Recreating Duke’s: Avocado Toast with Poached Egg

There is this restaurant called Duke’s Grocery a few blocks down from us that both Husband and I love.  We love it so much, in fact, that we once waited almost 2 hours (!!!) for a table for four at brunch.  (I will note this was only acceptable because they also serve bottomless Bloody Mary’s and mimosas for $15.  One Bloody Mary is $8.  Obviously, there is significant positive marginal utility to me, the consumer & lover of all things spicy, horseradish-y, and salty, in this construct).

According to the Husband, there is really only one problem with this restaurant (other than the sometimes interminable wait): they do not serve french fries with their completely epic burger.  We are talking TWO (thin, because what are you, a glutton??) patties of perfectly cooked Angus beef, smoky Gouda cheese, caramelized red onions, a sweet chili sauce, garlicky mayo…I could go on.  Last time we were here, the Husband rectified the lack-of-starch-issue by ordering a second burger.  (Again, bottomless drinks cost $15 and we had waited almost two hours.)

Saturday morning, though, we waltzed right in, and ordered the usual.  Burger for him, avocado toast with poached egg for me.  And then Sunday morning, it hit me.  I had the celery, the horseradish, the tomato juice, the vodka, the sriracha.  That’s bottomless for $0.  I also had a perfectly ripe avocado, eggs, and some spinach to use up.  One epic brunch, coming my way.

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Avocado Toast with Poached Egg (inspired by Duke’s)

  • multigrain toast or English muffin
  • 1/2 ripe avocado
  • 2 eggs
    • to poach: water, vinegar
  • about a tablespoon or two of cream cheese (once you go jalapeno, you never go back)
  • arugula or spinach
  • s&p
  1. Bring a small but deep pot to boil.  Add about a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of vinegar to the pot, reduce the heat until the water only bubbles slightly.  Carefully crack one egg and slide it into the water; repeat with second egg.  Cook for about 3-5 minutes, or until the egg white firms up around the yolk.  Remove (gently!) with a slotted spoon.
  2. As your eggs cook, toast your bread.  Spread with a bit of cream cheese, top with a few slices of avocado and a bit of arugula or spinach.
  3. Top with the poached eggs and sprinkle some cracked salt and pepper over the top.  Serve with a Bloody Mary and wish every day were the weekend.

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The Verdict:

I think poached eggs are a bit of a skill – I get them right about 65% of the time (honestly, who wants an overcooked egg yolk, YUCK)…but I swear to goodness, this was 98% as good as my Duke’s breakfast the day previously.  The chief difference, of course, being that at home, I have to wash my own dishes (my chief dishwasher, aka Husband, wasn’t awake yet).