The Bodega ‘Eggs on a Roll’

Both cities have great ethnic food. New Yorkers scoff at eating pizza in Los Angeles but repeatedly suggest Mexican food to their Angeleno visitors. The “eggs on a roll,” available for breakfast at any of a million New York bodegas, is not something I understand how Los Angeles lives without. New Yorkers only think they understand hamburgers, but New York is objectively better at sandwiches. Coffee snobbery exists to a higher degree in New York, which is kind of hard to believe, because Los Angeles sets that bar really high.

Pal Eric Spiegelman wrote a really great post comparing New York and Los Angeles, and as someone who has now spent a good number of years in both cities, I agree with everything he says! The one thing I have not taken advantage of in my six or so years as a New Yorker is the bodega “eggs on a roll,” and I’m wondering if I’m missing out on something really great. My father was the sort of person who firmly believed that you shouldn’t spend money on something you could easily make on your own, so I’ve learned to make my own egg sandwiches in the morning, which I can make under five minutes now. I’m either saving money, or missing out on a really great New York staple, so maybe I’ll get one tomorrow and decide.


39 Comments / Post A Comment

sockhopbop (#764)

Eggs on a roll are crazy-delicious! But the best is an everything bagel toasted with eggs and cheese (my standing order at the Brooklyn bagel place I used to haunt).

MuffyStJohn (#280)

Oh man, I’d be happy to have access to the food in NY or LA. As it is, DC has one of the absolute foulest culinary scenes on the planet. Overpriced, unimaginative crap everywhere.

cherrispryte (#19)

@MuffyStJohn DC’s got a good high-end dining scene, it’s new and shiny. But good cheap eats? Jesus we suck hard.

MuffyStJohn (#280)

@cherrispryte I’m afraid to know what high-end dining costs, but I know I can’t afford it. As it is, the mid-priced options I can afford are just . . . bland. Boring. Sad. And I always find myself saying “I could get better food for half the price in Baltimore.”

I am thanking sweet baby Jesus that I finally found cheap, edible Chinese near my apartment (after 9 months of eating overpriced garbage from Hunan Dynasty). I guess that’s the best I can ask for.

cherrispryte (#19)

@MuffyStJohn I can’t afford it either, but foodie that I am, I read about such places, they seem highly-respected? Also, I am intrigued by your discovery of cheap edible Chinese.

@cherrispryte (You may want to deactivate your cliche filter for the following comment, however:) There are a few really good places in Chinatown that are not too pricey for the quality, provided that you order the right dishes.

MuffyStJohn (#280)

@cherrispryte Hong Kong Carryout off Lincoln Park! Cash only, bullet proof glass in front of the counter, the best fucking sesame noodles you can get for $4.

mannnn i was going to NOT buy eggs on a roll today, and then you posted that picture, and now i most certainly AM going to buy eggs on a roll. except instead of the roll: an everything bagel.

j-i-a (#746)

@Logan Sachon Bodo’s everything bagel. IF ONLY

RachelG8489 (#1,297)

That reminds me: I need my egg sandwich, because I just couldn’t deal with another morning of yogurt and fruit and granola today. I should go pick that up.

lrodrigue (#1,315)

shit, there goes the idea for the next thing I was gonna pitch to you (a 15,000-word ode to the bodega egg-and-cheese which costs like FIVE CENTS)

perhaps you could review all of the egg and cheeses and tell us which is the best egg and cheese. some people i’m sure would also be interested in how to make their own egg and cheese, though i am absolutely not one of those people.

jfruh (#161)

The excellent bagel place next to my brother-in-law’s Carroll Garden apt. was closed on Memorial Day so I had to get my NYC breakfast fix at the bodega next door and tried this eggs-on-a-roll business and I have to say it was pretty vile? I mean, I ate it and all, but scrambled-eggs-fused-into-a-patty are just not my thing, I guess, even when I had them put some delicious freid meat on it.

roseds (#475)

Eggs on a roll are the best thing ever when you get sick of carting your own oatmeal across four boroughs at 6:30 in the morning. A special reward for $2! Also, some bodegas in the Bronx have them for $1.75. If you can befriend the deli guy and get the eggs over easy rather than scrambled, it is additionally amazing.

mishaps (#65)

Oh, man. I had long avoided the egg sandwich because the bodegas near me are all sort of sketch, and I thought, HOW GOOD COULD IT BE? But then I made one at home using Deb Perelman’s recipe: and now I have to avoid them because I would eat them ALL THE TIME if I could.

They are cheaper to make at home, though.

Once again, DC gets left out. YOU GUYS. We control, like, ALL the money. And the bombs. Watch out.

@stuffisthings Plus we’ve got the best crabs, hams, and Ethiopian food. And have you ever had biscuits and gravy at a Jewish deli in New York?

