Anatomy of the Breakfast Sandwich

In the Café

breakfast sandwich
It’s the little things in life that count. And it’s the between-the-bun details of a breakfast sandwich that deliver nuanced flavor and thrill customers with unexpected combinations. In the scheme of breakfast sandwich construction, spreads work to keep ingredients in place while adding a punch of spice, sweetness, or creaminess—the beauty is, it’s totally up to you.

breakfast sandwich

Avocado: When you’re an avocado fiend, most sandwiches seem to call for sliced or smashed avocado. If your shop’s POS has easy options for add-ons, this green monster is an easy up-charge for avo-loving customers. We like this add-on with the traditional bacon-egg-and-cheese sammy, or as a spread option for vegan and vegetarian sandwiches.

Pairs well with: multigrain, ciabatta


breakfast sandwichHot sauce: We won’t try to name them all–or agree on a favorite—but we will say that hot sauces vary: in spice attributes, in heat, in sweetness, etc. A spicy sauce can add intrigue to a sweet sandwich, kick up the complexity of veggie combinations, and turn up the heat on an already-spicy sandwich.

Pairs well with: sourdough, classic white buns


breakfast sandwich
Butter: Why mess with a classic? When you want to keep things simple, butter is the way to go—especially if you’re toasting bread on a grill. Butter provides a creamy mouthfeel without imparting any strong flavors. We like a basic butter base paired with rich meats like fried chicken or brisket.

Pairs well with: texas toast, brioche, english muffin


breakfast sandwich
Jam: Jams and jellies can turn an otherwise savory sandwich into a brunch time treat, cool the heat on a spicy combination, or add a sweet surprise to a classic sammy. Sweet can quickly dominate other flavors, so use jams and jellies sparingly, especially when pairing with other sweet ingredients like caramelized onions or honey ham. We like apricot marmalade with arugula, prosciutto, and gruyère.

Pairs well with: sourdough, hearty wheat


breakfast sandwichMayo: Used as the base of aioli and many other spreads, the flavor combinations with mayo are only confined by the imagination. Spicy, sweet, herbed, citrus—anything goes. A mayo-based spread is a great option when you’ve got creative minds in the kitchen and a specific flavor you want to incorporate into your sandwich. We love the brightness of a lime aioli and the boldly creamy effect of a stone-ground mustard aioli.

Pairs well with: multigrain, rye, pumpernickel