Battle of the Breakfast Sandwiches

Drip Coffee Lounge vs. Tammie Coe Cakes & MJ Bread

A reader suggested we compare breakfast sammies and we were more than delighted to oblige. That's how we ended up spending Sunday morning flitting between two popular downtown Phoenix eateries. It was an ideal time to scope out the breakfast sandwich scene; there were no crowds, perhaps because everyone was either in church or still asleep.

In One Corner: Drip Coffee Lounge

2325 N. Seventh St.
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When the chef brought out the sandwich, kindly split on two plates, he said he'd thrown in an extra egg because we looked hungry.

Ordering the "NYC Egg Sandwich" at Drip Coffee Lounge sets off a cascade of decisions that must be immediately addressed, regardless of whether or not you've properly caffeinated yourself. Owner Gina Bell Madrid wants to know whether you'd like your sandwich on an English muffin or ciabatta bread (she recommends the ciabatta), if you'd like tomato or not, what kind of pork you want (ham, bacon, sausage or capicola from Schreiner's Fine Sausage up the road), what kind of cheese you prefer (cheddar, havarti, Swiss or American) and, finally, how well you'd like your egg cooked.

We chose bacon, tomato and havarti on ciabatta bread, with a medium-cooked egg for $7.00. The good news is that once you've jumped over these hurdles, you can settle down in one of Drip's retro shell chairs and enjoy the stripped down white and orange decor of the place.

In short, the sandwich was superb. The havarti had a nice bite and was evenly melted. The bacon was hearty. Even the bread was enjoyable. Ciabatta rolls are often so crunchy they hurt the roof of your mouth and turn chewing into a chore, but this one was substantial but soft and framed the egg, cheese, bacon combo beautifully.

The sandwich was so excellent that our dining companion was irked that he only got to eat half of it.

"I have been denied a full breakfast sandwich," he self-righteously protested, even though we were headed directly to eat another sandwich across town.

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