“I live in Pasadena, which is home to your favorite egg salad sandwich.” That was the first thing I said when I met Ruth Reichl. She is now my idol, however, then I was just beginning to learn her story. I read that fun fact on one of her tweets, before I read the heartbreaking ones and learned that Gourmet magazine went under. My fellow food bloggers and friends, Gastronomy Blog and Teenage Glutster, were in line with me to meet Ruth after the celebration and talk for Gourmet magazine. They both told me that Ruth Reichl’s book Garlic and Sapphires changed their lives. After meeting her and hearing their vetting, I knew this was a book that I must read. For the last few years, thanks to B School and coming into womanhood, I have been strictly reading business, economics, and feminist books. Since I finished school I have moved on to read nothing but Erica Jong, once you find a writer and character (Isadora Wing) that share your exact voice it is impossible to let go. On my recent trip home I finally picked up Ruth’s book and once again my life was changed. Ruth Reichl has the career, personality, palate, and writing ability that I aspire to hold. I finished the book in only a few days and now feel a new vigor to transform my life and really get great at writing about food. Color me inspired.
After returning back to LA after a great time in Nor Cal, I came home to discover that my bathroom sink overflowed. It was a nightmare. I escaped to my favorite bakery, home of the best egg salad, with the last couple of chapters of her book to savor. When I first moved to Pasadena, nearly 3 years ago, it was Lovebirds Cafe across the street that I was most excited about. I loved the name of the cafe and the interesting sandwich menu with crisp green apples and sharp cheddar on a turkey sandwich. Unfortunately, the place was awful. However, it is because of those bakery failures that I traveled across the street to Euro Pane. It was not the egg salad that first stole my heart there; it was the caramel sea salt french macaron. My boyfriend at the time was an emotional eater, who felt the exact same way about food that I did, and we got this cookies the morning after every sleepover. My next boyfriend, who was much more of a drinker than an eater, didn’t get food at all and said it was the “total chick’s cookie” for those times when us girlies crave the sweet and salty. I later described this particular cookie as “the essence of femininity.” I find the term to be much more feminist approved and accurate. On this emotional day when I came in, while my sink was being fixed and the tiles on my bathroom floor were scrubbed, I needed a cookie. At the cash register they were giving samples of the caramel sea salt macaron. This quarter of a cookie filled my salty/sweet quote but I still needed more sugar. I ordered the berry macaroon. The consistency and complexity was just as delicious but in the words of Sinead O’Connor and my Yelp review “Nothing Compares 2 U, my sweet and savory cookie.”
Of course, I ordered the egg salad that I have been raving about for the last two years. I had Ruth Reichl’s book in my hand and I really tried hard to concentrate on the way in which an expert would eat this. I felt as though I had all of her words and shared experiences at my disposal and I closed my eyes to enjoy and enhance the taste. This sandwich is open faced, which for a non-UG may mean a knife and fork. The eggs themselves are soft boiled and are right at the perfect line of very delicate and not oozy (technical term). The fresh baked bread has a sun dried tomato spread that perfectly sweetens the sandwich and some fresh baby greens for texture, color, and taste. The sandwich then has the final cracking of black pepper and sliced chives on top and it is served. It is a sandwich of renewal and despite being Jewish and always despising Easter this would be the epitome of an Easter sandwich. Let’s just say I wasn’t worried about my bathroom sink after eating this sandwich. I often say that 80% of my life is the quest for a good sandwich and this, my friends, is it.
I know Pasadena gets a bad rap for food, but we truly hold one of the greatest sandwiches and we are about to get even luckier. The rumors are on the blogosphere (from Cafe Pasadena and Brigham Yen) that we are are getting a brand new Euro Pane. Whether it is a relocation or a second location, I am thrilled! We will be sure to let you know, when we know more, but for now grab an egg salad sandwich and a cookie because your life just got so much more delicious.