Union Bear's John Kleifgen Shows Us How To Properly Make a Chicken-Fried Egg.

With the weather as gorgeous as it has been of late, patio dining is a must these days.

One of the most enjoyable and coolest little patios in town can be found at Union Bear in West Village. Their food is amazing, their beer selection is stellar, their inside/outside bar is charming as hell, and, with a great location directly across from Magnolia Theatre, the people-watching is top-notch.

The Bear, which only opened in February, has been receiving a little extra attention of late, though — and, interestingly enough, not because of the pizza that so dominates their menu. Really: Ask any foodie in town about Union Bear and they'll start raving about the spot's chicken-fried egg and how well it works on the spot's Caesar salad.

As such, we recently sat down with Union Bear head chef John Kleifgen to learn a little about the spot, his goals for it and, more importantly, how to make that dang chicken-fried egg.

Name: John Kleifgen.
Title: Head chef.
How long have you been at the Bear?
We opened on February 2, but, before that, I was here every day swinging a hammer, pushing a drill and manning a saw, trying to get this place built!

What is your goal for Union Bear?
To make people happy — and to be proud of everything we do and every way that we do it.

Do you have a kitchen mantra?
To give a shit. Everything about this is “give a shit.” It's easy to do for the big things, but having the discipline to “give a shit” about all the little shit is what makes your shit so good.

What is your favorite thing on your menu?
Today, it's the marinated spring bean and ham salad with a coddle farm egg. But, tomorrow, it will be whatever we're working on then.

Favorite thing on someone else's menu?
The No. 5 at Whataburger. With Dr Pepper and spicy ketchup. Or the grilled cheese at The Common Table.

Do you have a claim to fame?
I once beat the oyster shucker at Legal Sea Foods!

Can you tell us how to make your famous Caesar salad?
Sure!

Ingredients: Romaine lettuce, shaved pecorino, croutons, Casear dressing and a chicken-fried egg.

Caesar dressing ingredients:
– 3 egg yolks
– 4 cloves of garlic
– 4 tbspof Worcestershire sauce
– 1/2 cup of balsamic vinaigrette
– 3 lemons, juiced
– 10 oz. Parmesan cheese
– 3 cups of canola oil
– 1.5 tsp of salt
– 1 tbsp of black pepper

Caesar dressing directions:
– Spin yolks, garlic, Worcestershire, balsamic, salt, pepper and lemon juice in robot coupe.
– Drizzle in the oil.
– Finish with cheese.
– Taste for seasoning.

Chicken-fried egg directions:
1. Boil egg for 5 minutes and 10 seconds.
2. Ice shock for just a minute.
3. Batter in bread crumbs.
4. Fry.
5. Enjoy.


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