I'll admit it, I'm a huge cinephile. I love going to the movies, sitting in the dark and staring up at that big screen, where I can escape into another world for a few hours.
I remember seeing "E.T." in the cinema that used to exist in what is now the pool area of the Holiday Inn in North Adams. I also saw "Time Bandits" there and a few other movies with my father. I saw "Jurassic Park" at a cinema in Pittsfield; the "Blair Witch Project" at Regal Cinemas at the Berkshire Mall; "Batman Returns," as well as all of the digitally-remastered "Star Wars" films and the subsequent prequels at the former North Adams Cinema. I saw all of the "Twilight" and "Hunger Games" films at the North Adams Movieplex 8.
My 16-year-old son shares my love for the cinema and he's often my companion at the movie theater. The last movie we saw in the theater was "Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey." That was 10 months ago, in February, at the Beacon Cinema in Pittsfield. Since the arrival of COVID-19, we've had to abandon our trips to the cinema — a necessary health precaution for both of us.
While we can't wait to return to our local theaters, we've delighted in the fact that we can watch new releases from the comfort (and safety) of our living room. My husband and I introduced our teens to "Bill and Ted" this summer, streaming the third movie in the series with buckets of popcorn purchased and picked up at the North Adams Movieplex. Recently, I streamed Jennifer Trainer Thompson's "Museum Town" via Images Cinema.
But my favorite movie-related event of 2020 — a Christmas present of sorts — was being able to watch "Wonder Woman 1984" with my son the day after it released on HBO Max and in theaters. We watched it at home through HBO Max, but I hope, post pandemic, to be able to see it in a theater. (I'll pause here to tell you that I love both Wonder Woman movies, despite critics panning the recent release.)
You're probably wondering how my love of movies intersects with this food column. And you're probably expecting a recipe that tells you how to make popcorn that tastes just like the kind you get at the cinema, right? Well, sorry to disappoint you, the recipe I'm sharing isn't about popcorn or snack foods. It's about an egg sandwich that became the breakout star of "Harley Quinn: Birds of Prey."
It all began with Harley Quinn (my favorite Batman villain played by the talented Margot Robbie) swooning over the sandwich as it's made. It's supposed to be a hangover cure the morning after she's blown up both a chemical factory and her relationship with the Joker.
"Eggs. Bacon. American cheese. Soft, toasted, buttered roll. Hot sauce — not too much," she says in a voiceover as Sal, a short-order cook, crafts this sandwich in a closeup, slow-motion shot.
Harley never gets to eat it, as it's knocked from her hands during a chase scene, but the sandwich garnered so much attention from fans that actor Bruno Oliver, who plays Sal, made a video, shared by Variety, demonstrating how to make that sandwich.
"I've read a lot about the sandwich as a metaphor for Harley’s recovery," Oliver told Variety. "I've read a lot that refer to Sal as the only male in the movie who doesn’t screw her over."
Harley Quinn's Delicious Egg Sandwich
bread, preferably ciabatta
2 slices of American cheese
3 slices of bacon
butter, melted (for the griddle)
oil (for the bread)
Heat stove top griddle. Brush griddle with melted butter. Place three slices of bacon on griddle, cook. Crack and fry the two eggs on the griddle. While bacon and eggs are cooking, slice ciabatta bread in half, brush with oil and place on grill. Place America cheese on top of eggs and let melt.
To finish, layer bacon on bottom slice of ciabatta bread, placing the fried eggs on top of the bacon. Add hot sauce … not too much and top with toasted ciabatta bread. Slice sandwich in half, because, as Harley says, the most important part is "you have to be able to eat it with your hands."