Fiamma Burger: Breakfast time
by Aaron Kayser and Aaron Apple
On Nov. 7, the Fiamma Burger Facebook page posted an image of Ned Stark (of Game of Thrones Fame), with the caption “Breakfast is coming” and no other information. From that point, we had to wait nearly a month to experience Fiamma’s take on our favorite meal and we have to say, it was well worth the wait. Both of us are huge fans of what Fiamma Burger does with its food, as well as with La Fiamma Pizza down the street, so we had high hopes for their voyage into breakfast territory. Don’t expect a full breakfast menu like you’d find in most Bellingham eateries. Instead, expect a quick, casual and delicious meal without having to wait forever for a table and again for your food.
Egg sandwiches and hash are the two main categories that make up the new menu. The egg sandwiches can be made into a combo meal for $2.75, which adds on coffee or orange juice, along with “WalkingStick” hash browns that we will talk about later on in the review. Sides of bacon, sausage patties, ham and red potato hash are available, along with fried apple bread pudding for breassert (breakfast plus dessert, we just made this up) that we will also talk about further down the page.
Apple went with the veggie sandwich combo ($7.70), made up of a fried egg, red peppers, arugula, Swiss cheese and pesto mayo. Because we frequent Fiamma Burger for lunch and dinner on a regular basis, we knew what kind of soft and fluffy deliciousness to expect on the outside with the brioche bun, though English muffins are also available. The sweetness from the pesto mayo and red pepper really make this sandwich stand out, giving the Egganue available a few doors down a serious run for its money.
Kayser ordered the Meat and Gravy Hash and made it a combo ($11.70). The hash came piping hot and served in a ramekin-like dish that was topped with two over-medium eggs. Underneath the eggs was a medley of seasoned chopped hamburger, mushrooms, onions and jack cheese, all smothered with beef gravy and a drizzle of sour cream. While on the heavy side, this was a stick-to-your-ribs meal that was perfect for the cold morning pre-workday.
Halfway through his food, Kayser realized that his untouched hash browns were staring him in the face. The houses-made hash browns consisted of shredded russet potatoes with fresh rosemary and cracked black pepper, and then were deep-fried to golden perfection. The hash brown had a nice crisp crust and the potato was quite tender in the center. While quite tasty on its own, a little side of the best condiment in town, curry mayo, didn’t hurt either.
Being so impressed and having a little bit of room left, we both decided to give the veggie hash a try as well. This dish includes potatoes, onions, broccoli, red peppers, mushrooms, zucchini and yellow squash, topped with jack cheese, two fried eggs and a sour cream drizzle. Without adding bacon, we’re not quite sure how this could have been any more flavorful (it didn’t even need hot sauce). Unlike many vegetarian dishes served in non-vegetarian specific restaurants, this one didn’t lack in the amount and variety of vegetables – this wasn’t just a bunch of potatoes overcompensating for a lack of everything else.
Even though our buttons were popping at this point, and because we are gluttons for punishment, we also had to have the fried apple bread pudding ($4.50). The menu describes this breassert as a cross between French toast, an apple fritter and a cinnamon roll, which is totally perfect. We agreed it was probably most like a fritter in doughy loaf form, complete with large apple chunks. The darkened outside soft crust is topped with a caramel sauce, guaranteeing that this breassert will satisfy even the most deprived sweet tooth. Pairs great with a cup of Joe and the most recent copy of What’s Up! Magazine.
Fiamma Burger adds another choice to an already large selection of breakfast joints downtown, and one we highly recommend. Their established culinary philosophy, practices and taste translate most excellently to breakfast, so if you enjoy the lunch and dinner options, you probably already know that the breakfast is something you need to experience for yourself.
Fiamma Burger is located at 1309 Railroad Ave. in downtown Bellingham. They are open Sunday through Thursday from 6:59 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Friday and Saturday from 6:59 a.m. to 10 p.m. Breakfast is served until 11:01 a.m. each day. For additional information, call (360) 733-7374 or visit www.fiammaburger.com.