Before I work out in the morning, I usually have something light to eat - a piece of toast, a handful of almonds, a cereal bar. And when I'm done? I'm hungry. What I appreciate most about my quick week-day "second breakfast" (besides the company) is its completeness: carbs and protein (and, let's face it, fat and salt) to keep me going through the rest of the day. Few things beat a good second breakfast.
So I give you... today's contenders! (hocofood@@@)
Contender #1: Sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich at Lakeside Deli and Cafe.
Lakeside is a small cafe on the ground level of 10227 Wincopin Circle in Columbia. Large glass windows do double-duty, spilling bright morning sunshine into the space while providing a nice view of the lakefront downtown. Patrons have their choice of seating, from cushy, comfortable chairs to small tables. The service is friendly and punctual.
It was easy to pick my sandwich: sausage, egg, and cheese. I had my choice of bagel, toast, or croissant... and decided to change things up and go with the latter.
|Sausage Egg and Cheese Croissant and coffee at Lakeside Deli.|
My sandwich came out quickly - barely a minute after I'd fixed up my coffee and sat down - piping hot and tucked in a thin deli-paper wrapping. My first thought was that I'd forgotten to ask them to toast the croissant a bit, but when I unwrapped the sandwich, I realized they'd at least touched it to the grill - the croissant was warm, just shy of crisp. It was also buttery and flaky, exactly what I wanted.
The sausage patty was pretty much what I expected in terms of flavor, and I appreciated how the croissant picked up some of that flavor as I was eating. The eggs tasted fresh and were perfectly cooked - no bits that were too-brown or burnt, not too dry. The only thing I wanted was more cheese, or a more assertive cheese. A sharp white cheddar would have been really nice instead of the standard American.
|The interior of Lakeside Deli.|
All in all, my breakfast - a large coffee included - came to $5.82, and was delivered quickly. I was sorry to leave the pretty scene, but timing also plays a role in second breakfast.
Which brings us to....
Contender #2: Sausage, egg, and cheese eggel at the Bagel Bin.
I've already reviewed the merits of the Bin for its bagels, but I do spend a lot of time there so I wanted to match the Bagel Bin's signature breakfast sandwich - the Eggel - against my Lakeside find. Given that I spend an inordinate amount of time at Bagel Bin, I focused this FvF, like before, on this single visit.
I went to the Wilde Lake Bagel Bin, which is located at 10451 Twin Rivers Road. The people behind the counter were friendly and my order was ready within a few minutes.
Bagel Bin offers choices when it comes to Eggels - bagels, of course, but also cheese (provolone, munster, american, cheddar, or swiss). I went with American, and asked for a toasted supreme bagel. My total, with a refill coffee in my travel mug, came to roughly $6.30.
I really liked the amount of toast that was on the bagel: just enough to punch up the flavor and make it crunchy, but not so much that all of the spices on the outside were burnt. I thought the sausage patty tasted almost identical to Lakeside's.
The eggs were different, however. It seemed like the egg layer was a thin sheet of egg that had been folded together around some American cheese - without the cheese, it seemed a bit dry. There was a good amount of cheese on the sandwich, though, and with a few exceptions where the cheese failed to collect, it made the egg layers seem more moist.
With the bagel, this sandwich was extremely filling and definitely held me over to the afternoon.
The Decision: I liked both of these breakfast sandwiches. I thought Lakeside was a slightly better value - even with the discount for bringing my travel mug, Bagel Bin was more expensive. I also liked the interior space of Lakeside (it made me wish I had a mobile workplace), and appreciated the rapidity of service. On the other hand, Bagel Bin's friendly staff makes it a great place to start my day. The Eggel was filling and tasty.
On the basis of flavor, as well as the other factors listed above, I declare the winner to be.... Lakeside Deli!
Where do you go for Second Breakfast? Tell me in the comments below!