One of my favorite experiences is discovering a new dish especially if that particular dish resonates so much that it becomes one of those dishes that form such a strong memory of taste that I'll chase it for the rest of my life. Overly dramatic? Maybe. But, I do keep saying how much I love food.
According to the internet (take that for what it's worth), the Uitsmitjer, in its simplest form, are fried eggs served over ham and toast. Sometimes there's dutch cheese too. It sounds easy enough but that ingredient list is so versatile that there can be some amazing creativity applied to the way it's made. Also, Uitsmitjer literally translates to "The Bouncer" in English (this will be important later) which makes it so much cooler than any other regular breakfast sammy.
My first discovery of the Uitsmitjer was in Philly during the 2016 Democratic National Convention. I decided to go to The Dutch in Pennsport for breakfast since 1) I woke up earlier than my colleagues 2) I was hungry and 3) it was a chance to spend some quiet time amid all the din of the convention. The Dutch is located in a quaint little row-housed neighborhood that seemed quiet and hip. The Dutch's version of the sandwich had two eggs sunny side up, guanciale and melted gouda on top of grilled rye bread. There may have been a salad and pickled veggies too.
"Holy sh*t, that's good", was my first and only reaction. The eggs were cooked perfectly runny so that they mixed into the guanciale and gouda in just the right, messy way. While I love the smoky earthiness of gouda and it's definitely one of my favorite cheeses, the star of this dish is the guanciale. Smoking pig cheek and slicing it thin like bacon should almost be illegal for how good it is. The abundance of fat gives it a much crispier texture than bacon and the flavor is considerably more poignant and sweet. This is simply the most perfect breakfast sandwich ever....well, at least until I find the next perfect Uitsmitjer.
The Corner Charcuterie Bar is another one of those quaint neighborhood restaurants located in Hampden (jut a a bit north of downtown Baltimore). They've quietly built a reputation as a place that serves good drinks, great food and provides a chill, hip atmosphere. They're also probably in the running for one of the top five restaurants in Baltimore. I had gotten a chance to go there until recently and I would be hard pressed to disagree with any of those assessments. It's too bad that the restaurant is being sold since I don't think I've frequented it nearly enough.
I was happy to discover that they also had their own version of the Uitsmitjer and properly refer to it as "The Bouncer" on the menu. This version is served as a "Teaser" (got that right) during dinner service. It's got a fried duck egg, fried prosciutto and melted gouda on top of a piece of brioche. This was so different and yet so similar to the Uitsmitjer from Philly. I liked the richer, more gamey taste of the duck egg. Crispy prosciutto is how it should be served half the time and I prefer the fluff of a brioche over a piece of rye. In other words, I may or may not have inhaled this sandwich. All in all, I probably would have preferred this over the Dutch's version except for the guanciale. Nothing beats guanciale in my mind.
Not only does the Uitsmitjer have a name that you just want to say over and over again but the English translation is even better than the name. And to have a name like that, the sandwich better be frigging good. The Uitsmitjer certainly lives up to that. It's combination, flavor, taste, texture have all been seared in my memory. I'll be on the look out for this sammy anywhere and everywhere so if anyone knows where I can get a good one, please contact me or leave a comment.
The Dutch, 1527 S. 4th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19047, 215.755.5600
Corner Charcuterie Bar, 850 W. 36th Street, Baltimore, MD 21211, 443.869.5075