Battle of the Dishes

Battle of the Breakfast Sandwiches

Drip Coffee Lounge vs. Tammie Coe Cakes & MJ Bread

A reader suggested we compare breakfast sammies and we were more than delighted to oblige. That's how we ended up spending Sunday morning flitting between two popular downtown Phoenix eateries. It was an ideal time to scope out the breakfast sandwich scene; there were no crowds, perhaps because everyone was either in church or still asleep.

In One Corner: Drip Coffee Lounge

2325 N. Seventh St.

Ordering the "NYC Egg Sandwich" at Drip Coffee Lounge sets off a cascade of decisions that must be immediately addressed, regardless of whether or not you've properly caffeinated yourself. Owner Gina Bell Madrid wants to know whether you'd like your sandwich on an English muffin or ciabatta bread (she recommends the ciabatta), if you'd like tomato or not, what kind of pork you want (ham, bacon, sausage or capicola from

The breakfast sandwich at Tammie Coe Cakes & MJ Bread on Roosevelt comes with a free cup of coffee, which is a nice perk. Since there is no indoor seating at teeny-tiny Tammie Coe, we were relegated to the patio chairs outdoors under misters so strong it felt like we were sitting in the rain. But there was no harm done because at 9:30 am, it was already pushing 95 degrees.

The sandwich was served on a grilled buttermilk roll with Taylor ham, American cheese, an egg and a side of green salsa. The cheese was obscenely gooey.

"The way the bread was grilled shows care," our friend said. "And there's ample amounts of American cheese, melting in just the right way."

The ham was another story. It had a weird sour taste to it that ruined the sandwich for us. The meat didn't taste spoiled, just oddly bitter and it was an unwelcome jolt on what was otherwise a good sandwich. We tried covering the taste by dipping it in the salsa, but that didn't help. It's possible we went on an off day, but the next time we go back, we'll stick to Tammie Coe's other delights, like the little tuna sandwiches or terrific cupcakes.

"If you came to have a quick breakfast, this would do it," our friend said. "But for sheer hospitality and character, I'd choose Drip, hands down."

Yes, indeed.

The Verdict: Drip Coffee Lounge