Green Eggs and Ham Sandwich
The chef who loves it | Spice Kitchen and Bar's Ben Bebenroth
Sandwich king | With pesto, a six-minute egg, pickled onions, pecorino Romano, fresh arugula and prosciutto layered on a baguette, the sandwich ($11.50) packs in the flavor without a mile-high stack of deli meat. "I love the way that the pickled onions pop and crunch and cut through the richness of the yolk and the pesto," says Bebenroth. "It's very nuanced in flavors."
The first bite | A couple years ago, Bebenroth picked up sandwiches from Flying Fig chef and owner Karen Small's market to feed his Spice of Life Catering Co. staff before a wedding. "You never want to eat your own stuff," he says. "By the end of the catering event, you couldn't pay me to take home chicken."
Savor the moment | After ordering the sandwich more than 50 times (he opts for focaccia instead of a baguette and adds a Grown-up Soda Dry Cola and a salted chocolate-chip cookie), Bebenroth has a unexpected-but-informed scouting report: "It tastes a bit more like a warm spinach-and-bacon salad," he says.
In the CLE | Made with onions from Chagrin Falls' Snake Hill Farm and eggs and greens from a lineup of Northeast Ohio vendors, the dish represents a new kind of Cleveland staple. "It's hearty," says Bebenroth. "You can still get your protein fix without having meatloaf and pierogies."
The Market at the Fig, 2523 Market Ave., Cleveland, 216-241-4243, theflyingfig.com