Sunday, October 30, 2016

Breakfast Sandwich #69 - Player's Sports Bar & Grill aka Comin' Around Full Circle

Sandwich: Buzzy with Bacon
Location: Players Sports Bar & Grill
Date: October 29, 2016
Cost: $7.50

If you've been following along here you know that The Buzzy Sandwich at Player's is essentially what inspired this endeavor. The Buzzy was the first step on this journey but it never received a proper review as I hadn't yet found any form or structure for this mess. I thought it would only be a matter of a few months before I made it back there to properly document The Buzzy. Well, 20 months later I had business to attend to in the neighborhood and I finally pulled up a bar stool at Player's to reacquaint myself with an old pal.

I think I have a soft spot for the Buzzy due to it's name - I used to have a cat and one of her nicknames was "Buzzy" because she liked to sit on the back of the couch with her head kind of jutted forward and drooping down, much like a buzzard. Now I wish I had asked why this sandwich is called Buzzy.

Although this is the breakfast menu I believe The Buzzy is available whenever the grill is open. 

OK, this is a terrible photo. The sandwich was already nicely sliced when it arrived and I tried to arrange it so you could see the ooey-gooey innards which resulted in me plopping half of the sandwich onto the hash browns which I had already put ketchup on. So, yes, this photo is a hot mess but just look at that sandwich!
The Sandwich - Buzzy Sandwich w/Bacon. I've never ordered it with ham or sausage. I could see ordering the sausage someday. The only option offered is the meat. The egg was not runny, but the yolk was only semi-solid. There was plenty of melty cheese and the bacon was cooked crisp but not burnt. The toast was the perfect vehicle for this sandwich, it kept everything in check but was still soft with a light crunch. Overall this sandwich pushes the salt limit for me, but in a good way. It's too-salty-enough, or something like that. 

The Result - 4.4 OHMYGODITSSOGOODTOSEEYOUAGAINS out of 5 OHMYGODITSSOGOODTOSEEYOUAGAINS. Damn fine sandwich. I was a little nervous going back here - what if the sandwich didn't cut the mustard? What would I do? Would my shattered dreams force me to close this thing down and leave you, the vaguely interested reader, to fend for yourself in a crazy world of even crazier sandwiches? I was having sandwich nostalgia and I didn't want it torn apart. Luckily, we do not have to think about these things because The Buzzy delivered. It was like a comfy hug from inside my belly, but not like in the movie Alien. 

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Thursday, October 27, 2016

Breakfast Sandwich #68 - Chick-fil-A aka Double Down On The Chicken pt. II

Sandwich: Chicken, Egg & Cheese Bagel
Location: Chick-fil-A
Date: October 26, 2016
Cost: $3.65

Despite years of being subjected to the commercials where the cows tell you to eat more chicken chikin, I'd never been to a Chik-fil-A. I think they are new to the Madison area and the East Washington location just opened within the last month. I didn't even know that they offered breakfast items until I heard about the new location and did a little research. Actually, I didn't know anything about Chick-fil-A other than they sponsor the Peach Bowl and a couple of years ago there was something about them not liking gay stuff.

Putting aside their questionable stance on individual rights, I knew I had to do some breakfast sandwich research.
It was a dark and stormy morning as I pulled up to the Chick-fil-A drive thru...started the shittiest novel (or blog) ever. 

We have some oozy cheese there. Things don't look too bad.

Typical fast food egg.
The Sandwich - Chicken, Egg & Cheese Bagel. They offer bacon and sausage sandwiches, and burritos, but I didn't go to Chick-fil-A for that type of fare and I don't know why anybody would. I was tempted by those adorable Chick-n-Minis but those aren't really a breakfast sandwich. The drive thru description didn't list the bagel as a "Sunflower Multigrain Bagel", but that's what the web site calls it. Also, the drive thru menu didn't tell me that I could have gotten a spicy chicken breast, which I'm just now discovering and which I would have taken advantage of. That appears to be the only option offered (but you have to know about it in advance, I guess).

The chicken egg is fine but they're always overcooked at fast food places. The cheese was melty although I could have taken more of it. The chicken, I have to admit, was pretty dang good. I had low expectations thinking it would be greasy and salty and it was neither of those things. I guess you don't open over 1,950 restaurants by serving crappy chicken

The only problem, and it's a substantial problem, is the bagel. It's everything you think a crappy multigrain bagel would be. Chewy and doughy, not in a good way, and mostly flavorless in a "it tastes kinda healthy so I guess it's OK" kind of a way. I have no doubt that their biscuits or an English muffin would have been better.

