I love a good sit down brunch with the rest of ‘em. But let’s great real: this is Amurrrica. And in Amurrrica, we can’t always spend three hours slurping down mimosas when there’s a list of important Monday morning things we’ve got to do at the office. You know, like write about the best breakfast sandwiches in Portland. So here are my top five favorite places to pop in on my way to work for a bacon, egg, and cheese on the go.
1. OhNo Cafe
This West End cafe has six speciality breakfast sandwich options, as well as a “Build Your Own” for the creative b-fast sammy aficianado. I grab one to-go with a nice large cup of Coffee By Design. I prefer their #2: Smoked turkey, avocado, tomato, smoked gouda & egg on English muffin. The baconless sandwich gives me the delusion of healthy eating. I also like to say inappropriate things like “nothing like a good #2 first thing in the morning.” It’s why I’m constantly being asked out on all these dates.87 Brackett St, Portland, ME 04102 (207) 774-0773
Promoting local music while eating breakfast? Dreams do come true. The sandwich names at Mike’s are all in honor of local bands (Paranoid Social Club, Mallett Brothers, The Lucid, to name a few, as well as my pick for Best Named: The Rick Charette, which is on the kid’s menu) and the food itself is downright delicious. This place is perfect for breakfast lovers suffering from anorexic wallets as the breakfast sandwiches are cheap: $2.50 for egg and cheese. And you can add meat—ham, steak, bacon, sausuage, or corned beef—for an additional $1.50. Sometimes when I’m feeling extra frisky, I’ll order the breakfast burrito instead of a sandwich. Eggs, cheese, hashbrowns on a tortilla with hot green chili sauce. But nosher beware, the “small” is deceivingly named. I almost always have the not-so-difficult task of finding someone in the office to share my second half.
*Sadly, Mike’s has closed as of August, 2013
3. Down Home Cookin‘
This Preble Street gem serves up some of the best (and again, cheap!) no fuss breakfast and lunch in town. If you can fight your way through the zombies hanging around outside, you’ll find friendly and fast service and an impressive array of menu options—everything from breakfast to soup to shepherd’s pie. Their breakfast sandwiches are served exactly the way they’re supposed to be: greasy, extra-cheesy, and plenty-o-meat.28 Preble Street Extension, Portland, ME 04101 (207) 228-2064
A long fan of the culinary delight that is the English muffin, Big Sky Bakery basically blew my mind when I first tasted their famous English muffin bread. Bacon, egg, and cheddar on some of that… it’s not even fair. Of Big Sky’s two locations, I find myself at the Market House in Monument Square as it’s conveniently located across from the Dispatch office. Plus, I can kill two birds with one stone while there: get my sandwich fix at Big Sky and snag my daily red wax cheese across the way at K. Horton Specialty Foods.536 Deering Ave, Portland (207) 761-5623
and28 Monument Square, Portland (207) 228-2040
When it comes to bacon or sausage, I’m a bacon girl all the way. And what can I say? Ruski’s just gets me—they pile that pig fat mile high. See you later waistline and hello food coma smile. This is kind of cheating to put Ruski’s on the list as I’ve never actually ordered their breakfast sandwich to go. But that’s because I can’t say no to their delightfully giant White Russians and of course, their jukebox.