Egg sandwiches are having a bit of a renaissance in Chicago with a handful of new offerings popping up in recent weeks.
The breakfast items appear on menus at a variety of different restaurants. Paulie Gee’s Pizza in Logan Square features an option on a new weekend brunch menu. Mano Modern Cafe, a casual Filipino-American spot that opened recently in West Town, serves a breakfast slider featuring a choice of tocino, SPAM, chorizo, or longanisa. At Gangnam Market, a transformed grocery store with a food court and a large selection of pan-Asian market staples, customers can find sandwiches on pineapple buns or Japanese shokupan.
Finally, there’s a West Coast import — Egg Tuck — has opened the first of three locations. This is a Korean-inspired sandwich. Our colleagues at Eater LA call Egg Tuck the “spiritual successor to Eggslut” in referring to the popular New York-born chain that was rumored for years to be coming to Chicago.
Yes, there’s a big pan-Asian influence here, and many folks may point to Kasama and its famous morning offerings. But there’s more to it. Even in Bucktown, long lines have stretched down Western Avenue since the summer as folks wait to order food from Allez Cafe.
Making sure to eat a good breakfast is an underrated New Year’s Resolution. These sandwiches can help. Here’s a rundown of the new offerings.
Egg Tuck, 326 N. Michigan Avenue
These West Coast-inspired sandwiches come with fluffy eggs with seemingly endless ways to customize toppings. This is their first location outside of California and supposedly the first of a trio of cafes planned for Chicago. The base ingredients are soft scrambled eggs, sriracha aioli, chives, and house mayo on a brioche bun.
Paulie Gee’s Logan Square, 2451 N. Milwaukee Avenue
The name isn’t a college sports or finance reference. It’s simple: sausage, egg, and cheese. Paulie Gee’s chef Tony Dezutter has created a new weekend brunch menu that includes a sausage and egg Detroit pizza, lamb skillets, and more. There’s also a holdover from the Wicker Park location where management experimented with a morning menu for commuters near the CTA’s Damen Blue Line Station. The SEC features a fluffy bun and a messy chipotle aioli that strikes the right notes of heat and sweetness. Paulie Gee’s is known for its vegan options, so there’s no surprise the team offers a meat- and dairy-free version of the sandwich, too.
Matt Bakes inside Gangnam Market, 1001 W. Chicago Avenue
Grocery store food courts can be mundane, but Gangnam Market’s is fresh with innovative options. Matt Bakes is from Matt Chiu. He and his sister have inherited Chiu Quon Bakery, Chinatown’s oldest bakery. In River West, Chiu offers an assortment of egg sandwiches with either shokupan or pineapple buns which offer a slight tartness and sweetness, but not enough to overpower the ingredients inside. The pineapple bun with hash brown patty, American cheese, and char siu feels like a classic, as does the fried chicken sandwich which offers a hint of heat and a crisp exterior that’s wrapped up with a dill-style pickle slice. Be on the lookout for the shokupan sandwich with truffle egg and beef.
Mano Modern Cafe, 851 N. Ashland Avenue
Mano Modern Cafe is from a team of Filipino Americans who found success in Cleveland and want to showcase the full breadth of Fil-Am cuisine. Mano is described as their casual Panera concept, with sandwiches, all-day silog, and caffeinated drinks like a pandan-spiked chai. The breakfast sandwiches are slider size: mini pan de sal with a choice of meat and dripping with “Bang Bang” sauce.