The Result - 3.5 double doses of chicken out of 5 double doses of chicken. In the early days of this blog I did some work in the lab and made my own chicken sandwich with a chicken egg on it. I know DLUX also offers a chicken breakfast sandwich, and I'd like to try that. I like the concept of the chicken based breakfast sandwich but the Chick-fil-A version isn't the one for me. It would have better if it hadn't been on the recycled-corrugated-cardboard-flavored bagel, but I still don't think that would have made it an excellent sandwich. In the end it was just ok. I did enjoy the bouncy acidic flavor of their coffee.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Breakfast Sandwich #67 - Ted's Market & Delicatessen aka I'm a Tedhead

Sandwich: Ted's McMuffin
Location: Ted's Market & Delicatessen
Date: October 14, 2016
Cost: $5

Things have gotten to the point where if I'm going to travel to another city I do a search for "Best breakfast sandwiches in Timbuktu". In this case I was traveling to San Francisco, not Timbuktu, so I knew there would be plenty of options.

Too many options, it turns out. The "best of" search turned up this and this and this and this. There were more, of course, but I already had more data than I could crunch. With those lists in hand I put on my green eyeshade and starting cross referencing selections and noting locations of desired sandwiches. I have to admit I even factored in some of the article comments. Wading into the comments section is always treacherous but in food related writings you can often find helpful tips such as recipe modifications and it's easy to tell if somebody is just a blowhard or a crank whose opinion you can ignore.

Having said all that, I made a list of San Francisco breakfast sandwiches that I wanted to try. I knew at best I would only get to try three, and that was only if I went out each morning I had available. That was unlikely to happen. Also, some are offered only during weekend brunch which narrowed it to one morning for those locations. I think you can see my dilemma. I think you can feel my dilemma. I had more sandwiches than time. This is always the case, but when traveling the feeling is magnified.

Because I put the effort in, because I sifted and winnowed for sandwich truth, I'm going to put my listings here in the hopes that it helps some intrepid traveling stomach. This list was heavily weighted towards where I was staying, which was "SoMa".

Devil's Teeth Baking Company. This was not really close to me at all which is the reason I never made it there. They rated high on at least two lists, and in comments. I shed a tear of regret over not making it to Devil's Teeth.

Arlequin Cafe. I don't remember what the appeal was. It was close by but I never made it.

Merigan Sub Shop. Well, shit. By the time I made it out there the web site said the store was closed for good. Too bad, the Breakfast section of the menu looked awesome. I shed another tear of regret over this one.

Réveille Coffee Co. I wanted their Toad In A Hole. Read about it here. They had me at "golden cyclops of a yolk-eye", but I didn't make it there either. More tears of regret.

Bacon Bacon. A couple people said this place is overrated and I was feeling that might be the case. Is it San Francisco's "Mickie's Dairy Bar", a place that tons of people love but that doesn't really seem to warrant the love? I don't know, I never made it.

The Grove. Breakfast served all day. I probably could have squeezed one in. No tears, no excuses.

Sulameria. Fried chicken & egg sandwich with prosciutto and chili hollandaise on a sesame seed bun. Damn. I think I really fucked up on skipping this one. No tear. Anger.

Cowgirl Creamery. I actually made it to the Ferry Building location but I didn't see a breakfast sandwich on the menu. I asked the lady but she said they had other sandwiches that day. There was confusion. I ended up with a Mt. Tam and Ham sandwich which was delicious but not a breakfast sandwich even though I ate it for breakfast. Then I ate oysters and a bloody mary to try to forget about the confusion. Then I ate Deem Sum which is not even close to being a breakfast sandwich but is super tasty. I give it all a 4.87 miscellaneous food items out of 5 miscellaneous food items. That Mt. Tam cheese is really something special.

That leaves me with Ted's Delicatessen. I actually went to Ted's and ordered a breakfast sandwich. It was just just down the block, probably 350 feet away. Ted's doesn't really look like what you picture when you think "deli", it's kind of a cross between a deli and a convenience store. Ted makes his own version of the McMuffin and there is a lot to like about that. I reviewed the original McMuffin over a year ago but was intrigued to see how Ted's compared.
Check out that little egg drawing that looks like a flying saucer. You can see they have a couple of options for breakfast sandwiches.

Ted's McMuffin. Ted doesn't skimp on the cheese.

Gooey. The English muffin top got a little messed up when I cut the sandwich.
The Sandwich - Ted's McMuffin. I'd like to know what inspired Ted to offer his own version of the McMuffin and if the McDonald's Legal Department has ever sent him a cease & desist letter. I guess not, or he probably would have changed the name of the sandwich. The only choice on the sandwich is what type of cheese - cheddar, swiss, pepper jack. I went with cheddar. The cheese was melty and plentiful, there was a layer on the top and bottom, and in the photos you can see how the egg was folded around the sausage. I appreciate that level of attention to detail. The English muffin was toasted and kept everything together and the sausage was salty and exactly what I had hoped for.

The Result - 4.35 Tedheads out of 5 Tedheads. I'm on board with Ted's McMuffin and Ted in general. I like Ted's style - ripping off McDonald's. This was a really great but simple breakfast sandwich. The price is right at $5, especially by San Francisco standards and it's far tastier than a regular McMuffin and worth the extra $1.71. It's ample enough to power you through the morning, in this case it got me through the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.

I think this has something to do with sandwiches.