Welcome to the Weekly's list of our 100 Favorite Dishes for 2011! Tune in every day until we get to número uno! Now, on to the latest entry. . . .
You've had egg breakfasts at home, at Denny's, at your local greasy spoon. What Rick Le Blanc of Rick's Atomic Cafe serves starts with the same basic kind of ingredients as everyone else: bacon, eggs, toast and potatoes; but the end product is somehow better, more special, thanks to the fastidious care he takes. The toast is from artisan bread, buttered by Rick, ready to be spread by a thimble of preserves he selected out of a bigger jar.
His potatoes come from a batch freshly made, because he knows breakfast potatoes have to be steaming for optimal toe-curling homeyness. The onions that dot them wilted and just barely singed by the heat of the griddle. The eggs? Cooked just as I requested: over-medium and seasoned ever so slightly with pepper and salt--whites ready to be forked up and yolks dipped into by the crispy points of that buttered toast.
I need a new paragraph for the bacon. It's as straight as rulers. You can spank naughty children with this bacon. No bacon I've ever had, and perhaps no bacon I ever will have can be as perfectly rendered as Rick's. No doubt baked rather than fried, it's crispy from end-to-end with a uniform consistency that's almost unnatural, as if Rick somehow managed to arrange the bacon molecules to conform, yes, subatomically.
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Rick's Atomic Cafe, 3100 Airway Ave. Costa Mesa, 714-825-0570
The list so far:
No. 92: Sticky Rice With Chicken at Quan Hy
No. 93: Beef Koobideh at Hen House Grill
No. 94: $5 Fish Bento at Bentoss
No. 95: Milanesa Sandwich at Piaggio's Gourmet on Wheels
No. 96: Samurai Burrito at Wafu of Japan
No. 97: Carnitas Gordita at Bodega R Ranch Market
No. 98: Spam Musubi at k'ya Street Fare
No. 99: Tortilla Andorra at Anepalco's
No. 100: Lemongrass Chicken, Extra Spicy at Vietnam's Pearl