Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Vesta Flatbread - Breakfast Sandwich

The breakfast sandwich. Too often the phrase conjures up images of fat-laden bacon, sausage, or some other factory-farmed breakfast meat, powdered eggs, a greasy biscuit or bun (or muffin, if you prefer), all bound together with too-generous a helping of cheese of indeterminate origin. Vesta Flatbread, though, has something a little different in mind when it comes to their Breakfast Sandwich, a vegetarian offering centered around locally-sourced organic eggs and their signature flatbread. Is the world ready for this reinterpretation of breakfast on the go?

Despite the moniker, Vesta doesn't offer the Breakfast Sandwich strictly during breakfast hours. In fact, I had mine for lunch. Centered around two Fallon Hills Ranch pastured eggs cooked over medium, the breakfast pocket is also stuffed with harissa, yogurt, feta, and cilantro for a fairly filling meat-free meal. Here's where the quality of the flatbread cooked in the onboard oven comes in. The fresh organic pocket is flexible enough to hold anything Vesta throws at it, but it's strong enough to hold multiple sauces without getting soggy. And I walked three blocks back to my office before digging in, too.

I liked the combination of flavors in the Breakfast Sandwich. The eggs were not lost among the other ingredients, although the cook on the yolks was slightly inconsistent. While one egg had a slightly runny yolk, the other one ended up over well, with a fully-cooked yolk. The fact that I spent a few minutes walking back to the office with my lunch could have played a factor, but the two eggs were still cooked differently. It's not a big deal, though. The whites were slightly crispy and the yolks nice and creamy. Quality ingredients pay off.

The harissa sauce was only a little spicy, complementing the fried eggs as if you'd added a couple dabs of hot sauce. Filled with roasted red peppers, tomatos, garlic, cumin, coriander, and sumac, harissa is a hallmark of North African cooking and one of my favorite condiments. Vesta makes their own, and it's outstanding. For those who want to turn up the heat, Vesta provides a bottle of their Lazlo sauce to satisfy that craving. Named after baker Jenya Chernoff's pet doberman, it bites just about that hard.

The feta cheese isn't a powerfully sharp one, but that's perfect, as it's not the star of the dish. The yogurt adds some moisture to the Breakfast Sandwich and helps bind everything together, while the cilantro adds a final herbal note. All the flavors play off each other well. Overall, it's a solid dish, and I wouldn't be surprised to find something like this on the streets of Morocco or Tunisia for a walking breakfast.

I don't know if America is ready to trade in a never-ending lineup of greasy breakfast sandwiches for Vesta Flatbread's offering, but sign me up as a convert.

Rating: 4/5 (ratings guide)

Vesta Flatbread (@vestaflatbread) $8.50 per sandwich

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