All about that taste – 2021 Remix
A few years ago I set out to rank the top breakfast sandwiches available at fast-food chains across the country. I love breakfast and I love sandwiches so this topic was definitely in my wheelhouse. Many (“Many” may be a stretch, but the request has been made a few times, I promise!) readers have asked for this list to be revisited and possibly expanded to account for the trends over the last 5 years in the fast-food breakfast industry. I am happy to comply. For this article, we will include what I wrote last time around in italics plus any additional thoughts I have. We are also expanding the list from 5 to 10 items so buckle up!
We have all heard it said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Generally, this saying is accompanied by a lecture, article, or news story reminding us of the importance of eating a healthy meal in the morning to provide energy and help speed up metabolism. I am not here to lecture you so this is definitely not that type of article. Today we are only concerned with taste. Consequently, everything on our list will be bad for you.
This list contains the five best breakfast sandwiches served at nationwide fast-food chains. This leaves out many great local places that serve amazing breakfasts, but since our audience is global we want to include places that many of you could reasonably visit without having to travel to another city, state, or country. I’ve also only included standard menu items. I would hate to list something here and get your hopes up only to dash them because the restaurant only served the item for a limited time. In order to add some variety, I have decided not to include any restaurant more than once on this list. Enough preliminaries, let’s get this party started.
10. Chicken Bacon Sandwich – Dunkin’ Donuts
Dunkin’ Donuts is primarily known for two things. 1. Having coffee that is not as good as Starbucks, and 2. Having donuts that are not as good as Krispy Kreme. Thankfully, they now have a line of hot and delicious breakfast sandwiches and this is probably the best of the bunch. A chicken breast topped with bacon and cheese and served inside a flaky and buttery croissant. What could be better than that? Well, four things actually . . .
The last time around this came in at number 5. To be honest, though, I just included it so I could make the Starbucks/Krispy Kreme joke. I haven’t had this since I wrote the original article almost 5 years ago and don’t know if they even still serve it. I am keeping it on the list though so we could reprint the Starbucks/Krispy Kreme joke.
9. Seasoned Potatoes – Wendy’s
Okay, technically this is not a sandwich. Forget “technically”, this is not a sandwich in any way, shape, or form. They are good though. Wendy’s launched their breakfast menu nationally about a year ago right before COVID hit. I haven’t really fallen in love with any of the sandwiches, but I do like these potato wedges. So here they are.
8. Ultimate Breakfast Sandwich – Jack in the Box
I consider Jack in the Box a jack of all trades and master of none. In other words, they try to do too much with their menu and it ends up hurting their overall quality. This is a solid sandwich though and deserves a spot on the list. Two eggs, two slices of American cheese, two strips of bacon, and two pieces of ham all sandwiched between a buttery bakery bun. Plus JITB serves those incredible tacos and any excuse to link to our taco article is worth it!
7. Bacon, Egg, and Cheese Croissan’wich. – Burger King
This is a classic breakfast item. It missed the cut last time, but since we expanded to 10 items it had to make it. The only flaw is that it needs more bacon! How many problems in our world could be solved by more bacon?
6. Supersonic Breakfast Burrito – Sonic
Those that know me well know that I don’t really care for Sonic’s food. Their ice cream and drinks are great, but the burgers and other food items are very average, plus they are overpriced. That being said, they do serve breakfast all day so I can always order the Supersonic Breakfast Burrito. Eggs, Cheese, Onions, Jalapenos, Sausage, Tomatoes, and Tater Tots all wrapped in a flour tortilla. What could be better? I am glad you asked. More tater tots would definitely make this better. In the picture on the menu board, there are tater tots clearly visible and it makes it seem like this thing is full of them. When you order you only get two tots in the entire burrito! Unless there is a tater tot shortage that I am not aware of, I think Sonic could spare another couple per burrito. That isn’t too much to ask.
