When it comes to dining in Oxford, Mississippi, John Currence knows what’s best.
The renowned chef and restaurateur started his career with the casually elegant City Grocery, located in the heart of town. Since then, he’s opened a catering company along with six other restaurants, one of them being a popular brunch spot with an intimidatingly cool name of Big Bad Breakfast.
The best thing about Big Bad Breakfast (besides the name, obviously) is the extremely diverse menu that suits every type of brunch eater out there. They have a variety of the classic breakfast staples such as pancakes, waffles, omelets, and egg plates, along with an incredibly delicious breakfast and lunch sandwich selection.
For those not in the mood for a breakfast sandwich, though, there are still plenty of options: a burger with bacon on sourdough bun, chicken salad on a focaccia, and the exquisite Southern Belly sandwich, loaded with gooey pimento cheese, our Sandwich of the Week.
The Southern Belly sandwich stays true to its Southern roots: pimento cheese, bacon, bread and butter pickles, tomatoes, and slaw are piled onto buttery white or wheat bread then seared on the griddle. In order to make the pimento cheese as fresh and flavorful as possible, chefs make it in-house with roasted tomato peppers, mild cheddar cheese, mayonnaise, bread and butter pickles, garlic, Dijon mustard, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. The slaw is also fresh and made quite simply with raw apple cider vinegar, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, celery seed, shredded carrots, salt and pepper.
And, unlike many restaurants who obtain their meat from outside sources, Big Bad Breakfast makes their own bacon right in the backyard. “We get raw pork and cure the bellies for 7 days. Then we smoke the bellies in our smokehouse out back for 12 hours, slice them into strips of bacon, and cook them,” Jason Nicholas, Big Bad Breakfast’s Chef de Cuisine told us.
Once the bacon is ready and the cheese and slaw are made, all of the ingredients are placed on either white or wheat bread (diner’s choice), along with locally grown tomatoes and bread and butter pickles. The sandwich is then placed on a griddle lathered in butter (naturally), and cooked just enough to keep the slaw, pickles and tomatoes crispy and cool but to also make the cheese gooey and the bacon hot.
The final result? A crispy, gooey, zesty, and cheesy sandwich that defines what the South is all about. The refreshing slaw, tomatoes, and bread and butter pickles compliment the creamy, warm pimento cheese that dribbles onto the edges of the bread with every bite. And lastly, the bacon adds the final touch of smokiness and crunch. And according to Nicholas, it is the perfect sandwich to represent what the South has to offer. “It is a sandwich that runs the gamut of Southern ingredients and Southern flavors: bacon, pimento cheese, and slaw.”
Skyler Bouchard is a junior writer for the Daily Meal. Follow her on twitter at @skylerbouchard.
Click here for other featured sandwiches or check out the 2012 Year in Sandwiches and the Sandwich of the Week Slideshow. Know a sandwich that should be featured? Email The Daily Meal or comment below. Better yet, become a contributor and write up your favorite today!