When one asks a Lowell native what a "Boot Mill" is, he or she shouldn't be surprised if the response is, "a breakfast sandwich."
Arthur's Paradise Diner is known for their legendary breakfast sandwiches stuffed with your choice of meat, cheese, eggs and homefries on a toasted bulkie. The homefries within the breakfast sandwich itself is what sets this breakfast sandwich apart from others.
The proximity of the diner to Lowell High School, City Magnet middle school and the former Arts Magnet school is what helped with is popularity and regular customers. Students would skip classes to grab a sandwich before heading back to school or not even heading back at all.
Although I didn't attend Lowell High, my siblings did and my father would drop us off at the same time even though the middle school didn't start class until an hour later. I had time to walk 5 minutes to Bridge Street to get a sandwich which only set me back $ 2.00 (that was over 11 years ago). About ever year, the price would increase gradually by a quarter to .50 cents. Today I'm hearing that the price is about $5.00.
Since the Mo is sometimes feeling nostalgic for his high school breakfast food, I usually make it for him every once in a while. Trust me, this is not an everyday breakfast food, not even an "every weekend" food. I probably make it a few times a year.
Here is the recipe for Mami's take on Boott Mills with a little flare
Makes 4 sandwiches
|Kirkland's Sea Salt|
- 4 Bulkie Rolls
- 2 Tablespoon of Butter
- Ham, Sausage, Bacon or Canadian Bacon
- 4 Eggs
- American Cheese
- 3 Medium Potatoes
- 1/4 cup of minced Parsley
- 1 garlic clove
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon of olive oil
- Black Pepper
- Sea Salt Preferred but you may use table salt
Wash and boil 3 Medium Potatoes with the skin on for about 20 minutes. Peel potatoes and set aside to cool. After its cool enough for you to handle, cut the potatoes into medium size cubes.
In a large skillet, add the olive oil, parsley and onions. Add the cut up potatoes, a dash of paprika, sea salt and black pepper into the skillet on med to high heat. Let the potatoes crisp on each sides before setting aside.
|Potatoes boiling on Med to High temp|
|Cut Potatoes into Medium cubes|
|Add Onion and Parsley to Olive oil|
|Potatoes in Skillet|
Using the same skillet, (again, I don't want to have too many pots and pans for the Mo to wash), grease the bottom of the pan and crack 4 eggs, similar to sunny side up style. If your skillet is large enough, only use half the pan and warm up the ham or Canadian bacon on the other side.
Remove the ham once it turns slightly brown. Flip the eggs when the egg whites are cooked. I like to gently pop the yolk so its only semi runny and not too runny for when I eat my sandwich. A runny yoke can make for a messy breakfast.
Melt butter in the microwave so its easier to spread on the roll. Toast the bulkies in a toaster oven, I prefer my counter top infrared oven because its easier to clean and I can constantly check on it without opening the lid or door and letting the heat out.
Lastly, assembly the sandwich with all the ingredients we just prepped. Layer the homefries first, add the egg, add the cheese and top it off with the meat of your choice. Cut it in half and serve with any leftover homefries. I placed mine on top of aluminum wrapper just for the same effect.