t doing it for me. I tasted ketchup, I tasted bacon (a bit too greasy), and I tasted egg, but the flavors seemed distant–like they all wanted to be in different sandwiches. They weren’t working together as a team. Maybe it’s because the ingredients really were just put on the sandwich as separate entities: first the cheese, then the egg, then the bacon. There was no mingling. Maybe this all ties in together with the truck itself having no name as I really couldn’t distinguish a name among all of the signage.  Maybe the truck, and in connection, the poor breakfast sandwich, are having an identity crisis.

But enough of my breakfast sandwich philosophies, which, on second read sound as random and displaced as the sandwich.  On to the scoring:

Overall appearance: 9
Meat: 8
Egg (quality, quantity, and tuckage): 8
Greasiness: 6
Cheese (quality and quantity): 7
Condiments (quality and quantity.): 7
Carbohydrate Delivery System (credit: Matt Palmer): 4
Price: 7 ($2.50 for lots of stuff)
Accuracy of order: 10
Overall taste: 7
Total score: 73





Breakfast Sandwich Recap: The End is Near

19 08 2009

Well boys and girls, my search for the best breakfast sandwich in North Philadelphia took a small hiatus, and now I am almost at the end. Aren’t you excited? Tense with anticipation to see who will take home the crown? I have one more truck on tap to taste and score before the finale, so until then, here are the latest standings:

Bagel Shop: 89
Ali’s: 84
Sexy Green Truck: 81
Ernie’s: 69
Richie’s: 67
Adriatic Grill: 61
Suzi’s: 61
Ray’s: 60
Eppy’s: 56
McDonald’s: 54
Tommy’s: 53

For you new readers, click here for the grading rubric I developed, along with the help of many foodies, to score the breakfast sandwiches. The winner will be revealed next week so stay tuned.





Suzi’s breakfast sandwich

4 08 2009

I think I am officially all breakfast sandwiched out. They’ve lost their charm. They’ve all started running together.

I met a little girl recently named Skye whose mother owned a small market. This little girl was friendly and talkative and I learned that when her aunt comes to visit her every year for a week, she gets to eat those cereals that come in small boxes (you know–the sugary chocolatey ones). But, she said, “I only get to eat that cereal when I am being spoiled by my aunt.” I said to her, “Well if you got to eat them every day they wouldn’t be as special, right?” She took a good 10 seconds to think about that until she answered, “Yes they would!” Cheeky Cutie.

Well, because I have eaten a breakfast sandwich every week for the past 11 weeks, they definitely aren’t as special to me as they were when I started working where food trucks lined every street. (And I highly doubt that Skye would have kept the same feelings towards the special cereal if she got to eat it year-round. Sorry, Skye.)

Suzi's 001

Suzi's 002

I went to Suzi’s this morning and decided that this sandwich was all about ratios being wrong. It tasted OK, but the egg to bacon, cheese, and bread ratio was not. I opened the foil and was scared of the egginess. I did not want to eat this sandwich.

Suzi's 003

Suzi's 005

Suzi's 008

The egg was overwhelming before I even tried it.  And how could you get proper tuckage with that much egg?  The attempt to tuck was a valiant one and even successful on one side.  Despite the overwhelming quantity, the egg was cooked fine and I liked the consistency: soft and even a bit flaky.  It was not salty enough for me, though, but I would probably eat a salt lick if it was put in front of me.

Suzi's 011

Suzi's 018

The white bread was toasted completely differently on each side.  I preferred the crunchy dark brown side as the lighter side was too mushy.  And I don’t think it was buttered at all, which made it a bit dry. I know I just said that it was mushy and dry.  But it was.

(As you can see in the photo below, I actually pulled out some of the egg.)Suzi's 012

 The bacon was nice and chewy with a smoky flavor, but I wanted more!   The bacon and ketchup were cooked into the egg just the way I like it.

Suzi's 019

Scoring:

Overall appearance: 5

Meat: 6

Egg (quality, quantity, and tuckage): 6

Greasiness: 5

Cheese (quality and quantity): 5

Condiments (quality and quantity.): 5

Carbohydrate Delivery System (credit: Matt Palmer): 5

Price: 7 ($2.75)

Accuracy of order: 10

Overall taste: 7

Total score: 61 (tied with Adriatic Grill

Suzi’s is across from the Anderson Hall vendor strip on N. 12th St.





Recap and Reflection

28 07 2009

I am taking a breakfast sandwich hiatus this week to reflect on what is important in a breakfast sandwich. Is it the quality of the carbohydrate delivery system? Is it the taste and tuckage of the egg? Or simply taking the extra step to put the ketchup directly on the sandwich instead of throwing in packets as an afterthought? I have learned a lot these past few weeks and what it boils down to is taste. How refreshing.

To recap, here are the ten sandwiches I’ve tried so far, from highest to lowest score:

Bagel Shop: 89
Ali’s: 84
Sexy Green Truck: 81
Ernie’s: 69
Richie’s: 67
Adriatic Grill: 61
Ray’s: 60
Eppy’s: 56
McDonald’s: 54
Tommy’s: 53

Now let’s compare their total scores to what their Overall Taste score was:

Bagel shop: 10
Ali’s: 9
Sexy Green Truck: 9
Ernie’s: 6
Richie’s: 6
Adriatic Grill: 6
Ray’s: 6
McDonald’s: 6
Tommy’s: 5
Eppy’s: 4

Overall, if your sandwich tastes good, you’re going to get a good total score.

So, where should I go next? I’m running out of vendors. Anna’s Middle Eastern is closed for the summer and I know she would be a contender with her breakfast burrito. Any other ideas?





Adriatic Grill Breakfast Sandwich

23 07 2009

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Adriatic Grill sounds all fancy shmancy. You don’t usually find fancy shmancy on campus so I was excited to try something they served. It’s probably the cleanest food vendor on campus but the sandwich tasted really bad. All look and no substance is Adriatic Grill.

I ordered a bacon egg and cheese (big surprise) on wheat toast (wheat just escaped my lips today. Should have been white but I went with the slip.) I asked for salt/pepper/ketchup but got the damn ketchup in a packet, not on the sandwich. I have said this so many times before: it is almost breakfast sandwich suicide to give the ketchup on the side. In packets. And Hunt’s! Who likes Hunt’s ketchup? Post a comment if I am crazy and you love Hunt’s.

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This might be one of the most perfect-looking sandwiches I’ve tried so far, complete with the cut in half, but the perfection ended there and I only received this superficial shell of a sandwich.

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Eggs: spongy, dry, tasteless. Tuckage was great, though:

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Bacon: cut in little bits but this works better if ketchup is applied to keep the bits from falling out. Not much taste but the texture was a bit like jerky.

Cheese: couldn’t taste it until half way through the sandwich and the taste was average.  The cheese was liquid while eating the first half but hardened up by the second half. A hardened, solid, glob. Look! Pathetic!

IMG_0038

And hey you North Philadelphians, Temple students, and staff: I am running out of vendors. Let me know where I should go next!

Scoring:

Overall appearance: 10

Meat: 6

Egg (quality, quantity, and tuckage): 7

Greasiness: 5

Cheese (quality and quantity): 5

Condiments (quality and quantity.): 2

Carbohydrate Delivery System (credit: Matt Palmer): 5

Price: 7 ($2.75)

Accuracy of order: 8

Overall taste: 6

Total score: 61

Adriatic Grill is along the Anderson Hall vendor strip on N. 12th St.