Thought the single-concept restaurant craze was over? Think again. Hyper-focused shops like Brooklyn Piggies and Puddin’ NYC may have had some trouble keeping their businesses afloat, but that shouldn’t be a problem for BEC. Recently opened in Chelsea, under the guidance of Aureole’s executive sous chef James Friedberg, and owned by a woman named — amazingly enough — Jessica Bologna — the cheery spot smartly spotlights breakfast sandwiches; everyone’s favorite early morning (or late, late, late night) treat.
And while BEC may be short for Bacon, Egg and Cheese (layered on a parmesan and bacon-studded brioche bun, made especially for the eatery by Il Forno), Bologna’s options extend far beyond that classic concoction. In fact, her opening menu includes ten wildly different sandwich selections, such as the Spicy Spaniard, with Serrano ham, manchego cheese and pickled jalapenos on a puffy Pugliese roll; The Greeky Roman, featuring lamb sausage, feta, olive tapenade and baby kale; The Godmother, containing prosciutto, salami, walnut pesto and mozzarella, and the Bistec; a hearty assemblage of flat iron Angus steak, smoked bacon, blue cheese and caramelized onions, piled high on a ciabatta.
Bologna pushes the definition of a single-concept spot even further, by throwing in an assortment of savory side dishes as well. Which makes BEC far more than just an egg-centric breakfast joint, with brunch, lunch and dinner- appropriate options, like Shaved Cauliflower and Broccoli Salad, dotted with dried cranberries and pumpkin seeds, Chicken Noodle Alpha-BEC Soup, and Roasted Potatoes smeared with sambal chili sauce, as well as fresh-squeezed lemonade, cold brew iced coffee, or even beer or wine — positioning BEC’s gut-busting sandwiches as the ultimate after-hours bar snack.
So while there may not be a future for all-pudding or pig-in-a-blanket establishments in New York, the egg sandwich-adulating BEC has definitely breathed new life into the single-concept trend.