EDIT: Also, do they have those Korean-owned, pan-ethnic pay-by-the-pound buffet places in other cities, or is that a DC thing? I’ve never encountered it before but there are like six of them within blocks of my office.

selenana (#673)

@stuffisthings I dunno, Philly’s got pretty great Ethiopian food…

cherrispryte (#19)

@stuffisthings Baltimore has the best crabs, somewhere in southern Virginia has the best ham, and Addis Ababa has the best Ethiopian food.
I love this city, and as I said above, we’ve got a good pricey food scene, but DC doesn’t even BEGIN to compete with NY when it comes to high-quality, fast, cheap food.

i’ve had great ethiopian and great vegan food in d.c.! i don’t know names! one of the vegan places is a vegan soul food place by howard i think???? mac and faux cheeeseeeee collardsss amaaazingggg

mishaps (#65)

@stuffisthings they are ALL OVER New York.

@cherrispryte OK, OK, this is true. However, while we may not have “the best” crabs or Ethiopian food, I guess I’d say we at least have comparative advantage in these categories. Also, I like that Southern food and soul food are widely available (again, probably more so than either New York or certainly LA).

ms. olsen (#1,102)

@stuffisthings Agreed! We do have awesome cheap, fast, ethnic food in the suburbs. Bit of a hike, but it’s here and it’s delicious. Plus, as cherrispryte points out, we do have an excellent mid- to upscale food scene.

And I really really love that we have great soul food on corners, in our versions of bodegas, as opposed to/in addition to in trendy restaurants.

ms. olsen (#1,102)

@stuffisthings Wow, that’s…something something neighborhood dynamics. I like this quote: “We fell in love with this place because of how we are treated, with dignity and fresh fish,” he said.

That’s how I would like to be treated. I’m making a field trip.

@ms. olsen “White, who is African American”

The food served out of carts/bodegas/weird buffets in the middle of a completely unrelated shop is one of the things I miss most about nyc. I miss my donut/coffee guy!! However, Chicago has the tamale guys with the coolers so for like $3 your bar night is complete.

Eggs on a roll is amazing and for like $2 is basically the same price as making it at home because I would have to have rolls on hand (which would inevitably go bad and I’d have to throw out) also making it at home makes dishes and…time is money? (I just really hate breakfast dishes in the sink all day while I’m at work.)

Bee'sKnees (#57)

@Michelle LeBlanc@twitter The only advantage I’ve found to making eggs on a roll at home instead of getting them at the bodega is the availability of favorite hot sauces. But once I found a bodega with Frank’s Red Hot, I was in business.

When I was a science teacher in Brooklyn, I justified the $3 I paid for breakfast because it kept me from ending it all. I dare even the most staunch frugalists to deny me that purchase.

cherrispryte (#19)

The main appeal to me of bacon egg and cheese on an everything bagel from the deli (for this is the only acceptable combination) is, well, the bacon. It is on the short list of foods I don’t keep in-house, because I know if I had it, I’d just be putting bacon in all of my food. There was (maybe still is) a good dirty deli at GW that made a reasonable approximation of the NYC deli version, but I can’t imagine that that place still survives.

charmcity (#1,091)

@cherrispryte The GW Deli is definitely still open and still looks a little dirty (from the outside.) I didn’t go to school here, but now I work in the neighborhood, and I would be willing to deal with a little grime for a good egg bagel.

cherrispryte (#19)

@charmcity awwww, yay for the GW Deli! I don’t know if I’ve ever eaten food from there NOT hungover, but it was college, so that was most of the time anyway. Give ’em a try!

@cherrispryte I get this at the deli in Silver Spring on many mornings for precisely the same reason. The owners are Japanese but they do a pretty nice job, EXCEPT, their everything bagel has some weird fragrant seed on it (fennel, maybe?) that I don’t always appreciate.

thejacqueline (#799)

I’m kind of (very) confused by his “doorknobs break off all the time in New York” thing. Is this a thing? Has this ever happened to anyone who is not the author of this article?

ennaenirehtac (#199)

@thejacqueline Dear God, this used to happen to me all the time when I lived in NY. I thought it was just my bad luck but apparently it is a thing! And this never happened to me when I lived in L.A.

ennaenirehtac (#199)

One thing I miss about NY is the street meat. Chicken and lamb over rice with red sauce and white sauce. Oh man.

@ennaenirehtac STREET MEAT 4EVER

I love eggs on a roll.

I live in Harlem, and yesterday, my egg on a roll was $1.50!!! It’s a new bodega that opened 2 doors down from my apartment. I was psyched. Whoo hoo!

I went today. It was $2. What is this, Weimar Germany?

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