Article by: Vancouver Magzine
Written by: Kaitlyn Funk/ Photo: Clinton Hussey/ Food Styling: Lawren Monetta
There’s nothing a breakfast sandwich can’t do. Fuel an eight-hour road trip? No problem. Energize a gossip-filled brunch? You bet. Cure a mind-numbing hangover? Oh, hell yes. And according to three local foodies, these are the ones that’ll do it all best.
Best in Show
Birds and the Beets
“That crunch is phenomenal,” said Levykh as she bit into the toasted house-baked ciabatta. Topped with cheesy, soft scrambled eggs, pickled red onion, fresh greens and a spicy soy mayo, this sandwich had everything the judges were looking for. $7.50, 55 Powell St. / 54 Alexander St., birdsandbeets.ca
Lucky’s fully loaded egg burger (maple bacon, cheddar cheese, garlic aioli, caramelized onions, tomato relish) may be messy, but each judge agreed “it’s a really goddamn good sandwich.” And despite being full near the end of the tasting, they all wanted more: “I could easily eat that entire thing,” said Briscoe. $9, 689 Thurlow St., luckysdoughnuts.com
Say Hey Cafe
Our taste testers wanted to like Say Hey’s breakfast hoagie more than they did, but the tarragon aioli was overwhelming. They did appreciate the smoky ham and fried shallots, though: “They put in a really good effort,” said Hirose. $10.50, 156 E Pender St., sayheycafe.ca
From top to bottom: Breakfast sandwiches from Birds and the Beets, Say Hey Cafe and Lucky’s Doughnuts.
We threw the original breakfast sandwich in as a control, but the classic Egg McMuffin (so perfectly round that it was compared to Lunchables) didn’t fool any of the judges. “It tastes like plastic,” they all agreed. $3.60, various locations, mcdonalds.ca
Save On Meats
The judges didn’t like Save On Meats’ decision to use “overpowering” processed cheese slices (“Real it up a little more,” said one). Combined with a too-buttery English muffin and a bland piece of ham, all was lost. $6.95, 43 W Hastings St., saveonmeats.ca
Meet the Judges
Jenna Briscoe is front-of-house manager at the perennially busy Café Medina; for the tasting, we took her out of her comfort zone (around-the-block lineups) for a grab-and-go-style breakfast.
Anya Levykh is a food, drink and travel writer—and a VanMag Restaurant Awards judge—with a particular love for hearty breakfast sandwiches: “It’s everything in one good handful.”
Alyssa Hirose is a VanMag intern! When she’s not busy taste-testing (you’re welcome), you can find her in the classroom or on the improv comedy stage at UBC.