When it comes to eating out, reviews tend to focus on taste. For the average college student, however, the first thought is more often, “What’s cheap?” In an effort to bridge the divide, I teamed up with our trusty sports editor to provide a cost-benefit review for the most important meal of the day: Breakfast. Specifically, we were on a mission to figure out whether it’s worth it to shell out a little more for a higher quality breakfast sandwich. Here is what we found:
Dunkin’ Donuts | Sausage, Egg and Cheese Sandwich — $4.19
The basics: egg, American cheese and sausage on a croissant. A quick and dirty breakfast that gets the job done.
Nicholas — The sandwich came out in less than a minute after I ordered, which was honestly kind of concerning. It was salty, gooey and saggy —definitely the furthest thing from fresh. Still, it didn’t feel like a ripoff, considering it was dirt cheap.
Griffin — Opting for the low(er) calorie option, I sank my teeth into an egg, ham and cheese english muffin for the same price. No bells and whistles here — just a homogenous, thin stack of breakfast essentials, lacking a discernible flavor that may give an edge to the McDonald’s Egg McMuffin. Serviceable if for nothing else than to quickly satiate the stomach and esophagus for a low-priced bite on the go.
First Watch | The Elevated Egg Sandwich — $10.49
An over-easy egg, bacon, Gruyere cheese, avocado, mayo and lemon-dressed arugula on a brioche bun with a side of seasoned potatoes. Certainly a step up, but is it worth more than double the price of Dunkin’?
Nicholas — The egg was as clean as they come — nice and smooth with no gristle — but the yolk was cooked through, and I am a big fan of a runny sandwich. The bacon was nice and crispy. Despite the impressive ingredients list, I can’t say it blew my mind. It was lacking in seasoning. Certainly better than Dunkin’, but not something I would buy again.
Griffin — Partial to the seasonal stylings and fresh ingredients provided at First Watch, my first experience with this particular menu item was a pleasure. The welcomed addition of avocado and arugula dressed the familiar breakfast formula up for a fancier affair, and the buttery brioche bun created a melt-in-your-mouth bite. I could see the sandwich alone going for $10, therefore the of side potatoes gave the dish an added bang for your buck.
Lindey’s Restaurant & Bar | Eggs Lindey’s — $17
Two steak filets and poached eggs on English muffins with tasso ham hollandaise, served with a side of spicy rosemary potatoes. Technically an open face sandwich, with all the essential ingredients in a far fancier setting.
Nicholas — This thing was absolutely incredible. The steak was juicy and perfectly cooked. The eggs were runny. Hollandaise was creamy and delicious. I would actually order this again, and I wouldn’t even feel guilty about it. Definitely worth the splurge.
Griffin — When you walk into a top-flight restaurant serving $50-plus steaks, receiving a wholly satisfying meal for $17 is more than commendable. Upping the ante from bacon or ham, Lindey’s pairs your breakfast with small cuts of steak cooked to perfection. Even the spicy potatoes put the First Watch recipe to shame. If not an everyday affordance, this is a delicacy worth an occasional bougie brunch trip.
Nicholas — If you’re just looking for something greasy to fill your stomach, don’t bother trying for a fancy diner. Eggs and cheese on bread is hard to mess up, even at the cheapest price point. Surprisingly, it can be worth spending the big bucks if you’re looking for a memorable breakfast experience.
Griffin — For a man who can cook little more than eggs with any dexterity, I take my breakfasts in an array of shapes, sizes and price points. However, I’d recommend skipping out on Dunkin’ in favor of something home-cooked, unless you’re willing to shell out a bit more for the upscale in ingredients that somewhere like First Watch can provide in order to spruce up your morning or early afternoon.