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Bologna on a Breakfast Sandwich Is Surprising Morning Bliss

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continuing series exploring a favorite New York City food, the bacon, egg, and cheese

Egg, cheese, and bologna breakfast sandwich
Ask that the bologna be warmed up on the griddle.

No edible item is more New Yorky than the breakfast sandwich, made with egg, American cheese, and bacon, sausage, or boiled ham on a kaiser roll — available at nearly every deli and bodega. But this cherished sandwich has been modified by time and contemporary preferences, and now variations can be found, or created. Appearing every Wednesday for the rest of summer and into the fall, this breakfast sandwich hack column will ferret out those wayward modifications.

Egg, Cheese, and Bologna on a Kaiser Roll

Bologna is the most abject of luncheon meats, listed way down the deli sandwich menu, in the questionable company of olive loaf and liverwurst. That also makes it the cheapest, too, so that a bologna sandwich on rye with mustard can cost as little as $4 at most city delis. But there is something perfect about bologna in its homogeny and pinkness, making it preferable to its more pretentious cousin mortadella. And that strong note of garlic is another asset, a flavor that most luncheon meats strive to tone down, with the exception of cotto salami.

My love of bologna led me one day to try a substitution in the classic breakfast sandwich at Sam’s Deli, getting rid of my usual sage sausage and replacing it with bologna. I asked the deli guy to butter the roll but eventually decided that mayo is a better choice, even on a warm sandwich. I also asked the sandwich maker to heat the bologna on the griddle, so that it gradually softened and then melted the American cheese. The sandwich ($6) was breakfast bliss, and I urge you to try it with your own favorite luncheon meat. 275 West 4th St., between Perry and West 11th streets, West Village

Sam’s is one of the few delis remaining in the West Village.
Sam’s is one of the few delis remaining in the West Village.

Sam's Deli

275 W 4th St, New York, NY 10014 +1 212-727-9521