Skip Starbucks — White Rock Coffee's Bacon, Egg and Cheese Sandwich Is Perfect

The breakfast sandwich at White Rock Coffee — bacon, egg, cheese, spinach and a pesto spread on a brioche bun — will set you back $4.25.
The breakfast sandwich at White Rock Coffee — bacon, egg, cheese, spinach and a pesto spread on a brioche bun — will set you back $4.25. Nick Rallo
It’s a good day when you don’t have to quickly inhale a Starbucks breakfast. Maybe you’re on the road or trapped between rainstorms at the airport, but there’s always a dispassionate sigh that boils up when that Starbucks oven tower “dings” and a scalding, bland English muffin drops into a paper sack.

The nation’s leading coffee chain reaches for a trend every now and again. There’s the Sous Vide Egg Bites, an egg pod the size of a tea light that looks like a breakfast an astronaut would struggle to eat on Day 100 of living on the International Space Station. There is also the keyword-rich “Double-Smoked Bacon, Egg & Cheddar Sandwich.” (Do a lot of people out there taste the second bacon smoking? I only taste one smoke.) The latter sandwich has a bun that looks like a Devo hat and probably tastes roughly the same.

On a better day, you'll round the narrow drive-thru of the coffee shack on Abrams and Mockingbird. Just before 9 a.m., cars encircle the Lakewood White Rock Coffee express like soldiers defending a beloved castle. As opposed to a growing Starbucks line, few have that taciturn look of inevitability on their face. You're about to get strong coffee and a hot sandwich — not a one-note sandwich that tastes like someone is yelling "SALT!" or "SPINACH!" in your face. Dallas' White Rock Coffee drive-thru service is sunny. The menu is clean blues and whites.

On the right panel of the drive-thru menu, it reads, unpretentiously, “breakfast sandwich." Order one or two. A single sandwich is some pocket change, less than five bucks. What is "breakfast sandwich"? It’s not sous vide. It is a confident brioche bun acting as hot and toasty bookends to cheddar, egg, crunchy bacon and a bright basil pesto. The oven fuses the brioche bun with blistered cheese. They hand it to you in a similar paper bag, but what’s inside tastes better than anything you’ll find at a coffee mega-chain.

It’s got salt and earth from the pesto, sunshine-strong, blanketed alongside a good egg and crunchy bacon. What else do we need? Why punish yourself with a sous vide egg tablet? Save bagel bites, the saddest version of a bagel, for emergencies. This brioche has a buttery shine, smash-toasted from the tongs they use to handle it. The smell of hot brioche in the morning smells like victory.

Once it’s in your car, the countdown starts: How long will it take before you dive your hand in the paper sack and down that breakfast sandwich? It won’t be long. This sandwich carries a lighter feeling than most coffee shops. It’s a coffee shop started in Dallasites Bob and Nancy Baker’s garage about 15 years ago. In other words, White Rock’s food is fresh, simple and local. And that’s what a good city needs in the morning.

White Rock Coffee, 4216 Abrams Road (Lakewood)
KEEP THE DALLAS OBSERVER FREE... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Nick Rallo
Contact: Nick Rallo