Thursday, August 1, 2013

Battle of the Breakfast Sandwiches: Day 4 (Einstein Bros Bagels Green Chile & Turkey Sausage Panini)

Spoiler alert: the fourth day of my breakfast sandwich battle was a complete disaster. I had to go to an early court session for work and ended up stuck there for a few hours, making me miss the breakfast window at most of the restaurants in the area. Blanking on anywhere else that has breakfast foods available all day (besides Bruegger's), I walked over to the Einstein Bros. Bagels on East Boulevard. I'm not one to miss a morning meal, so by the time I rolled into the restaurant at 11:30 AM, I was really hungry. For that reason, I ordered one of the biggest sandwiches Einstein's offers, the Green Chile & Turkey Sausage Panini. Although I had been to Einstein's a handful of times, I had never noticed this option on the menu before and was excited to try something new out.

Don't let the delicious-looking cheese fool you, the Green
Chile & Turkey Sausage panini was a culinary catastrophe.

First Impressions: Within five minutes, my sandwich was prepared, bagged, and had been delivered to my table by a friendly Einstein's employee. After I got back to my office, I unwrapped it and was blown away by its enormity. It was quite possibly the biggest thing I've ever seen come out of a bagel shop. A thick layer of smashed green chiles lined one side of the toasted panini. Underneath, a monstrously huge wad of scrambled egg rested atop a small brownish-gray patty of turkey sausage. I was kind of surprised that even though the sandwich supposedly included some bold-flavored ingredients, it didn't really smell like anything. However, the sandwich looked really good, especially when I separated the two halves and thick strings of melty, white cheese spread out across the wrapper. 

Category #1: Taste
Even though I was practically wasting away of starvation (that may be an exaggeration...), the Green Chile & Turkey Sausage Panini was disappointingly underwhelming in the taste department. First of all, the turkey sausage was possibly the weirdest meat product I have ever consumed. Completely under-seasoned, it lacked any of the herbs or spices that made the Bruegger's turkey sausage so tasty. I'm convinced that the chefs at Einstein's mated a kitchen sponge with a Boca Burger in some kind of evil experiment and decided to put its offspring on my panini. I was super excited about the green chile sauce, but rather than being flavorful and spicy, it resembled chunky, debris-filled jelly and tasted like the smell that emanates from the gross water that collects in the bottom of garbage cans. It gets worse... In my 27 years of existence, I've never tasted an egg like the one on the Einstein's panini -it was completely devoid of flavor and the texture was rubbery, chunky, and slimy all at the same time. A patty half its size might not have been so disturbing, but in its mass quantity, it was disgusting and eating it reminded me of gnawing on a bouncy ball. Whatever chicken (or robot chicken) laid that egg needs to be punished... severely. If the sandwich had one, the cheese and bread were its saving grace. The panini itself and the cheese were fine, they were just poisoned by the bland/gross combo of the other ingredients. I suppose that if I was on a desert island and was truly dying of starvation, I might peel off the egg and sausage and eat the cheesy, non-chile side of bread. In an uncharacteristic move, after eating only a few bites of one-half of the panini, I chalked it up as a loss and slammed the whole thing into my trashcan (then threw the bag in the dumpster for good measure).  This sandwich was the ultimate let-down and I quickly made plans to go to lunch. Score: 2

I hadn't eaten half of it when I decided
to toss the panini in the trash.
Category #2: Fullness
This category is a little tricky since I barely ate any of the sandwich and therefore I can't be certain about the true fullness score. However, the pieces that I did eat were heavy to the point that I felt pretty satiated for how little I'd consumed. Even though I went to lunch within an hour, that decision did not stem from my hunger, but rather from my desire to get some less taste bud-torturing flavors in my mouth ASAP. I think it's safe to assume that had I eaten the whole thing, I would have been really, really stuffed. Score: 10

Category #3: Nutrition
Just like my choice at Bruegger's, today's sandwich was absolutely terrible for me in terms of health. Thank God I didn't eat the entire thing -it would have been a serious waste of calories. The sandwich contained 650 calories, 22 grams of fat, 71 grams of carbs, 5 grams of fiber, and 39 grams of protein. This equaled out to 17 Weight Watchers+ points.

Category #4: Price
At $5.55, this was the most expensive breakfast sandwich I've had yet. Considering it tasted so bad that I threw well over half of it away, the panini seemed especially pricey.

Overall Value:
My formula determined that the overall value of this whopping failure of a sandwich is 0.63 -yikes. I've previously ordered other things from Einstein's that were pretty tasty, so hopefully this is just an unfortunate blemish on an otherwise decent menu. Regardless, I think I'll opt to skip breakfast instead of return to Einstein's anytime in the near future.


  1. Wow, that is a very descriptive moment of "Ew!"

  2. were there credit points on calories for the amount thrown away?