Fast Times

Breakfast Double-Header at McDonald's: Sausage Burrito and Blueberry Banana Nut Oatmeal

I think I've mentioned before that I like to eat fast food for breakfast more than any other meal, mostly because it gives me at least an outside chance of burning off the damage at the gym. Breakfast is also my favorite meal -- yes, sometimes I eat two -- so I like to see what's going on with fast-food breakfast menus now and again.

In spite of my deep-seated hatred of the Egg McMuffin, I still like a good McDonald's breakfast once in a while. I love their hash browns, which are always the perfect combination of crispy and greasy -- one of the ultimate hangover cures, in my opinion. I fell in love with McD's Fruit & Maple Oatmeal last winter, and since I'd been wanting to try the new Blueberry Banana Nut version, off I went to the drive-thru at the McDonald's. I got an Egg McMuffin for my husband (who loves them as much as I hate them) and added a breakfast burrito for us to share.

The first thing I noticed about the oatmeal was the fresh, plump blueberries -- for some reason I had been expecting dried fruit, even though fresh (not dried) apple comes on the original version. I'm really glad McDonald's is getting that fresh fruit in there -- dried would be easier, but fresh is so much nicer, and I appreciate it. I'm not talking six berries, either; they were all the way through, all the way to the bottom of the cup.

A bag of walnuts comes on the side -- allergy concerns, maybe? -- and I skipped those, as I don't love walnuts. The oatmeal is thicker than the Fruit & Maple version, and seasoned with a lot of cinnamon and spice; the effect is very cozy and homey feeling, like when I was a kid and got a snow day. You guys don't really get those here in Houston, but there isn't a much better feeling than getting snowed into your house and having your mom make you a big bowl of cinnamon oatmeal to eat while you watch cartoons.

My husband's Egg McMuffin came without cheese, which just shores up my whole "Egg McMuffins suck" theory (they forgot the best part!), and needless to say he was quite disappointed.

We agreed that the very cheesy burrito was surprisingly delicious: egg, pepper, onion, breakfast sausage, and cheese wrapped in a four tortilla with a small packet of picante sauce. The burrito itself had a little kick from the sausage and peppers, and the picante sauce was decent -- acidic with a little bit of smoky flavor, and packing just enough extra zing to keep me dipping until the last bite. An excellent breakfast for two which, with a large coffee to split, came in at $8.30.

Nutrition info: Burrito: 300 calories, 16 g fat, 12 g protein, 26 g carbs, 830 mg sodium Blueberry Banana Nut Oatmeal: 290 calories, 8 g fat, 49 g carbs, 6 g protein, 180 mg sodium

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Christina Uticone