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B~Side gets an A+: This is not your average breakfast spot

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Photo by Nick Rapp
Photo by Nick Rapp

Broadway is second to none when it comes to food options. Every block has something for someone. But a few blocks west, at Thomas and Summit, lies a hidden gem serving breakfast food that stands out from the rest.

Photo courtesy of B~Side Foods  

B~Side Foods is nestled in a cozy space alongside its sister café, Analog Coffee. This unassuming spot would be easy to miss without its corner easel sign — and the crowds lined up for breakfast fare. They're there for a reason.

I am going on the record to say that B~Side is home to the best breakfast sandwich in Seattle (maybe even the Northwest). It is no mere bacon, egg, and cheese. The sandwich is composed of an English muffin, a scrambled egg crepe with green onions folded in, pickled daikon, charred onion aioli, Beecher's cheese, and your choice of mushrooms, ham, or both. You can also spice it up with some fermented hot sauce. (More on the sandwich below.)

Photo courtesy of B~Side Foods  

Danny Hanlon, co-owner of Analog and B~Side, filled the SGN in on the café's history and what makes B~Side's menu so special.

Hanlon explained that he and Tim Hayden "opened Analog in June of 2011, and B~Side in September of 2017." There was a wall between the two spots until June 2020, when they were sure of B~Side's success and decided to knock it down and combine them.

Hayden and Hanlon's approach to developing menu items is asking the simple question: "What do we want to eat?" It turns out that what they want to eat is most certainly what you want to eat as well.

"We are inspired by everything that we get excited about eating," said Hanlon. "Often we are trying to recreate a food memory or just a certain feeling with a new dish."

The core menu consists of the egg sandwich and a rice bowl, along with an herby veggie toast that grew into a staple. Otherwise, they "try to keep the rest of the spaces on the menu somewhat open to change seasonally, to give us some room to create new favorites," Hanlon said.

Photo courtesy of B~Side Foods  

The egg sandwich
If the ingredients of the egg sandwich strike you as odd, you would be reasonable in your concern. But trust that much thought went into combining unique flavors to create something delicious, if atypical.

"We knew from the very beginning that we wanted to serve an egg sandwich, and that we wanted it to be unique," said Hanlon. "We worked with our friend and local cook Jake Vorono to develop the original menu."

The well-known chef Samin Nosrat popularized the four components of good cooking: salt, fat, acid, and heat. The B~Side sandwich finds its success in utilizing each of these categories to allow every ingredient the chance to shine.

On developing the recipe, Hanlon explained, "We like the English muffin as a base for the egg sandwich, because it's easy to hold and eat, aside from being delicious." The owners also "wanted a flavorful sauce, and wanted the crunch and acid from a pickle," resulting in the use of charred onion aioli and a daikon pickle: as a mild radish, daikon provides a meatier crunch than a classic dill pickle and doesn't overwhelm the palate.

If you like spice, the fermented hot sauce brings a flavor reminiscent of Korean cooking to the sandwich. This somehow all pairs wonderfully with Beecher's Flagship cheddar, the perfect fatty addition that rounds out the sandwich.

Additionally, all of the ingredients are super fresh. The egg sandwich sits less heavily in the stomach than a traditional breakfast sandwich, and every other menu item is very vegetable-forward. B~Side sources its eggs from Stiebrs Farms in Yelm, and the English muffins are local, from Franz. Hanlon noted that they aim to make local sourcing of ingredients an even larger focus in the future.

If you're sold on the sandwich (which you should be), B~Side and Analog are open for takeout from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. daily. They plan on eventually transitioning back to indoor dining as well, but they want to be cautious and be sure that it will be a permanent transition.