5. Sausage McMuffin with Egg – McDonald’s
The Egg McMuffin came first, but when Mcdonald’s upgraded that thin piece of ham with a delicious sausage patty they changed everything. The crispy English muffin and griddle fried egg make it different than most other breakfast sandwiches. Other fast-food joints have tried to duplicate it and failed miserably – I’m looking at your Jack in the Box and Burger King! Too bad Mcdonald’s doesn’t serve this all day.
A lot has happened since I wrote this a few years ago. First, Mcdonald’s started serving this item ALL DAY across our great nation. This lasted for a few years, but now they have gone back to the dark ages and no longer serve breakfast all day. Not sure if this terrible decision was the result of an executive order from one of our recent presidents, or maybe just a result of COVID, but whatever the reason I am not in favor of it. Either way, this is still a great sandwich. I ranked it 4th last time around and it dropped to 5th for this ranking, but only because I had not yet discovered our next entry.
4. Cajun Filet Biscuit – Bojangles.
This is a new edition to the list and it is right up there with the top 3 items in terms of taste. The biscuits themselves at Bojangles are second only to Hardee’s and the slightly spicy piece of chicken they put on here is out of this world. I love the fact that the piece of chicken is larger than the biscuit itself so you get a bite of just chicken before you launch into eating the biscuit. Pro Tip – Put some jelly (I prefer strawberry) on here to get some sweet mixed with the spicy flavor of the biscuit. You can thank me later.
3. Steak Breakfast Crunch Wrap – Taco Bell
Many of you are wondering if you should finish reading this since I am recommending something from the Taco Bell breakfast menu. Please bear with me. While Taco Bell still struggles with many of their breakfast items, they hit a home run with this one. Putting a hash brown inside a breakfast sandwich was a bold move. Combining it with steak, egg and cheese took it up a notch, but placing all of that in a delicious tortilla and having it shaped like a hexagon seals the deal. At least for me, it does. I never knew geometry could taste so good!
The only thing I need to add to what I wrote before is that since COVID hit Taco Bell has basically stopped serving breakfast. I found one location near me that brought it back for a while, but they have stopped again and I have no idea when it will come back. I don’t like this new normal, but I believe that we are all in this together and when we get through this pandemic and Taco Bell brings back breakfast things will be looking up again.
2. Country Fried Steak Biscuit – Hardees
The biscuits are made from scratch daily, and you can taste it. The country-fried steak has a wonderful peppery flavor that keeps you coming back for more. You can even add egg and/or cheese to this if you are feeling especially adventurous, but to be completely honest this sandwich is perfect the way it is. The greatness of this sandwich even overcomes Hardees’ terrible commercials. It is so good in fact that I debated placing it at number one, but it was just barely beat out by . . .
There really isn’t much to add to this description. I still love this item. I add egg and/or cheese sometimes, but it is great without them. It is also important to note that Hardee’s commercials are less offensive than they were a few years ago so I guess we’ve delayed Armageddon by a couple of years or so.
1. Spicy Chicken Biscuit – Chick Fil A
The actual biscuit is not quite as good as Hardees, but still extremely tasty. The hunk of spicy chicken they put on here is the real show stopper though. I could talk about their friendly service or how quickly they move people through the long drive-thru lines, but as I promised this article is all about taste. Chick Fil A has mastered the art of making a wonderful chicken sandwich and has transferred that knowledge to breakfast. Adding a spicy kick to what they do is so good it should be illegal.
Maybe it is the Chick Fil A I frequent now or maybe it just my increased maturity level, but I actually like this sandwich more now than I did a few years ago. In other words, the gap has widened between this and everything else. The biscuits themselves are better, I have discovered adding egg and a slice of pepper jack cheese is a game-changer, CFA just continues to deliver on every level.
There you have it. The expanded and revised list. As always, let me know if I missed anything and I will be sure to go try it right away!
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2 thoughts on “All about that taste – 2021 Remix”
A good, well-written article, Michael. I’ve only tried a handful of these, but that’s probably mostly due to the fact that I have an incredible breakfast maker right here, and I think you know her! But I think we’ll need to try a couple. Thanks again!
Pro tip: read this article when your hungry or else it will make your stomach hurt.