Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Battle of the Breakfast Sandwiches: Day 3 (Bruegger's Bagels Egg & Cheese Bagel with Turkey Sausage)

For the third day of my Battle of the Breakfast Sandwiches, I headed to Bruegger's Bagels on East Boulevard. I was running late for work, but that ended up being a blessing in disguise because with my 9:15 arrival, I had missed the breakfast rush. I've been to this location before when they were slammed, so I felt pretty lucky to not have to wait in a big line. After debating my choices, I decided to get something I've had many times before, the Egg & Cheese Bagel with Turkey Sausage. Per usual, I opted to get a toasted sesame bagel as the base, but then I went rogue and requested honey walnut cream cheese rather than my normal slice of cheddar.

First Impressions: By the time I had poured myself a large Diet Coke at the soda fountain, my sandwich was wrapped up and ready to go.  I took it to my office, pulled it out of the bag, and the first thing I noticed was its weight. At 9.1 ounces, the sandwich seemed absolutely gigantic compared to the contenders from the previous two days. I discarded the paper wrapper and immediately regretted the sesame decision. While I love the taste of the tiny sesame seeds (and the fact that they just look so darn cute), they are a mess! The seeds flew off the bagel and scattered all over my desk faster than my parents' Bernese Mountain Dog sheds his coat every spring. Ignoring the fact that my keyboard, desk, and chair were all littered with sesame seeds, I examined the sandwich and decided that it looked good and smelled tasty. 

Category #1: Taste
I was a little worried that I should have gone with a little more exciting sandwich, but after taking my first bite, I knew I made the right choice. The Egg & Cheese Bagel with Turkey Sausage was really, really, really good. The turkey sausage seemed to be of high quality and I was pleasantly surprised that I detected some herbs and spices mixed into the meat. While I was a little off-put by the a-little-too-perfectly-shaped egg patty, it tasted fresh and was well-seasoned. It also didn't have the gross, sponge-y texture that screams "I just came from a freezer!" like a lot of other fast food eggs. Hands down, the best part of the whole sandwich was the honey walnut cream  cheese. I'd forgotten how much I really like the flavored cream cheeses at Bruegger's (I have borderline inappropriate feelings about the strawberry cream cheese and won't permit myself to keep it in the house). The honey walnut cream cheese was mildly sweet (a plus in my book) and didn't leave me with a "I need to go to the dentist for a cleaning" feeling after eating it. While it would have been great on its own, it perfectly complemented the salty egg and the savory turkey sausage. The warmth of the egg and turkey sausage melted the cream cheese and resulted in a gooey smorgasbord of deliciousness. However, I was a little let down by carbohydrate component of my sandwich. The bagel itself was very dense and not in a pleasant, chewy way. I did like how the nuttiness of the sesame seeds tasted in combination with the sweet-ish dough, but the bagel just seemed heavy and overwhelming compared to the other components. Regardless, the sandwich was still a great improvement over Monday and Tuesdays selections and I can't wait to come back to Bruegger's and try even more of their breakfast sandwiches. Score: 8.5

Category #2: Fullness
The sandwich was so filling that I probably could have eaten 3/4 of it and been perfectly satiated. However, like a goldfish, I don't exactly know when to stop eating sometimes and I ate the whole thing anyway. I stayed full until a late lunch, so to me, this was perfect on the fullness scale. Score: 10

Category #3: Nutrition
This category is where today's sandwich was a complete loser. I knew this was not going to be a particularly healthy choice, but I didn't realize how bad it was until I did the math. My sandwich contained 650 calories, 29 grams of fat, 70 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fiber, and 28 grams of protein. I did save 140 calories by picking turkey sausage over pork sausage, but I could have made an even better choice by requesting egg whites and a "skinny" bagel in order to save an additional 180 calories. Oh well, making the choice to eat my fat bagel is water under the bridge now... After I added up all the components, my sandwich equated to 17 Weight Watchers+ Points -only one less than Monday and Tuesday's sandwiches combined... yikes. 

Category #4: Price
Although the Egg & Cheese Bagel with Turkey Sausage was a relatively expensive choice compared to typical fast food breakfast fare, its $4.19 price tag seemed reasonable based on its scores in the taste and fullness categories.

Overall Value
Applying my formula, the overall value of the Bruegger's Bagels Egg & Cheese with Turkey Sausage came out to a 2.39. Despite its god-awful nutrition facts, this exceptionally tasty sandwich is leading my Battle of the Breakfast Sandwiches, and its position is well-deserved. I'm looking forward to what tomorrow's contender will bring to the table!


Bruegger's Bagel Bakery on Urbanspoon

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