A breakfast sandwich is not a complicated thing. Eggs, cheese, and meat are cooked and then stuffed between toasted bread.
But in Miami, there aren't any classic versions of this dish.
Granted, it's a Northeastern thing. But it's simple enough to make. There's no special equipment required. The ingredients couldn't be easier to source. Even the Kaiser roll -- a crusty round of bread with a fluffy interior -- could be replaced by some Cuban bread.
The key to the sandwich is its egg, which must be cooked sunny side-up over medium heat until it reaches a crispy, browned white and still-runny yolk.
But this is precisely where Miami fails.
The News Café on Ocean Drive takes a shot at it. Their rendition ($9.75), served on a baguette, features a good dose of nuclear-yellow-orange, properly melted American cheese. But instead of runny eggs, they employ rubbery omelets.
The same mistake is made by Roasters' n Toasters, a self-proclaimed New York-style deli. They serve an overcooked, burnt omelet inside its egg and cheese sandwich ($4.50). The Kaiser roll isn't even toasted, turning the sandwich into a sloppy, soggy mess.
At Sergio's on Coral Way, a breakfast sandwich is known as pan con tortilla ($6.50). Several other Cuban restaurants proffer the same dish, but again, they make omelets.
Sure, this Cuban-style creation is excellent in its own right -- filled with everything from ham to chorizo with potatoes and bell pepper. But it's not a real, traditional egg and cheese.
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SHOW ME HOW
What I'm saying is this: Miami, you're missing out. When you bite into that hot, toasty sandwich, you get a hit of a warm, liquidy egg yolk that runs down your chin. You taste that melty, stick-to-the-roof-of-your-mouth American cheese.
So I'll keep searching for the classic. Until then, I guess I'll just settle for the omelets.
For more follow Zach on Twitter @ZachIsWeird.