6 Questions with the Man Who Wants to Reinvent the Egg Sandwich
Once again, we here at FWx have sifted through the good, the bad and the fund worthy on Kickstarter to find you the ones worth paying attention to:
Potato Salad was the last Kickstarter campaign to take over virtually every conversation on the Internet. Now there is another: the egg sandwich makeover. You probably didn’t even know it needed to be redone.
With 36 backers to date, 14 days to go, and pledges totaling $545, Joseph Checkler’s Kickstarter scheme to paper midtown Manhattan with instructional pamphlets on the do’s and don’ts of egg-sandwiches appears to be unstoppable. A sampling of Joe’s pointers: adding the much-needed salt and pepper; using more than one slice of cheese; and ensuring the sausage or bacon are cooked to order.
We talked with Joe to uncover his instructional-leaflet dreams, and to find out why he should be the guy entrusted with our morning meal.
1. As a midtown egg sandwich expert, can you estimate how many sandwiches you've eaten to date?
I started working in midtown in 2009, and I would say I probably eat around 47 per year. So, I guess that works out to be like 255.
(When we did the math here at FWX we got 258…but what’s three egg sandwiches between friends?)
2. Are there any midtown locations doing the egg sandwich the right way?
I really like the way they make them at 47 Gourmet Deli, which is on 47th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues. They don’t overcook the eggs and there is enough cheese on it. Here’s a picture:
Star Lite Deli on 44th Street between Eighth and Broadway is great because they have Taylor ham (a.k.a. pork roll), which is a Jersey breakfast staple that you can only get at a few places in New York. How good does this look?
3. Is there a worst offender?
I don’t want to single anyone out, but some of those extremely fast-moving local chains that do egg sandwiches along with salad bars, bagels, grab-and-go stuff, et cetera, seem to have fallen into overdoing an omelet and not putting enough cheese on it. Some of these places do many things very well, but sometimes they aren’t as good on the egg sandwiches. YOU HAVE TO HAVE CHEESE IN EVERY BITE (emphasis Joe’s).
4. When did your Kickstarter idea come to you?
I was actually sitting at my desk eating a great breakfast burrito (bacon, egg, cheese and avocado) from 47 Gourmet and thought to myself, 'This is really good. But now that I think about it, I feel like it’s an exception. I’ve come to accept mediocre egg sandwiches. Why am I doing that?'
5. What do you eat for breakfast on the weekend? I have four great bagel shops within five blocks of me in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. Often I get bagels or bagel sandwiches from them. Or I cook eggs or eat the great eggs my fiancée makes. Her name is Oksana and I call them ‘Okscrambles.’
6. If you could ask any chef to make you an egg sandwich, who would it be?
Bobby Flay, because I trust him for something as macho and seemingly simple––yet nuanced––as the egg sandwich.
Joseph reports that he is already working on plans for his next big Problem-Solving Campaign, but he’s not sharing it with us at the moment. For those interested in funding Joe’s campaign, for $25, you get a T-shirt with a picture of an egg sandwich and instructions on how to make a great one.