Editor's note: We're huge breakfast fans at Serious Eats, so we're happy to welcome Ashley Muir Bruhn, your new breakfast correspondent. Take it away, Ashley!
No. 7 Sub is known for its creative, unexpected sandwich combinations, and breakfast is no exception. (Even the music playing went ranged from Jimi Hendrix to Cranberries circa-1990 when we visited.) There are four sandwiches on the menu, served from 8:00-10:30 am on weekdays; the selection seems to change often (like their lunch menu), but the broccoli, egg, and cheese sandwich, with smoked Gouda, Thai basil pesto, and a dollop of ketchup, has stuck around since the morning lineup debuted.
It's definitely one of the best: the ketchup and scrambled-egg combo is classic diner fare, but mixed with the faint smokiness of the Gouda, the crunch of roasted broccoli, and a slightly spicy Asian pesto, it becomes something really special.
The first bite of the bacon, grapefruit, and yogurt sandwich was, however, underwhelming. The filling is essentially all bacon—which while good, was very lean and a little tough—with a just few slices of beautiful pink grapefruit (you could have mistook them for salmon sashimi) and some slightly sour, creamy yogurt. Glutton meets granola? I didn't quite understand the balance.
Their Kielbasa is probably the sandwich to get if you want something more traditional—but still very good. This is breakfast, after all. And many palates don't like to stray too far from the basics this early in the morning. Plump Polish sausage, sweet soy, pickled jalapenos, and scrambled egg; it's the closest you will come to a straight breakfast sandwich here. Its relative simplicity, however, revealed that the eggs were cooked perfectly—a little wet; and there was a nice play between sweet and sour notes.
Still, I let out an audible yum when I bit into the General Tso's Soft Boiled Fried Egg. Runny eggs are fried, looking almost like falafel, and then combined with spicy mayo, pickles, and arugula in one delicious, gooey mess. If it were served in steamed dough rather than on one of No. 7's custom-made, toasted rolls, you'd be forgiven for momentarily thinking you'd been slipped a David Chang-style pork bun. The combination was awesome.
No. 7's breakfast sandwiches are smaller than their lunchtime options (half the size, to be exact) but they're also half the price. Nothing is over $5, and the General Tso's rings in at $3.
They don't serve coffee--but fortunately Stumptown is right around the corner.