Well, let's begin with a more basic question: Is this the only true deli-style breakfast sandwich downtown? In other words, if you're in a morning rush, what's the best place to go for an egg sandwich on a bagel to go?
Let's lay down more ground rules: the breakfast sandwich must come with egg and cheese, with the option of meat. It may not be a wrap. It may not be a Panini. It may not be served on fancy bread, a la St. Louis Bread Company, or resemble a specialty sandwich, with suggested toppings like spinach and peppers. Culinaria does not count; that's a supermarket. The sandwich in question must be cooked up and plunged into a to-go bag in less than two minutes after you walk through the door.
After some searching, the first specimen resembling such a sandwich was found at Caruso's Deli, which is housed by Washington Ave. Post, a convenience store located off 13th Street. Could this be the best one out there?
Owner Jerry Caruso, a former executive chef at Marriott, who parks his stand right next to the front door, believes his is the only true deli-style, breakfast sandwich-on-a-bagel downtown. He says he opened his business last year because he felt the neighborhood needed a family-run destination for fresh meats and cheeses. Much of his food is homemade, including his breakfast-burrito salsa, made with tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeños and lime juice. He says customers also enjoy smoked salmon bagel sandwiches with capers and onions, and freshly made tuna and chicken salad.
"This is the food you'd expect at a picnic," says Caruso, a native Californian.
And, oh yeah, the sausage-egg-and-cheese sandwich, which goes for $2.95, was delicious.