Shake Shack Breakfast Sandwiches Launch at Union Station on Monday

The must-order: spicy pork sausage.

Shake Shack's egg-and-cheese breakfast sandwiches, topped with smoky bacon or spicy pork sausage. Photograph courtesy of Shake Shack.

A New York-style bacon, egg and cheese is one of the simplest breakfast sandwiches, but it ignites passionate feelings. New York Times dining critic Pete Wells recently penned an ode to “the BEC,” calling it “a hero among sandwiches.” He’s not alone. Shake Shack culinary director Mark Rosati echoed the reverent sentiment as he discussed the burger chain’s new breakfast sandwiches at Union Station on Friday morning.

“I don’t know what it is about that sandwich,” he says. “We wanted to use that as our model for greatness.”

Rosati feels it’s time for Washington to share in the glory. A small menu of egg-and-cheese breakfast sandwiches, Stumptown drip coffee, and cold brew will launch at the Union Station location on Monday at 7 AM; a similar lineup is available at New York-area airports, and Manhattan’s Grand Central station.

In keeping with Shake Shack’s core menu, the options follow a simple-yet-indulgent trend: egg and gooey American cheese on a signature Martin’s potato roll, and versions with bacon or a specially-made sausage patty. Rosati worked with butcher Pat LaFrieda—the famed meat man behind the Shackburger—testing recipes for months to come up with the best pork blend, with just the right combination of sage and aleppo pepper to take a typical breakfast sausage to the next, Shake Shack-ian level.

We tasted them all (twist our arms). The “star of the show,” as Rosati puts it, is the sausage; a griddled Jimmy Dean-esque patty that one can plow through without a second thought, or care for calories. The simple egg or smoky bacon sandwiches were less memorable—though for those who agree with Wells title argument, “Don’t Mess with My Bacon, Egg and Cheese,” Rosati did a good job mimicking the reliable, if forgettable, corner deli BEC.

“We want these sandwiches to be unchallenging, not too fussy,” Rosati says.

The new menu debuts at the Union Station branch of Shake Shack on Monday, May 11.