It's been a fine year for breakfast sandwich upgrades in Philly, where homemade everything, from English muffins to add-on meats and better eggs, have brought the morning stalwart to new heights.

Like me, chef Tyler Akin has come to admire the two-fisted wonder at Hungry Pigeon (as well as Girard Bruncherie's) as stars of the genre.

But as he and executive chef Michael Vincent Ferreri refine their own version for Res Ipsa, the new all-day cafe Akin opened recently with the ReAnimator Coffee crew, they turned to another inspiration: the Wawa Sizzli.

In particular, they aimed for the Sizzli's more compact, sub-$10 and portable nature with the take-out traffic passing to and from University City on the 2200 block of Walnut Street in mind.

The egg is a frittata, as opposed to the drippier fried variety. But the impact is still satisfying, from the cornmeal-dusted and craggy house English muffin to the oozy Asiago, sautéed spinach, and sausage seasoned merguez-style with cardamom, fennel, and chili.

As though that weren't flavorful enough, a salsa verde punched up with long hots gives this new morning star an extra savory zing.

- Craig LaBan
Egg-and-cheese breakfast sandwich, $4.50 (add $1 for spinach, $2 for sausage or pancetta), Res Ipsa, 2218 Walnut St., 267-519-0329;