Monday, September 14, 2015

Breakfast Sandwich #37 - Einstein Bagels aka It Doesn't Take A Genius

Sandwich: Applewood Bacon & Cheddar on a Green Chile Bagel
Location: Einstein Bros. Bagels (East Washington Ave.)
Date: September 11, 2015
Cost: $4.50*

Einstein Bros Bagels is another chain restaurant that's been around Madison for years. I have no idea how they came to be named Einstein but it doesn't appear to have anything to do with that smart fella Albert. Occasionally a coworker brings some of their bagels and coffee into the office but that's about the extent of my interaction with them. I have a vague recollection of stopping at one in Indiana and getting a breakfast sandwich to fuel a Sunday morning drive home, but that was several years ago.

The point is, I knew they had breakfast sandwiches but I wasn't sure I had tried one. With a busy weekend in front of me I stopped in on a Friday morning so I could keep up with the sandwich calendar. Back in May I was ahead of schedule on researching 52 breakfast sandwiches but it's tough to keep up during the summer and now I am exactly on track - if I skip a week I'll be behind schedule. You have no idea how stressful this is. (It really isn't but it does cause me to question my level of dedication.) At a time when science seems to be an afterthought, particularly in Wisconsin, I feel the least I can do is to stick with my research although grant money for the Sandwich Sciences has all but dried up. It's literally crumbs at this point.

I didn't take a photo of the menu but they have several options of egg sandwich available.

It was immediately apparent that ordering this sandwich on the Green Chile bagel was a mistake.

It looks even worse from this angle
The Sandwich - Applewood Bacon & Cheddar on a Green Chile Bagel. You get your choice of bagel and I saw the little sign for Green Chili and it sounded intriguing so I made the choice. The initial order was for an Onion bagel and then I changed it. I don't how the green chili bagels come to be, but I assumed they would have some chilis cooked into the dough and that would be it. When I unwrapped the sandwich at work it looked like they had dumped a can of roasted green chilis on the top. Or, maybe it had been dropped back behind the counter where nobody ever cleans. Or, maybe something worse.

You can see that it wasn't particularly brimming with bacon or cheese, but the egg looked alright. I don't know how much one can expect of a sandwich at a place like this. The whole thing seems to be cooked in microwaves. I should have paid closer attention but I didn't realize I was in a downward sandwich spiral. Speaking of downward spirals, there is a restaurant in Atlanta called The Vortex that looks promising.

Wait a second, I'm not done complaining about the bagel. The biggest problem with the green chili bagel is the texture. Not the bagel part, the chili part. If you've ever roasted chilis you know how they feel in your hands - slimy. That's how they feel in your mouth as well. Slimy is not a descriptor you want for your sandwich at 8:30 in the morning.

The Result - 2.95 Alberts out of 5 Alberts. Albert Einstein probably wouldn't have been as impulsive as myself and may have looked over the complete selection of bagels before making his choice. That would have been the smart thing to do. I have to accept some responsibility for ordering this sandwich the way that I did, but, I can only review the sandwich as it was presented. Sliminess aside, the chilis had a nice heat to them, not overly spicy, but a good kick. They really ended up being the only distinct flavor of the sandwich. Bites from the edges that didn't have chilis were rather bland - no salty bacon flavor, no sharp cheddar - although the texture was much better. I'm not sure if eating this on an onion bagel would have changed much other than the texture.

*I think the sandwich was $4.50. It may have been $4.75. By the time I got home from work I had lost the receipt.

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