2 Sparrows' Belly Sandwich
Recipe of the day
There's something truly magical about an expertly cooked breakfast sandwich. Taking that first bite and tasting the balance between the unctious meat, the silky egg, and the crisp and flaky biscuit is sure to set a delightful tone for the rest of the day. A new kid on the Chicago brunch scene, 2 Sparrows, makes a pork belly and egg sandwich that takes the art of breakfast sandwiches to new heights.
The chef-owners of 2 Sparrows are childhood friends, Gregory Ellis and Steven Fladung. The duo cut their teeth while working in the back and front of the house (respectively) at Charlie Trotter’s. This past fall, Ellis and Fladung stepped out on their own and opened their first eatery in Chicago's trendy Lincoln Park neighborhood. 2 Sparrows serves breakfast and lunch, and their food is anything but ordinary — foie gras mousse pop tarts, for example, are a mainstay on their menu.
The belly sandwich starts with a salty, buttery biscuit (with a consistency that crumbles more like a scone than a traditional Southern-style biscuit) thats split and toasted. Next comes the pork belly, which maintains a bite to it instead of falling apart completely. The flavor of the meat is sweet and spicy, with a glaze similar to that of barbecued ribs. The belly is topped with a sunny side egg, cooked so that the edges of the whites are crisp-fried, and the yolk is still rich and runny. House-pickled red onions are the final addition to the sandwich, which lend a needed fresh tanginess to the otherwise heavy components at play.
In a city that's full of inventive chef-driven eateries and neighborhood brunch-serving cafes, 2 Sparrows strikes the balance between delivering a menu of unique dishes and a laid-back atmosphere that's so hard to find.
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