by Eric Asimov
New York Times, Friday, Oct. 14, 2005
(This story appeared in the New York Times about one of the many restaurants that Newsom's County Hams is privileged to list among its clientele. Our hats off to George Weld and Egg.)
The pancakes are eggy, yet so feathery light that they are seemingly
gone before you've begun to eat. The maple syrup is so
richly flavored you can practically see the steam
rising from a sugar shack in the snowy woods. The
grits, from Anson Mills in South Carolina, are imbued
with the taste of corn, and the country ham, from Col.
Bill Newsom in Princeton, Ky.ówell, let me just say
that this dark and ruddy ham, served in thin slices
that almost crumble at the touch, is so profound that
you want to pause in midbite and thank the gods for
putting this meal in front of you.
At Egg, a sliver of an operation in Williamsburg,
Brooklyn, somebody loves breakfast. That is clear, and
it's just as clear that it's an outside job. New
Yorkers don't love breakfast. They barely tolerate it,
except when it's called brunch. Then they stand in the
rain for an hour waiting to eat somebody's poor excuse
for eggs Benedict. But breakfast? That's what you drink
on the subway, or buy from a cart on the way to the
Sure enough, George Weld, the proprietor of Egg, is
from the South. He grew up in Virginia and the
Carolinas, the heart of American breakfast country,where his father was a traveling minister. His big reward as a child was pancakes for dinner.
Having resettled in New York, Mr. Weld, now 33, was
livmg a typical Williamsburg life, working at a dotcom, trying to write a novel. He became friendly with Brian and Melissa Benavidez, who coincidentally owned Sparky's All-American Food,
an all-natural hot dog and hamburger joint in a narrow
space that looks like an old garage, with a concrete
floor and flea-market furnishings. Sparky's was open
for lunch and dinner. Mornings were considered dead
With the Benavidezes, Mr. Weld hatched a plan. Each
morning Sparky's would become Egg, serving breakfast
until noon, at which time the space would revert to
Mr. Weld's pancakes are indeed a reward, but there is more. Like
scrambled eggs, a dish that is so woefully undervalued in New York that the typical fried-to-shoe-leather texture is not just accepted,
it's preferred. That's why people pour ketchup on eggs. At Egg, if you ask for eggs scrambled soft, you receive eggs with pillowy curds so light that they rival the pancakes for airiness.
Or consider the country-ham biscuit, a fat buttermilk
biscuit layered wlth that wondrous ham, sweet fig jam
and Grafton cheddar from Vermont. Try this, and it
becomes impossible to settle for one of those fastfood
egg-and-muffin combos again unless, of course, you
enjoy standing in the rain for brunch and drinking bad
coffee through a bitten-through plastic top.
Egg, 135 North Fifth Street, Williamsburg, Brooklyn,
(718) 302-5151. Breakfast, 7 a.m. to noon Monday
through Friday, 8 a.m. to noon Saturday and Sunday. Breakfast, $5 to $7; sides $1.50 to $3. Cash only.
The Egg has moved to 109 N. 3rd St., between Berry and Wythe in Brooklyn ... 2014