Man Food: Breakfast Sandwich Nirvana at Mike & Patty's
Tucked away on a corner in quaint Bay Village sits Mike and Patty’s, a tribute to the lost art of the sandwich. The spot has reopened after being closed for a couple of weeks, and now boasts a larger, breakfast-heavy menu. This is great news. The old favorites are still there, of course, like a wonderful rendition of a Croque Madame and the ever popular bacon and egg-fancy (bacon, fried egg, cheddar and avocado on toasted multigrain with house mayo and red onion). Now, though, the menu additionally features expanded selections of breakfast tacos, customizable breakfast sandwiches, and hot dogs topped with everything from crispy shallots to pepper jack cheese.
It’s easy to spot the first-timers here; the menu is written on paper plates slapped against the wall, and unless you know what you’re ordering, you’ll be that awkward person staring at the plates and trying to figure out what the heck to do. The teeny, tiny space is basically the size of a walk-in closet, so don’t expect to snag one of the six seats in the house. If you do, you’ll be sharing the tight quarters with strangers.
Deciding what to order is a near impossible decision, but be comforted in the fact that you can’t go wrong no matter what you choose. I opted for the North South Classic ($5), a breakfast sandwich that comes stuffed with a fried egg, collard greens, Peameal bacon and American cheese. You can have it on an English muffin, but I went for the sub roll upgrade, because when else do you have the chance to order a breakfast sandwich on a massive sub roll? It’s cleverly arranged; the crispy egg takes on a roulade effect that encompasses the entire sandwich, while the tender collards and melty cheese offer a not-so-subtle creaminess that acts as a sauce.
Peameal bacon (also known as cornmeal bacon, because it’s rolled in cornmeal before it’s cooked) may be foreign to some, but it’s an appreciated nod to my Canadian roots and something I wish was more prominent on Boston menus. It’s leaner than traditional bacon, using a boneless pork loin in lieu of the belly, and it’s cured rather than smoked. What you end up with is a slightly sweet and thin piece of pork that is very tender and reveals crackly bits of cornmeal as you work your way through the sandwich. The bread, meanwhile, is soft but warm, and mostly serves to highlight the ingredients inside.
After polishing off the North South Classic and having scarfed a few other sandwiches on previous visits, I’m hard-pressed to find a better sandwich in the city. Mike & Patty’s is consistent and as delicious from one visit to the next.
(Mike & Patty’s, 12 Church Street, Boston 617-423-3447, mikeandpattys.com)