The Skinny on Beirut's All-New Eggslut
Controversial name? Check. Niched menu? Double check. Pricy fare? Somewhat, though not unreasonably so.
Here’s why I loved Eggslut.
It’s a tall order trying to concentrate the principles of fine dining in a fast casual concept. When you’re a foodie – these days who isn’t? - you demand high-quality ingredients. You care a little too vehemently about presentation. You prefer an open kitchen, a seat-yourself sort of setting, and a well-lit dining space (it’s all about Instagram-worthy snapshots). You’re a staunch omnivore. Vegans amuse you, and you might admire them, but life’s too short to reject cheese. Or eggs. Or beef. And the gluten-free diet? Leave it to the 3% of the population who suffer from celiac disorder. Why deprive yourself of a beautifully buttered brioche bun if your body was built to process gluten anyway?
If any of the foregoing resonated with you, Eggslut is your new safe-haven.
I’m going to the mirror the conciseness of the menu and just stab at the yolk for you.
|Half of the sandwich line-up Eggslut boasts|
If you don’t want to pay too much, order the Fairfax Sandwich (11,000 LBP). It’s a devilish mess of cage-free soft scrambled eggs, chives, caramelized onions, molten cheddar, and sriracha mayo inside a warm brioche bun. If you like the smoky flavor and crunchy texture of bacon, fork over 6,000 LBP – it’s justified. Skip the turkey sausage. You’re set. Now if you can manage to actually grasp this sandwich and not get it all over the place, you’re not having fun. Let go. Shake your shoulders and arms loose, and just unhinge those jaws. My hunch is that this is Eggslut’s best seller, the epitome of classic comfort food with a twist.
|Scrambled eggs, molten cheddar, and bacon (extra) form the bedrock of the Fairfax sandwich |
(apologies for the partially obscure image)
Now if you’re treating yourself, gorge on the Gaucho. Even though at 24,000 LBP it weighs in at twice the price of the other sandwiches, nobody said Wagyu beef was budget-friendly. Gaucho packs in seared prime tri-tip steak, cage-free over medium egg, chimichurri sauce (did you hear that, ye cilantro lovers?), red onions and dressed arugula in the signature brioche bun. It’s complex. It tastes elegant. And it feels nothing like breakfast.
I won’t sit here and pontificate on the other stuff we sampled. I can continue living my life without the weird flavor profile of turkey sausage, so the Sausage, Egg & Cheese sandwich (12,000 LBP) didn’t really float my boat. The cheeseburger carved out of ground Angus beef with a supplement of bacon (14,000 LBP + 6,000 LBP) was delicious, but not mind-blowing.
|Turkey sausage, egg and cheese|
|Behold the burger|
I’m still unsold on the merits of the Slut, the restaurant’s namesake specialty (13,000 LBP). It’s a glass jar layering pureed potato with cage-free coddled egg submerged in a water bath and topped with grey salt and chives. This is something you’d probably find in a Michelin-starred eatery. In fact, when I read “grey salt,” I was immediately reminded of the pompous “grey Poupon.” Anyone know what I’m talking about?
|That's the house specialty, the so-called Slut|
Just come to terms with the fact that this joint isn’t conducive to diets, so please overlook the side salad. At 8,000 LBP for mostly green foliage, it’ll leave a sour taste in your mouth. Instead, indulge in either the house-made buttermilk biscuit with honey butter – this surely packs in your month’s ration of butter (10,000 LBP). Or have Beirut’s best chocolate-chunk cookie baked to a gooey consistency and ideally split in two (7,000 LBP). Oh, and it’s also sprinkled with grey salt. Classy.
|Polish off your meal with either a buttermilk biscuit or a chocolate chunk cookie|
Other things worth noting?
Eggslut offers free iced drinking water to patrons. Finally someone stepped up to the plate and threw in the H2O rather than charging an arm and a leg for it.
|Help yourself to free water!|
They also sell cold brew coffee, which has a long way to go before stealing the bean scene in Beirut.
For the record, Eggslut launched as a food truck by Filipino-American chef Alvin Cailan in downtown LA before spreading to Las Vegas and three other Southern California outlets in Glendale, West LA, and Venice. Its international debut is in Beirut. Shocked? I sure was.
After a bit of probing, here’s the response I received from Hussein El Sayed, Group Director of Marketing at Al Thiqa Company, credited with importing Eggslut to Lebanon:
“We chose Lebanon as the first destination outside the US, because it is widely known as the capital of good food in the Middle East. The dynamic food scene locally has been thriving for many years, and people are always curious to try new things, from a culinary standpoint.”
Bless us. This is huge. Exploit the honor, fellow Lebanese.
|The Beirut outlet marks Eggslut's international debut|
Somehow, however, I have a sinking feeling Eggslut is going to be divisive among locals, in a similar manner as Shake Shack was. The Zomato reviews are already polarized. And the restaurant’s location in Hamra smack dab in the middle of Bliss Street means it’s targeting hungry, well-to-do students and expats. Many folks aren’t going to make the trek out to the AUB periphery.
|Eggslut is nestled between Burger King and Bliss House, just across from AUB main gate|
But if you call yourself a gourmet, if you profess to have any shred of foodie in you, go initiate yourself. Because you can egg-spect Eggslut to school you in the fine art of egg sandwiches.
Bliss St., Hamra
+961 81 800 003
Open daily from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m.
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