This is the latest installment of Foodie Underground.
Any foodie-wise restaurant knows to wrap hors d'oeuvres, entrees and even the table rolls in bacon, but lately, eggs have been showing up to the dinner table at every opportunity. On pizzas, astride mashed potatoes, in ramen: This is much more than the classic Caesar salad preparation of soft-boiled egg beside dressed hearts of romaine. But it's not just eggs and bacon. For better or for worse, breakfast is in.
In a stagnant economy and dismal state of global affairs, we're in dire need of comfort food.
A waffle sandwich for lunch? Yes. A food truck that only serves up buttermilk creations? Certainly. Breakfast food isn't the sexiest, but it's cozy and warm, reminding us of a lazy Sunday brunch spent with friends or alone with the Times and the French press.
Are we really having a brinner love affair? If it's an officially defined word on Urban Dictionary, the answer is "yes."
(brin-ner) adj. breakfast eaten at the time in which you eat dinner.
But why? When it comes to food, most of us are obsessed with instant gratification, and fried eggs solve that problem far more quickly than a plate of artisanal cheese with fruit compote, let alone a fennel emulsion. As Shawn LaPean, executive director of Cal Dining at the University of California, Berkeley says, "eating weird is the new normal." Which means breakfast for dinner is just as marketable even in the upscale food world as foie gras bread pudding. (Some days I think being a foodie is no more than a glorified version of our meat-and-potatoes humanity -- fancified with pancetta and foccacia, or pork belly and polenta.)
Feel the need to get on the breakfast train? Here are five ways to bring home the bacon.
Make them with sweet potatoes. Then make a sandwich. Or add chicken fried steak. Whatever you do, don't serve them with maple syrup.
Just put an egg on it. Or two.
They're French! And classy! As long as they're made with buckwheat and not smeared in Nutella.
Like crepes, but not. If they're fluffy and include a fancy dairy product (think: Ricotta) you can feel fine about eating them for dinner.
No matter how much you love breakfast -- and if the restaurants of Brooklyn, San Francisco and Portland that are jam packed at 10 a.m. on a weekday morning are any indicator, most of us really do -- proceed with caution. Replacing real meals with mashups of whatever-we-feel-like foods might have us running towards the brink of self-destruction. Breakfast for dinner (or lunch) is almost as bad as gourmet junk food, and if those trendy food carts and waffle windows don't watch it, their culinary prowess just might risk the reputation of a Maple Bacon Sundae.
Oh, you want to serve them on a waffle? Even that is too underground for this columnist.
Editor's note: This is the latest installment of Anna Brones's weekly column at EcoSalon, Foodie Underground, discovering what's new and different in the underground food movement, from supper clubs to mini markets to the culinary avant garde.