Breakfasting at Einstein Bros.

Breakfast is the meal I am least likely to eat out. (Brunch, a different story). I'm not usually in the mood to consume a lot of food early in the morning, especially if I am going to go running, which is my usual matutinal practice.

Last week I happened to finish my workout a bit earlier than usual and found myself still within the window of time to order some breakfast fare. I wanted something savory, quick, and probably involving a bagel.

Now, this last preference should have led me directly to The Hot Bagel Shop , but en route I passed by Einstein Bros. and thought, why not? Then, I remembered I had a coupon for $1 off any breakfast sandwich and that sealed the deal.

Having tried some bagels from Einstein Bros. (plain, sesame, and onion varieties), I knew they were decent--not best in class by any stretch of the imagination but one of the more palatable options in Houston.

I have a confession (breakfast sandwich connoisseurs, avert your gaze): I am not a fan of bacon or sausage on my breakfast sammies. I find cured meats in combination with egg and cheese renders a sandwich excessively salty and I'm left full but craving a gallon of water. So, I ordered a rather plain breakfast sandwich, just egg and Swiss on a toasted sesame bagel.

I received egg and not Swiss on a toasted sesame bagel. I think the cheese was cheddar, but I can't be too sure. It tasted fine, just generically "cheesy" with no distinguishing flavor notes. Far better were the eggs, cooked in an omelet-patty style with the right amount of oil and pepper. The soft-on-the-side, crispy-brown-on-the-outside bagel was the perfect base for that protein. Next time, I may just skip the cheese. Or maybe sub in a schmear of reduced fat onion and chive schmear.

The original cost of my sandwich was about $4 (with the coupon reduced to $3), which is a bit steep for a plain albeit satisfying sandwich. Where do you go for a quick bite out in the morning?

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Joanna O'Leary