If summer in New York is objectively gross, Labor Day in New York is positively unbearable. The humidity! The smells! The unidentifiable drips from unidentified sources! So imagine my surprise at having one of the most culinarily pleasing moments of my life on that very weekend this year.
The harbinger of my delight? A bacon, egg and cheese sandwich. Specifically, the BEC from Daily Provisions.
Allow me to paint a picture: It was Saturday morning—August 31, to be exact. My family was meeting in Maryland, so my sister and I set out to head there via Penn Station (yuck). Before steeling ourselves for the seventh circle of transit hell, we met at Breads Bakery in Union Square to pick up a chocolate babka or three. Then, early for our train, we decided to grab some sustenance. A quick Google search revealed that we were mere blocks away from the so-called best bacon, egg and cheese in the city.
As two born-and-raised New York gals who had eaten hundreds of BECs between us over the years, we were skeptical. But also ravenous. So we toted our babkas to East 19th Street (Daily Provisions also has a new Upper West Side location) and found—as expected, based on Yelp reviews—a pretty hefty line. It moved pretty quickly, though, and mere minutes later we were in possession of our sandwiches. It’s also worth noting that everyone behind the counter was an absolute ray of sunshine, despite the sweat-drenched crowds pleading for the cure to their hangovers.
I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t a bacon, egg and cheese just…a bacon, egg and cheese? Oh, dear reader, I was once* like you. (*Three months ago.) But this isn’t your average BEC. Nestled between the softest poppy-seed brioche bun is a perfectly fried, runny egg, a slab of Berkshire bacon and a blanket of melty American cheese. The real standout for me was the bacon, which was thick-cut without being overwhelming and cooked all the way through without being burned. If there were an actual race for best bacon, egg and cheese in the world, Daily Provisions’ version would be Usain Bolt and every other entrant would be your least-athletic friend after Thanksgiving dinner.
Now you might be thinking, This sounds like pretty gourmet stuff. Is it one of those things where a traditionally lowbrow food gets a fancy makeover and a sky-high price to match? Amazingly, no. At just $8, Daily Provisions’ BEC—while, yes, more expensive than its bodega counterpart—is far from a splurge. Everyone say, “Thank you, Danny Meyer.”
I’m not saying I like summer in New York any more than I used to (I hate it, in fact), but I do have to thank that wretched season for introducing me to the revelation that is Daily Provisions’ bacon, egg and cheese.