The Perfect Sandwich
Stocking Up on Protein and Pickles at Stock Up
It’s like a spiffed up Korean Sausage McMuffin, and you don’t have to swim across the Hudson River to eat one. But I did, and I would again, just to hold that square toasted English muffin enclosing a flabby fried egg and savory sausage patty draped in mild cheddar cheese, slathered in aioli mayo and tarted up with hot pink pickled onions. "The Mad Sausage" is only $6.00, and it was just what I needed after my one mile swim from Newburgh to Beacon, New York, the 15th annual swim to benefit the Beacon Riverpool. Stock Up is the Beacon, NY deli/restaurant outlet of Cold Spring butcher and charcutier, The Marbled Meat Shop, which sells meat from small, family-owned farms. Slightly off the main drag of the intensely cute town of Beacon, Stock Up has garnered the enthusiastic following of Yelpers, one of whom says he would commit a crime to eat one of their sandwiches. While "Marbled Meat" conjures images of beef, lamb and pork, most reviews praised the Stock Up's artery-clogging but gloriously crispy fried chicken, especially as presented in concoctions like The Breakfast Bird ($14.00), fried chicken, fried egg, bacon, with "Mike's hot honey" and crisp greens on a brioche. If I hadn't stuffed myself with Entenmann's donuts and bagel chunks smeared in sub-par hummus after the swim, I would have ordered this more substantial sandwich.
My fellow swimmer, my younger, hipper friend and neighbor who had organized the party at Anable Basin, had restrained herself and was ready to dig into a substantial pastrami packed Reuben ($14.00), with brussel sprout sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and "Stock up Sauce," while the Chef enjoyed his similarly meaty Smoked Seoul ($14.00), stacks of smoked ham, with piquant house pickles, Mike's hot honey, Swiss cheese, aioli and crisp greens on a brioche. This place is utterly no frills, though it has good beer and kombucha on tap, more like a deli than a restaurant. But we loved that the focus is wholly on sandwiches and speedy service.
I Have Eggs For Everyone
There’s a Facebook Group that appears inexplicably on my feed. It’s called, “I have eggs for everyone,” and the profile pic is of a Japanese child’s face poking out of a yolk-yellow cardboard oval whereas other pictures show children performing in what seem like public school plays. There is no indication what this group is or does. Anyway, if someone has an egg for me, I will take it. Lately, I’ve been too lazy to stock up the fridge with lunch stuff, so I’m having eggs—poached, scrambled, boiled. When you have eggs, make an egg salad sandwich, and when you don’t have mayo, borrow the mayo from your Japanese neighbor, as I did today. Man, there is something so inspired about Japanese mayo. It’s thicker, richer, sweeter. If you Google it, you can find out that a little rice vinegar and sugar can turn American mayo into Japanese. For the open-faced egg salad sandwich (above) I used two slices of Orwashers raisin walnut pumpernickel bread ($5.95/1/2 loaf), two hard boiled eggs (a la Martha Stewart; bring to boil, turn heat off and let sit in water covered for 12 minutes EGGsactly before peeling), one minced celery stick, lots of Japanese mayo and squirts of Sriracha sauce, salt and pepper. Spread on bread and top with ripe-to-bursting Jersey field tomato slices. The egg salad texture was velvety, and the cool tomato against the still warm egg provided a lovely contrast.
The Sea, The Sea and The Sandwich Reprise
In my post The Sea, The Sea and the Sandwich, I wrote that there was nothing so stimulating to the appetite as the salt ocean air. That's why I look forward so much to my short yearly sojourn to Davis Park on Fire Island. My sister Carol has a share and generously asks me out to join her for part of the week she gets each summer. A storm had whipped up the ocean and there were warnings of riptides. I find that it's almost impossible to swim at Fire Island, what with shark attacks, stinging jellyfish, riptides, undertows! Still, Carol and I worked up quite an appetite lazing on the beach, staring at our Kindles and breathing in the salt ocean air. I promised her a "perfect sandwich," which was made possible by the Trader Joe's fixin's she had brought: a pack of Italian meats, incredibly luscious burrata, and by the Mesclun and field tomatoes I bought. We had to make do with overpriced Pepperidge Farm white bread from the harbor store, the kind that sticks to the roof of your mouth. A really perfect sandwich would have been on an Italian ciabatta, but to borrow one of the Chef's favorite phrases: don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. We had showered off sand in the wooden outdoor shower. The sun was forcing its way through clouds, and we each had a plate with slices of a ripe Hass avocado on the side of a pretty good sandwich. Sometimes enjoyment of the good can usher in a moment of perfect happiness.
A Simple Saugerties Sandwich
And I leave you with yet one more sublime sandwich from our summer Hudson Valley jaunts. We bought cheese from Churchtown or Cooperstown at Rock n Raw Edibles, a vendor at the lively little Saugerties Farmers Market, used fig jam from the fridge at our lovely AirBnB. We sprinkled some sliced grape tomatoes on top, and used slices from a boule of white farmhouse bread from another market vendor, Our Daily Bread, from Chatham, NY.