The Eggs in Purgatory ($10) at Alchemy Kombucha and Culture
We're compiling a list of our favorite 100 dishes in the city with the San Antonio 100. Check back weekly for a new dish we love that either screams SA or you need to enjoy ASAP.
Perhaps it is because, as a millennial, I have been called “babied” and “spoiled” by every chinbeard-rubbing adult I have ever encountered, but I have always felt a certain sense of kinship with eggs that have been coddled. It makes sense, then, that I often find myself at Alchemy Kombucha and Culture on the weekends, face deep in a platter of their Eggs in Purgatory ($10).
Though the dish is only available on their brunch menu, the pampered eggs are worth the special visit. The entrée, a vegetarian offering amidst a sea of other vegetable-centric dishes, comes in a shallow convex bowl, bearing two tremulous eggs swathed in an aromatic tomato sauce with brittle crostini on the side. Though the delicate white orbs are cooked with finesse to perfection, and the crostini adds the perfect crack to combat the liquidity of the dish, what makes the Eggs in Purgatory really sing is the curried tomato sauce.
Sous chef Marcos Rafael Jorge begins by sweating onions and julienned carrots, before then adding tomatoes that were house-canned the season before. Once the base reduces, the chef adds curry powder, brown sugar, salt, nutmeg, and cinnamon to the mix, taking the stew in a distinctly South Indian direction. Two eggs are added, the dish saddles into the oven until yolks are barely set, and then the platter arrives at your table.
The most distinct notes are curry and cinnamon, whose dusky sweetness plays with the brown sugar to give the dish the amber notes of maple syrup. Combined with the acidity of the tomatoes though, and then pinched with the sharply purple notes of Thai basil, the sweetness plays nice, a soft undercurrent that smells like a spice cabinet. Scooped onto a snapped-off end of toasted bread, the result is warm, sweet, deep, and earthy, and it’s exactly what you need on a cool morning at Alchemy.
1123 N. Flores St., (210) 320-1168.
For more, follow Mark on Instagram