It pretty much goes without saying that meat, egg, and cheese form the triumvirate of breakfast deliciousness in the grab-and-go world. It also goes without saying that this trinity of cholesterol, fat, and sodium will pretty much kill you if you eat too much of it and sit on your butt all day.
That is, unless you serve it up within the familiar packaging of Special K, which wants to rewards that hard butt-sitting at the office with a breakfast sandwich to keep you going without sending you into cardiac arrest.
There are a few things I give Special K the benefit of the doubt with. Cereal, obviously, is one of them. Making my girlfriend attempt contortionist yoga moves while pouring milk onto said cereal while wiggling into those skinny jeans would also be up there. Crafting a healthy breakfast sandwich that doesn’t taste rubbery or flavorless (here’s looking at you, Dunkin Donuts) isn’t.
That being said, I have an unhealthy and unrealistic expectation of box art on new grocery products and not a lot of time to spare for making breakfast in the morning, so I willingly stepped to the plate when it came to buying Special K’s new Flatbread Breakfast Sandwiches.
They must have been selling like hotcakes because there were only a few boxes of the Ham, Egg and Pepper Jack Flatbreads left on the morning I stopped by the store. If they tasted half as good as hotcakes, I might be inclined to make a joke about how I’d be on a fast track to becoming a fat dude. Except, since each flatbread is only 200 calories and packs 12 grams of protein, I guess I’d be on a fast track to being one skinny dude, which I already am.
Regular readers now know I’ve lived up to the stereotype about men and our inability to follow directions. However, in this case I followed the directions to a tee, right on down to microwaving my sandwich on a paper towel for 1 minute and 15 seconds and then letting it rest for one minute to ensure “even heating.” I followed the directions so closely that had I considered myself a child, I would have made sure to Skype my parents and have them supervise me.
After 2 minutes and 15 seconds my previously hard as a hockey puck flatbread had become warm and, to my utter bewilderment, slightly toasty. Worried the microwave process would render the bread component flimsy and soggy was a fear of mine going in, but aside from one spot where the cheese had overflowed to the side, the sandwich emerged almost as if it had a round at the number two setting in the toaster. Speaking of that cheese to the side deal, would it kill Special K to position the cheese to the middle? There’s not a lot of pepper jack to begin with, and having a sixth of my puny slice fed to the paper towel wasn’t, as the kids say, cool.
The sandwich itself isn’t half bad. Wow, I can’t believe I actually wrote that. Obviously it’s small, but the the eggs have a slightly buttery and salty flavor, with the cheese adding a really good, milky, and fatty richness that has all the melty goo and backheat you’d expect from pepper jack. Even the flatbread had a nice honey-oat flavor, which added a little sweetness and wholesomeness to the otherwise salty-heat of the eggs and cheese.
It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great either. The cheese lacks the coverage needed to goo-ify the entire sandwich, while the ham is dry and a bit chewy. Oh yea, did I mention that it was salty? Low calorie it might be, but with 30 percent of the RDA for salt (based on a 2,000 calorie diet) it’s not going to do your blood pressure any flavors. As much as I liked the pepper jack, the sandwich screams for a little sweetness, while a salsa component that adds tomatoes would go a long way to pushing a southwestern flavor profile.
I’m not willing start giving Special K the benefit of the doubt on other crap like chicken nuggets and french fries, but for the crowd who’ve been staring at those skinny jeans or just looking to mix-up the breakfast routine with a heated component, I admit these breakfast flatbreads could be a big hit. The texture isn’t bad at all for something that starts out in your freezer, and it definitely doesn’t taste like it’s low calorie. Still, a few minor tweaks would have gone a long way to making these way tastier, and maybe even a semi-regular buy for those of us not looking to add a few new yoga moves.
(Nutrition Facts – 1 flatbread – 200 calories, 70 calories from fat, 8 grams of fat, 3.5 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 100 milligrams of cholesterol, 730 milligrams of sodium, 200 milligrams of potassium, 20 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber, 3 grams of sugar, 12 grams of protein, and 20% calcium)
Item: Special K Ham, Egg & Pepper Jack Cheese Flatbread Breakfast Sandwich
Purchased Price: $4.99
Size: 4 flatbreads
Purchased at: Safeway
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Cheese melts up nicely and has great milky flavor with spicy backheat. Flatbread maintains toasty texture with honey-oat taste. Eggs have buttery flavor. Ham is smoky. Tastier than Dunkin Donuts’ egg white flatbreads. Only 200 calories per sandwich. Reading directions. New yoga props.
Cons: Small. Tiny. Puny. Minuscule. Not recommended if you’re a grown man. Cheese doesn’t get full coverage over the egg. Ham is dry and chewy. Could use some kind of sweetness or relief. Saltier than the Dead Sea.