Breakdown of a great breakfast sandwich
If I were to be honest with myself, I'd probably have to admit that sandwiches are ultimately one of my favorite things to eat. And breakfast is my favorite meal. So naturally, breakfast sandwiches are a winning combination.
I recently found myself eating a lot of breakfast sandwiches in the name of research for a recent Eater article. Some were good, others were great. And among the greats was Gastropig, the newest all-day breakfast sandwich eatery in Oakland. While brand new on the scene, it's already on fire. On a recent Saturday only a month after opening, the restaurant served over 150 of its signature #baconslut sandwiches alone. So, when I wanted to find out the elements that separate the mediocre from the memorable, I turned to Gastropig's head chef Lance Dean Velasquez. He broke down the essential elements of the breakfast sandwich and shared some recipes. Here's his insight.
Bread is the most important ingredient to get right. It should be soft, yet crunchy. And definitely toasted. Anything too hard could compromise the other elements in the sandwich, and make it a mediocre breakfast experience ( we’re striving for excellence here). Brioche is the superior option. It’s soft, crisps up nicely and as is super buttery, to boot.
Cook it over easy and you’re good to go. See, a creamy egg yolk acts as another sauce for the breakfast sandwich and adds a rich creaminess that’s difficult to replicate with any other ingredient.
Here’s where you can start to get really creative. Breakfast sandwiches absolutely need a sauce — any sauce — but ideally a sauce that’s mayo-based, like a creamy aioli. You can add a little heat with chili pepper, brightness with some lemon juice or sweetness with spices.
With all the soft creaminess happening, your breakfast sandwich needs texture. If you’re a carnivore, there are few better options than bacon. Gastropig cooks one slice over a griddle on both sides and then folds it in half. For non-meat eaters, some pickled onions or other slightly crunchy vegetables are great options.
Okay, so greens don’t have to be a part of all great breakfast sandwiches, but they do add an element of lightness and freshness that make you feel like your entire day of clean eating isn’t shot. Plus they add to the crunch.
With all these elements in mind, we ended up with an avocado, egg and pickled onion masterpiece. Get the recipe below.