I recently ate dinner at Sweet Grass. Later that night I ran into a friend, Steve Goldstein, at a party. He asked if I'd ever eaten the fried egg sandwich at Sweet Grass Next Door -- the more intimate bar/restaurant that's actually next door to Sweet Grass.
Goldstein's description made me hungry all over again. He said the sandwich was made with egg, avocado and bacon, three of my favorite things to eat.
Before I even got inside Sweet Grass Next Door a few nights later, Shawn Ilsley, who was standing outside, told me the egg sandwich was his favorite thing on the menu. "What's not to like about an egg sandwich?" he said. "And you get two eggs on this sandwich."
Two eggs? I was getting hungrier.
I ordered my eggs sunny-side up because I like runny egg yolks. The sandwich, which comes with lettuce, tomato, cheese, Applewood smoked bacon and avocado on sourdough bread, arrived open faced. I tried to make a traditional sandwich out of it, but it was too sloppy, so I used a fork. Bartender Adam Rembert assured me other people eat it at that way, too.
The next night I called Ryan Trimm, executive chef at Sweet Grass, to get the history of the sandwich.
"I'm making one right now," he said. "It's what we eat at home. It's just something I used to make all the time when I'd get home from college or something. It's my favorite snack."
And, he added, "There's not a whole lot of inspiration behind it. It's just stuff we had in the kitchen."
Trimm actually used sourdough bread to make his sandwich snacks back in the day. That bread came from the store. The sourdough bread at Sweet Grass Next Door is baked in house.
"I think it's a great thing to put on the bar menu," he said. "We toast it (the bread) on a flat top and then we take it off and put the cheese on it. We put cheddar on it. You can get anything you want. Some people ask for goat cheese."
People apparently ask for all kinds of things. "We have one regular who likes scrambled (eggs), no avocado."
To me, avocado adds just the right touch to the sandwich. "When it combines with egg yolk it's almost like putting a sauce on it like mayonnaise or something," Trimm said. "I think that's what puts it over the top."
Sweet Grass Next Door is at 937 South Cooper; (901)-726-0015.
Michael Donahue: (901) 529-2797; firstname.lastname@example.org