May 09, 2008

Chapter 58, In Which I Salute a Sandwich

It--whatever "it" is--is all about the unrecoverable past. Sound Freudian? Well, I am one Freudian motherf---er. (To my knowledge, that line is original with me, for whatever good it will do me.)

Anyhow, I was thinking today about Bernie's, a Columbus landmark since 1975 (I'm told) and the site of a weekly meeting of the minds for several years. Their website bears no mention of the sandwich to which I pay homage today, the Egg-a-Bernie, which I believe at some point was called an Egg McBernie. They probably had to change the name for trademark reasons, but I hope it was because they didn't want to sully this most glorious of sandwiches with any association with fast food.

What, you may ask, is an Egg-a-Bernie? It can be almost anything you want it to be. That's the genius of it. Scrambled egg on a bagel or onion roll with longhorn cheese and choice of meat.

"Choice of meat." Are there three more beautiful words in the English language than those?

So how did I eat my Egg-a-Bernie? On an onion roll with pastrami. This was before I discovered my adopted Irish American identity, or it probably would have been corned beef, but nothing beats the peppery goodness of pastrami. Little known fact: the Egg-A-Bernie as I've described it above is a great hangover cure!

Of course, it wasn't all about the sandwich ... it mostly about the conversation, fueled by the aforementioned sandwiches and endless refills of decent coffee. As regulars, we were permitted to drink from the little brown mugs rather than styrofoam. Three dollars and two cents bought admission to a veritable midwestern conversational Chautauqua.

1 comment:

Tom said...

Ah, the Egg-a-Bernie, which was soon to be a feature on my own blog, during the summer blogging free-for-all: beat to the punch.

If you're considering an Egg-a-Bernie, be sure to avoid the rookie mistake of ordering it on a bagel: the high-quality, super-chewy bagels used in its construction, when subjected to the powerful jaw-forces needed to bite into it, result in the egg being smooshed out the sides in a gooey, cheesy mess.

And thanks, too, for the telling detail: the $3.02 price, the mention of which brought me a powerful Proustian moment, to be challenged only by the powerful smell of Bernie's itself.