Fidel’s Special


I have always loved the classic American dish of spinach, ground beef and scrambled eggs named Joe’s Special (from Original Joe’s in SF).  It is, according to a Saveur Magazine article, “one of the most odd and divine scrambles known to man.”    I have my own personal problems with the internet depictions of Joe’s Special, including believing that what is often portrayed looks nothing like the real Joe’s Special that I had at various Original Joe’s restaurants in the Bay Area.

Fast forward to this morning, which saw me eyeing a bodacious pot of leftover Cuban black beans and wondering what to do for breakfast.  With a fridge well-stocked with spinach, I decided that I might channel my inner Communist dictator and make a Cuban version of Joe’s Special.  Hence, Fidel’s Special is born.

I already had my beans, but I needed some rice.  So, I got out my government issued rice cooker and made a couple cups.  Since this was a recipe named for the First Minister and Chair of the Council of State and Ministers/Politburo and Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba/Commander in Chief  I decided that adding some bacon would be OK, so I fried that up, diced it and added it to the cooked rice.   A couple eggs cooked sunny side up (because it is always great weather in Cuba), beans reheated and rice nice and warm, then I was ready to assemble.  And, given that all the people in my kitchen this morning had postgraduate degrees, I was very pleased that we were able to provide this meal while being observed by two ever hungry canine members of the Lumpenproletariat.

There you have it.  In the event you do not absolutely love this as much as I did, then I have a referral to a re-education camp for you.  I hear they make a great gulag there.  (Oops, sorry I meant goulash.)


Serves 2 (hey, it’s breakfast!)


  • 2 C awesome soupy black beans  (see recipe above)
  • 1 C steamed rice
  • 2 pieces of bacon, cooked and diced
  • 1 C fresh spinach
  • 2-4 eggs, sunny side up (or choose your fav method)
  • Salt
  • Pepper (my new pepper grinder mix combines peppercorns, cumin seeds and coriander)
  • ½ C guacamole
  • ¼ C sliced green onions to garnish
  • sliced radish to garnish
  • Lemons or limes with juice to finish

(I did not have this today, but I think it would be great with cilantro and feta to dress at the end.)


  • This is an assemblage dish.
  • Get rice and leftover beans nice and hot.
  • Cook eggs to desired done-ness.
  • Put uncooked spinach leaves down on plate/bowl.
  • Plate rice and beans on top of spinach in an artistic manner, then place eggs on top.
  • Plop on some guacamole.
  • Garnish with radish and green onions.
  • Squeeze over your lime or lemon. Garnish on the side extra points.

Enjoy quickly before the electricity is turned off.  Or, if off, enjoy by kerosene lantern.  Oh wait, this is breakfast, so you won’t need any light.  Never mind.

Stay briny,


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