Quick Bites: As spring mornings get brighter, here are some of Anchorage’s best breakfast sandwiches

Quick Bites: As spring mornings get brighter, here are some of Anchorage’s best breakfast sandwiches

When my kids were little and running late for the school bus — read, most days — I often sent them out the door with what we called, “monkey breakfast.” This was — you guessed it — a banana eaten while racing to the bus stop. Not my finest mom hour. Or, perhaps, my finest. The jury is still out.

Years later, I’m still a fan of a delicious, nutritious, one-handed meal to start the day. Especially in the spring and summer months when most Alaskans want to fuel up for warm-weather adventures while on the go. So, what better than a breakfast sandwich that you can hold in one hand? Because in summer months, we all need the other hand for fishing poles, GPS units, and dog leashes.

I’m already on the record with my love for a few Anchorage breakfast sandwich classics. Notably, “The Hot Mess,” the double-decker delight at Midnight Sun Brewing Co.; the hefty, hearty breakfast burritos at Burrito Heaven; and the elegantly satisfying “Bagel Experience” at Birch and Alder. But I’m always looking to expand my list and have recently added a few.

Quick Bites: As spring mornings get brighter, here are some of Anchorage’s best breakfast sandwiches

907 Bagel Co.

907bagelco.com

Check website/social media for location and hours

907 Bagel Co. is a roving breakfast, and breakfast-for-dinner, truck with a growing following and a growing menu of hot, gooey, overstuffed steamed bagel sandwiches. The steamed sandwich process is exactly what it sounds like and magically fuses the ingredients together in a way that can only be described as transcendentally melty. My family caught up with them at Magnetic North Brewing Co. for a decadent weekend breakfast, opting for the “Handyman,” “Morning Glory” and “Pick Me” sandwiches. The sandwiches are offered with a proscribed bagel flavor but you can pick your own when you order. We chose an “everything” for all three. The “Handyman” ($17) is stuffed with chipotle cream cheese, bacon, turkey, avocado, provolone and ranch seasoning. This hearty sandwich is creamy with cheese and avocado balanced by a nice bite from the chipotle. The “Pick Me” ($15) boasts bacon, ham, sausage, egg and pepper jack cheese and is a great choice for people who can’t pick at all — breakfast meats, that is. Lastly, we opted for the “Morning Glory” ($14), for the cheese-choice-challenged, an extra melty classic with chipotle cream cheese, bacon, egg, American, pepper jack and provolone. We cut them into three — not an easy task, do not recommend — and couldn’t decide on a favorite. We loved them all.

Wooden Spoons Alaska

1300 W. 36th Ave.

woodenspoonsalaska.com

Wednesday-Friday: 7:30 a.m.-sellout

Saturday-Sunday: 8 a.m.-sellout

Preorder online until 7 a.m. same day for pickup

One reason 907 Bagel Co.’s sandwiches are so good is because of the excellent bagels on which they’re stacked. These are provided by Wooden Spoons Alaska, who are serving scratch-made bagels out of Anchorage Commercial Kitchen in Spenard. I know I say this all the time, but in this case, I mean it literally: Don’t snooze on these bagels. They go on sale at 7:30 a.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. on weekends, and stop selling when they sell out. And they always sell out. I caught up with them early on a Wednesday morning and the yeasty, oniony fragrance in the shop made me over-order to a hilarious degree: two of each, please, which included sesame, everything, salt, onion, poppy seed, Nordic — dill-forward — and on that day, a dense, robust pumpernickel ($3 each). These bagels have a toothsome, chewy crust and an airy, pillowy center, and they taste like pure, glutenous love. They’re a little more pliant than some more traditional New York-style bagels I have eaten but they also seemed to keep their freshness a bit longer. These were perfect fresh out of the bag on days one and two, and great in the toaster on day three. The last remaining few went in the freezer — I’ll report back. Wooden Spoons also offers a variety of cream cheese spreads. We opted for the chive spread and would cheerfully spread it on just about anything.

Jerry’s OMG Burrito

919 E. Dimond Blvd. (inside the Shell Station convenience store)

907-522-2811

Tuesday-Saturday: 6 a.m.-2 p.m.

Another in the short list of gas-station breakfasts that are fighting above their weight class is Jerry’s OMG Burrito, which is serving up huge, overstuffed breakfast burritos from out of a convenience mart that is lacking in atmosphere but not completely lacking in charm. The drive-thru is closed but the menu dominates the inside of the space, and a very friendly clerk was on hand to take my order right away. I ordered the OMG burrito with reindeer sausage ($9), the steak and egg burrito ($9.50), and a classic J’s breakfast sandwich. The sandwich, a classic ensemble of sausage, egg, cheese and hash browns on a soft roll, is priced at a wallet-friendly $6. The burritos are all two-meal doorstops, stuffed with cheese, eggs and lots of meat. My favorite element has to be the tater tots tucked inside. Guys, let’s normalize putting potatoes in our sandwiches. Conclusion: A great place to fuel yourself up while you fuel up your car before hitting the road. Bonus points and fair warning: The hot sauce is actually hot. Proceed with caution, or with abandon, depending on your mood and your palate.

Cult Classics

510 L St., Suite 105 (in the lobby of the Peterson Tower)

cultclassicsak.com

Monday-Thursday: 8 a.m.-4 p.m.

Friday: 8 a.m.-3 p.m.

Cult Classics, a hidden gem tucked into the lobby of the Peterson Tower downtown, is a diminutive space but its flavors are mighty. My daughter and I stopped in recently for a weekday morning treat and have vowed to work our way through the full menu of baked goods and sandwiches named after classic movies. In addition to a couple of creamy, decadent mochas, we opted to share a “Breakfast Club” sandwich ($14). In addition, we selected a white chocolate-raspberry pinwheel ($6) and a dark chocolate croissant, known as the “Labyrinth” ($6) because we believe that even breakfast should include dessert. The sandwich features bacon, eggs, mild cheddar, Monterey jack and garlic mayonnaise tucked into a buttery, flaky croissant. It was a decadent, well-balanced construction and I particularly liked the gently cooked whole eggs that made me think of a classic Japanese egg sandwich. The pinwheel and croissants were both rich in flavor but light in texture. The seating space is limited, but we had the space to ourselves and enjoyed the cute little window side perch while we planned the rest of the day’s adventures.

(What’s your favorite Anchorage destination for a quick breakfast sandwich, burrito or baked good? Email [email protected] and let us know.)