I have been called a sandwich snob. That accusation is false. However, I do believe in something called sandwich theory. This is my quest to find the greatest sandwiches in Madison. Send me your sandwich recommendations by email or on Twitter or Instagram.
For this week’s sandwich, I decided to change it up a bit and go the breakfast route. Java Cat, a cafe located on Monona Drive, is one of my go-to coffee places for its funky vibe. It has cat stuff all over the place, highlights a lot of local artists, and is active in the community. It also has a solid sandwich board offering. I’ve had a few sandwiches off the lunch menu but I had yet to try a breakfast sandwich. So I took a run at the brioche sandwich (not to be confused with the “brioche breakfast sandwich”) consisting of eggs, ham, Swiss, red onion, banana peppers and bistro sauce on a brioche bun. I swapped sauces for a chipotle version, which they call boom boom sauce.
Breakfast sandwich bread walks a fine line. It often gets too soggy, too toasted, or too stale and chewy. This brioche bun was fresh, soft, and the right amount of subtle sweet. It could’ve had a little more toasting for added crunch and to help prevent a soggy bottom.
I love when sandwich makers throw me an unexpected twist. Having swapped out the bistro sauce for the boom boom sauce, the barista asked if I wanted to make it “full boom boom style” and add roasted red peppers. I figured the banana peppers would suffice. But lo and behold, I got a little banana and red pepper medley. It was dope. The banana peppers added sweetness to balance out the salty egg and ham, while the chipotle sauce added a little heat. The onion gave it some needed crunch. The cheese needed a little more uniform melting throughout.
A squarshed (yes, I just made up a word combining squash, squish and squashed) fast food or gas station sandwich this was not; you can see the height in the photo. The construction held up better than I thought it would. Some sauce leaked out the back, but the brioche bun held everything in line which was impressive for the heft of the sandwich.
Coming in at $6.95, going boom boom adds $0.55 for a total of $7.50. Definitely more costly than fast food or gas station offerings, but I got it within five minutes of ordering and it was a solid-sized sandwich. It wasn’t greasy and, while I definitely felt full, it didn’t weigh me down. I definitely suggest going boom boom for the extra change.
I’ve been a fan of Java Cat’s other sandwiches since moving back to Madison, so I was optimistic about the brioche sandwich. I’m not a huge breakfast guy, but I would get this one on the run. The best part? Breakfast is served all day at Java Cat, so you don’t have to worry about beating the morning coffee rush.