Breakfast sandwich extraordinaire
This morning I headed over to Dimo’s Apizza for their new venture: Dimo’s SPK. “SPK” stands for “salt, pepper, ketchup,” which are add-ons to the classic BEC—the bacon, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich that you can find everywhere—delis, diners, bodegas—in NYC (and the broader Northeast, from what I’ve been told). This weekend it launches and Dimo’s will offer sandwiches and more from 9am to 2pm (or until sold out). There was a line this morning (we got there around 9:15am), but let me tell you—it’s worth the wait.
Personally, I prefer an egg and cheese on a roll with SPK. I like bacon, don’t get me wrong, but I don’t like like the way crispy bacon disrupts the soft, creamy mix of egg and melty American cheese on a roll. And flaccid, undercooked bacon is not my jam, and that has a whole other unappealing texture, so I stick with the egg and cheese on a roll. It makes me happy.
Inside the egg and cheese on a roll
Dimo’s SPK offers a variety of sandwiches beyond the BEC, which they call the New York Bodega on the menu. I tried Connecticut Proper and it was just plain delicious. The egg yolk was still a little soft, the American cheese was all melty, and there was the right amount of ketchup on it. The roll was good, too, referred to as a “proper poppy hard roll.” It’s definitely more substantial than your typical Kaiser roll, which tends to be softer compared to this poppy roll. In my experience—11 years living in Queens—both are acceptable.
I will say, the default of ketchup on these sandwiches is not my experience at all. Whenever I’d order an egg and cheese in NYC (the last one I ordered was at my local Greek restaurant, Zorba’s), I either had to ask for ketchup, s&p or the guy behind the counter would ask if I want it. The default was always without ketchup. In fact, sometimes I’d request ketchup and the sandwich would end up in my hands without it! Always a bummer.
Dimo’s SPK offers some interesting riffs off the traditional sandwich. There’s the Cali Style: bacon, egg, cheese, avocado and Tapatio mayo. And then there’s the Portland Fancy: bacon, egg, cheese, aioli and tomato jam. I sort of thought maybe this Portland-oriented sandwich might involve wild mushrooms for that PNW touch. As for tomato jam, Fleur de Lis in the Hollywood District used to make their breakfast sandwich with tomato jam and it is really good stuff.
Last on the sandwich variants is the Jersey’s Finest: egg, cheese and Taylor Pork Roll plus SPK. That pork roll has quite a following in New Jersey and Dimo’s is pretty psyched to offer it. Not my style, but I heard a few people in line get pretty excited about it.
We were hoping to get a hot cup of Heart Coffee, but they were out, so we drove over to Heart Coffee on Burnside and got our coffees there (mine was actually a lovely matcha latte).
As for pricing, it’s definitely more expensive for a BEC than you’d get in NYC—about twice the average price ($7 vs. $3.50). But it really was a taste of the east coast and the flavor of nostalgia counts for something. You can see everything offered at SPK as well as pricing below.
Image credit: Dimo’s SPK
If you like the BEC and its sandwich relations, I’d recommend heading over there tomorrow or whenever they are offering these sandwiches. Highly recommended. Congrats on successfully bringing another east coast food gem to Portland, Dimo’s!