The food world can be a divisive place where finding something that most people agree on is difficult, to say the least. Despite that, almost everyone loves to eat food stuffed between two pieces of bread. I'm a huge fan of sandwiches, and specifically, I have become obsessed with great breakfast sandwiches. There's something irresistible to me about having a whole meal delivered in a hand-held package in the morning. None of the formality, but with all of the flavor.
If we missed any amazing spots to grab delicious, unique breakfast sandwiches in Rochester, leave us a comment on this article at rochestercitynewspaper.com.
For a food lover, there is no better way to spend a Saturday morning than walking around the Rochester Public Market sampling breakfast goods from any number of vendors. I'm going to focus on two vendors that offer similar dishes on completely different ends of the food spectrum. Flour City Bread Co. (52 Public Market, 957-3096, flourcitybread.com) sits firmly with a strong focus on local ingredients and some of the best bread products in the Rochester area. To go along with the fantastic selection of whole loaves and pastries, you can order off of a short menu of egg-based sandwiches on your choice of biscuit, croissant, or Danish. The eggs are local and either poached or fried properly, the cheese comes from First Light Creamery and the sausage and bacon come from Swan Market. It's a great sounding sandwich on paper and one that translates well to your mouth.
On the other side of the market, Scott's II (280 North Union Street) doesn't have the same focus on local ingredient sourcing, but the sandwiches are pure classic from top to bottom. The style of food is mirrored by the environment that it comes from; a simple hamburger shack with no frills and only a counter with stools for those who chose to sit and eat. The line cooks at Scott's do a fantastic job of putting a strong crisp on the fresh Martusciello hard roll and the eggs are cooked quickly in order to keep up with the typical lines. American cheese and either crispy bacon or sausage patties finish it off. The result is a greasy, crunchy, and immensely satisfying sandwich. If you want a basic sandwich done well, Scott's is your place.
Tucked behind the Park Bench Pub on Monroe Avenue, Voula's Greek Sweets (439 Monroe Avenue) is kicking out real-deal Greek food without the aid of meat. It has daily dinner specials and a huge selection of traditional desserts, but Saturday morning brunch is the only time you can get the Kafteri egg sandwich. Sandwiched between two pieces of house made Lagana are two fried eggs slathered with Kafteri (a lightly spicy feta dip) and topped with a generous amount of fresh dill and parsley. The Kafteri brings the richness and some of that feta tang while the herbs cut through the other ingredients and linger on the palate. The Greek Lagana bread — basically an olive oil and sesame seed flavored flatbread — makes for a lightly chewy exterior. It's also used on the rotating flatbread pizza specials and is available to buy separately to make your own sandwich creations at home.
Moving down Monroe Avenue to Twelve Corners Plaza, we're going to change our sandwich direction from the land of eggs to bagels. Of course bagels are great on their own when fresh out of the oven, balancing the line between a crispy exterior and a soft, chewy exterior, but bringing some simple prep and toppings into play turns them into great breakfast sandwiches. Unless you're a complete breakfast neophyte, I don't need to extoll the virtues of a toasted bagel smeared with cream cheese. I'm a recent convert and the "everything" bagel with garlic herb cream cheese from Bagel Land (1896 Monroe Avenue) is what turned me into a fan. Its bagels strike the crispy-chewy balance well and they don't skimp on the "everything" toppings. The garlic herb from Lighthouse Cream Cheese hits the creamy and savory notes for me, and if you like the sweet instead, there are some good selections there as well.
We continue our breakfast sandwich trip on Monroe Avenue all the way down to the Village Bakery (villagebakeries.com, 5 State Street, Pittsford). Stepping up to the counter to order, you're confronted with not only a wide variety of baked goods but a chalkboard full of egg-based breakfast sandwich combinations eight deep. Toppings all revolve around the relatively comfortable territory of egg-meat-cheese, but they elevate the situation by offering poached or whisked eggs and cheeses that range from brie to gruyere to creamy goat cheese. If you get there before the inevitable rush on the weekend, or on a quieter day, the rustic industrial feel and family style seating make this a great place to enjoy a pastry or breakfast sandwich and chat with friendly people.
Chow Hound is a food and restaurant news column. Do you have a tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.