When it comes to breakfast sandwiches I used to be an old-school bacon-egg-and-cheese man. For the past year or so though, I have been leaning toward the BEC’s heftier cousin, the sausage egg and cheese. There used to be a coffee cart down the street from my house that made them, but one day in April it vanished. So when a pal said I had to try the sausage and egg sandwich at Roman cuisine specialist Maialino, I made it my business to head to the Gramercy Park Hotel for breakfast.
It’s listed on the menu as simply salsiccia and at $21 it’s more than triple the price of what one pays at a coffee cart, but it’s worth every penny. The hefty puck of heritage pork comes from some very happy hogs and it certainly made this little piggy quite happy when he bit into it. Such juicy porkiness on a pillowy biscuit, perfection along with the fried egg and what first appeared to be two lacy disks of fried cheese sandwich the sausage patty.
It turns out that there’s no cheese on this glorious breakfast biscuit at all. The crunchy disk comes from goodies that leach out of the sausage when it’s seared on the griddle. This is no mere salsiccia patty either, it’s cotechino. The classic Italian winter sausage consists of pork skin, fat, and shoulder meat seasoned with clove, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, and sugar.
While the sandwich was stupendously good, I couldn’t help but think what it would be like to have a couple of whole links of cotechino with toast , eggs, and pancakes. Call it the Roman Lumberjack.
Maialino, 2 Lexington Ave., 212-777-2410