City Paper is not for tourists
The Dish: bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on wheat toast
The Location: Heller’s Bakery and Cafe, 3221 Mount Pleasant St. NW, (202) 265-1169
The Price: $3.25
The Skinny: Mention Heller’s nowadays, and it’s not uncommon to hear laments about how the place, originally opened in 1922, just isn’t what it used to be. The Mount Pleasant outlet had indeed waned in recent years, and it was closed for about six months before brothers and neighborhood residents Erland and Aleks Duni bought the landmark, renovated it, and reopened it in March 2005. Along with new baker Dimitrios Kiouras, the two are inching closer to the bakery’s former rep, offering fresh-made doughnuts, pastries (try the Russian tea cookies), and sandwiches. The bacon, egg, and cheese sandwich on wheat toast is as good as any you’ll find: scrambled egg, thick-cut bacon, and American cheese (yes, it’s the best for melting) on two pudgy slices of house-made wheat bread. Sure, the innards are pretty standard—it’s the bread that elevates Heller’s breakfast sandwich above the ordinary. Soft and delicately yeasty, it has just enough crisp on the outside to add nuttiness and integrity, but not so much as to inflict the dreaded, shredded Cap’n Crunch mouth.