The Brunch Box opened several months ago, delivering numerous breakfast and lunch sandwiches at locations around Stamford, with occasional visits to surrounding areas and private parties. Jimmy Marcella, a Stamford native developed the concept of The Brunch Box after a lifetime of preparation; as far back as he could remember he wanted to own a restaurant. As a teen Jimmy worked at a local Italian deli in Westchester, scrubbing dishes, mopping floors, stocking soda, eventually prepping, making chicken cutlets and chopping parsley by the case. He saved his money for his self-education, Omakase at 16, elegant dining at 18. He subsequently worked at the Hudson Hotel in Manhattan, toured with his manager and eventually returned to Stamford; he was now ready to fulfill his dream. Jimmy decided to start with a food truck, where he could experience that personal one-to-one interaction with each customer. He thought that “Brunch” was the differentiator from the other food trucks in the area and The Brunch Box was born.
Jimmy’s philosophy is straightforward, “Our goal is to offer fresh, quality products cooked to order on our food truck. The slab bacon from a local hog farm in Pennsylvania to our Portuguese muffins we get overnighted from Fall River, Massachusetts. Quality matters. It’s just tastes and feels that much better! For the consumer and business.”
Each sandwich is served on that distinctively sweet Portuguese muffin (from the same baker from Massachusetts that supplies the bun for the Harlan Social Burger) and reflects Jimmy’s desire to elevate each sandwich with the bun. Over the course of several visits I enjoyed several of Jimmy’s creations.
One of my favorites was The Lox Box (pictured above), layers of Nova lox with cream cheese, tomato, red onion, capers, fresh dill on the Portuguese muffin. The Novy was mild, with just a hint of smokiness; the muffin was an outstanding choice to add great sweetness to the sandwich, and the capers a little saltiness. The tomato and slight schmear of cream cheese contributed creaminess to this great sandwich.
My other favorite was the Brunch Box Breakfast Sandwich, affectionately referred to as the TBB. It starts with a traditional three-ingredient bacon, egg and cheese with a little lettuce and tomato. The Brunch Box takes the sandwich to an incredible sweet-spicy direction with the muffin, and a swath of sriracha mayonnaise that offered a wonderful creamy-spiciness to this sandwich.
Another good choice is the Burger. The meat was mild, with a great sear on the exterior and compressed, which gave it almost a spongy texture (I understand he is now grinding his own meat). The patty was topped with melted cheese, bacon, pickle, lettuce, tomato on the Portuguese muffin. There was great balance with the thick, salty bacon, the ketchup, the aioli and the ripe tomato. Then the pickle kicked in and created a delicious combination.
The Pastrami Reuben included a mound of pastrami covered with melted cheese, sauerkraut, and Thousand Island dressing on the Portuguese muffin. To be fair, this sandwich suffers from the lack of good pastrami in CT. Jimmy searched all over for the best meat, sources it from a local deli, but it was not to my liking. In addition, this time the muffin was not a good substitute for the traditional rye bread that a great pastrami sandwich deserves. I enjoyed the other sandwiches more.
The Brunch Box is turning out some creative combinations. The use of the sweet Portuguese muffins works fantastically in most of the combinations, and the addition of spicy components is the key to many of the sandwiches. In several conversations with Marcella I am convinced he strives for the best in each of his ingredients. I look forward to returning and enjoying more of The Brunch Box’s breakfast and lunch sandwiches.
The Brunch Box
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