I walked into the sandwich shop in a bit of a morning fog, outside my usual breakfast zone, and surveyed the pastries. No savory scones here, not even a forlorn croissant, just doughy-looking bagels (feh) and a rag-tag assortment of muffins. I selected the lemon poppyseed muffin, which was a somewhat brighter shade of yellow than nature alone might have provided.
“You want that grilled, honey?” asked the counterwoman.
I blinked twice. Grilled? Didn’t I just order a sweet muffin, pretty much an unfrosted cupcake with a bit of attitude? I glanced over at the grill, a standard short-order griddle affair where you usually see bacon and eggs frying. All my sweet/savory circuits were sparking. Cake? Fried? Fried cake?? Then, suddenly, the fog lifted.
“Yes. Yes, I will have it grilled.” I stated, proudly.
She deftly butterflied it, leaving the bottom of the paper intact, and slapped it on the griddle. After a minute or two, it was wrapped and bagged. I didn’t get a good look at it until I got to the office and unbagged my breakfast.
The browned surface was hot and buttery and the rest of the muffin was warmed through, although the faint tang of cooking oil faded quickly. I can’t quite describe the mingling of the sweet cakey lemon flavor of the muffin with the salty flavor of the griddle, except to compare it to hot cornbread and salty butter, not a bad thing on a crisp pre-autumn morning.
Where can you get your very own grilled muffin? Probably all kinds of places I never noticed, but this one’s from Mulligan’s at 83 Canal Street near North Station.