Cracked Eggery, the D.C. food truck that posits any time of day is a good time for an egg sandwich built on a soft challah bun, has signed a lease to open a fast-casual restaurant in Shaw that will stay open 24 hours a day.
Co-owner Ross Brickelmaier says Cracked recently reached a deal and will take possession of the space in the next couple of months. The current tenant (not a food business) has yet to vacate, so Brickelmaier prefers not to publicly disclose the location, but he says it will put Cracked in the vicinity of the 9:30 Club, Howard University, and an array of bars. Brickelmaier says the company is hoping to open the shop around April or May of 2021.
Breakfast sandwiches have been in high demand during the COVID-19 pandemic. People are seeking out comfort foods and are gravitating toward portable options. Brickelmaier says sales from the Cracked truck show that customers are eating breakfast later than they have in the past, probably because far fewer people have to show up to an office in the morning.
“Our business has actually really picked up,” Brickelmaier says. “We’ve hired a whole crew and we’re open seven days a week now.”
Cracked loads up its sandwiches with ingredients that are mostly sourced from within 200 miles of D.C. Eggs come from a Mennonite farm in Pennsylvania, for example. The business cures its own bacon to develop a sweet and spicy flavor. While breakfast is the main attraction, Cracked also sells griddle burgers and more creative sandwiches built for lunch, dinner, or late-night.
The Hamilton Porter comes with pulled pork, a fried egg, slaw, pickles, crispy onions, and barbecue sauce. The Willie’s Hash stacks a corned beef hash patty with scrambled eggs, American and cheddar cheeses, and low-sugar ketchup from Alexandria-based True Made Foods. A Southern Charm comes with fried green tomatoes, fried egg, bacon, pimento cheese, arugula, and a lemon aioli. Tater tots are available in a handful of flavors like Old Bay, garlic Parmesan, and cinnamon and sugar.
Fried egg bowls like the Seoul Mate — with sous vide pork belly, sushi rice, kimchi slaw, Sriracha mayo, hoisin sauce, sesame seeds, and scallions — are the latest project.
The Cracked truck can typically be found in Shaw, Navy Yard, or Logan Circle. It parks at the Cleveland Park farmers market every Saturday, and the Palisades farmers market on Sundays.
Along with partners Mike Tabb and AJ Zarinsky, Brickelmaier spent years working for the Georgetown Events group that runs Surfside, Jettie’s, Millie’s, and the Bullpen. Brickelmaier says handling the rush at Surfside’s 24-hour taco stand after last call for Dupont Circle clubs taught the partners how to handle some tricky situations.
“We definitely pulled some lessons from that, just knowing what happens at 4 o’clock in the morning on a Sunday,” Brickelmaier says. “Nothing good is the answer for that.”