Former food truck Bangos’ long-awaited conversion to a brick-and-mortar space has come at last, and Lansing-area foodies — myself included — are rejoicing. Recently opened inside the downtown Lansing Strange Matter Coffee location, my social media feed as of late has been punctuated by many an effusive post, featuring enticing photos of its breakfast-focused offerings alongside heart-eye and weeping emojis.
Though I’ve long been a devotee of its younger sister, the sandwich shop Babe’s Corner, I had yet to sample Bangos until one slow Thursday morning when my coworker made the brilliant suggestion of ordering it in. As luck would have it, the shop was featuring biscuits that week. That’s part of the fun of both Babe’s and Bangos: sudden specials that appear as quickly as they vanish, lending a feeling of luck when you’re able to catch them in the act.
Even so, Bangos’ base menu leaves nothing to be desired, touting a variety of breakfast sandwiches, burgers and wraps, with vegan and vegetarian substitutes for pretty much everything. I chose the Maple Boy — on the featured biscuit, of course — which comes with egg, sausage, cheddar cheese and maple syrup. Pretty simple, right? To do it this well, though — that’s what all the fuss is about.
The biscuit (vegan, by the way), was golden brown and savory all on its own, with a bit of a crunch giving way to a crumbly interior. It was soaked halfway through with real maple syrup and piled high with a delectable sausage patty, an over-hard egg and melted cheddar that had an actual bite to it. Sweet, salty, creamy, crunchy, meaty, chewy — the sandwich hit every flavor note except for spicy, which was quickly remedied by my side order of Nasty AF potatoes.
Bangos’ fried redskin potatoes are dressed in degrees of “nastiness,” and though the Nasty AF potatoes are already topped with curry powder, garlic, paprika, melted cheddar, green onions and bang bang sauce (a spicy, piquant mayo), I added cilantro at the suggestion of my more well-informed friend. The potatoes were crispy and seasoned to the gods, the best bits being those stuck to the bottom of the container, entombed by globs of that quality cheddar and zingy bang bang.
I also had a bite of my pal’s cauliflower wrap with pickled red cabbage, and I’ve got to give that a shoutout as well — not just for being a vegan option but for simply being tasty … AF. With this breakfast, Bangos joined Babe’s as one of my most beloved Lansing food spots. Both exemplify a concise vision of what people want to eat, carried out with thoughtfulness, care and just the right amount of flare.
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