Late last year, the Wichita-based Spangles fast food chain released “The Beast” — a 3,000 calorie burger piled ridiculously high with six steak burger patties and 12 slices of cheese.
The Beast’s bloated calorie count and $21.99 price tag didn’t stop customers from buying it.
Spangles isn’t the only burger joint experimenting with extreme sandwiches designed to grab attention: Recently a Philadelphia eatery called PYT unveiled a burger with deep-fried peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for buns.
“Once the new year started we decided to throw off all the new year’s resolutions and start off with a fatty burger,” PYT’s manager told Time. “That’s what people want.”
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Fast food chains are betting that customers crave mega-calorie sandwiches for breakfast, too. McDonald’s, Burger King and Hardee’s all serve a twist on the Breakfast Bomb — a resolution-destroying sandwich exploding with eggs, bacon, sausage, cheese and more bacon.
I sampled five of the biggest breakfast bombs on the market to find out if they’re worth the caloric damage.
Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich at Dunkin’ Donuts
The specs: Fried egg and a few bacon slices wedged between a sliced, glazed donut. The sandwich debuted last summer, and it isn’t on the menu at all Dunkin’ Donuts locations anymore, but employees at a Lawrence location made the sandwich upon request, no problem.
The damage: $2.69, 360 calories, 20 grams of fat (8 grams saturated)
Worth it? Not really. The warm donut tasted really good, but its soft texture was too similar to the fried egg — so the sandwich was a little spongy. I’d rather have the donut plain, with a cup of coffee.
Double Croissan’wich with Sausage and Bacon at Burger King
The specs: Fluffy folded eggs, sausage and smoked bacon topped with two slices of American cheese on a croissant bun.
The damage: $3.99, 580 calories, 40 grams of fat (15 grams saturated)
Worth it? Almost. The sausage had tons of spicy flavor, and the bacon was thick and crispy — not thin and floppy. But the fragile, buttery croissant bun was way too flimsy to rein in all of that meat.
Steak, Egg & Cheese Bagel at McDonald’s
The specs: A hefty steak patty joins folded eggs, American cheese and grilled onions between slices of a buttery bagel.
The damage: $4.59, 680 calories, 35 grams of fat (13 grams saturated)
Worth it? Nope. This sturdy sandwich gets points for presentation, but biting into the too-firm bagel takes some serious jaw strength. The onions were a nice touch, but calling the compressed beef patty “steak” is a stretch. I’d rather have a Big Mac (550 calories) or, better yet, an Egg McMuffin (290 calories).
Monster Biscuit at Hardee’s
The specs: This huge breakfast sandwich has three kinds of meat (bacon, sausage patty, sliced ham), plus lots of egg and two slices of American cheese busting out of a biscuit.
The damage: $3.49, 730 calories, 49 grams of fat (18 grams saturated)
Worth it? Maybe on occasion. This Monster looks scary (that poor little biscuit doesn’t even pretend to contain all that meat) but, surprisingly, tastes scary-good. The ham is smoky and sliced paper-thin, the bacon is crispy, the cheese is melty and the biscuit has a fresh-baked, buttery taste.
Ultimate Meat & Cheese Breakfast Burrito at Sonic
The specs: It’s not a sandwich, but at 800 calories (that’s 250 more than a Big Mac), this burrito definitely qualifies as a breakfast bomb. Picture a warm white flour tortilla stuffed with cheesy scrambled eggs, bacon strips, sausage crumbles and tater tots.
The damage: $3.89, 800 calories, 56 grams of fat (18 grams saturated)
Worth it? Not for 800 calories. The cheesy tater tots are pretty irresistable, but the burrito was smaller and skimpier on the fillings than expected. Maybe Chipotle should start serving breakfast burrito bombs?
Looking for a local breakfast bomb? Chicken Macaroni & Cheese’s new location at 7025 Prospect Ave. makes its Chicken Wafflewich by wedging two chicken breasts and two eggs between two waffles. Eggtc., which has locations in Shawnee and Kansas City, makes its bestselling Southwestern Benny by loading two buttery homestyle biscuits with two hefty sausage patties, scrambled eggs and chorizo gravy.
Know of another extreme breakfast sandwich? Or maybe a healthy alternative to the breakfast bomb? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @chowtownkc.
Enterprise reporter Sarah Gish writes dining columns for Ink and 913. Contact her via email at email@example.com or tweet @sarah_gish.