WENDY'S — BREAKFAST BACONATOR, $3.99: Dressed in the only brioche burger bun of the lineup, Wendy's sandwich stands out for its unabashed burger-ness. The sunny-side-up egg and square sausage patty are so on-brand.
BUN: 3 — A burger bun on a breakfast sandwich isn't exactly creative, but it's also not bad. FILLING: 5 — It has everything you could possibly want on a breakfast sandwich: bacon, cheese, egg, and sausage — and plenty of it.
OVERALL FLAVOR: 4 — Everything works really well together, and as always, Wendy's delivers on slightly higher-quality ingredients. However, the brioche bun isn't exactly thrilling breakfast material.
CHICK-FIL-A — CHICKEN BISCUIT, $3.59: This small but tall biscuit is so beige it makes me nervous.
BUN: 4 — The biscuit is too big and doughy for its meager contents. FILLING: 3 — The chicken gets a 5/5. It's moist, crispy, and flavorful. But there's no other filling to keep it company.
OVERALL FLAVOR: 3 — There just needs to be more breakfast in this biscuit. Something to make it less blindingly pale.
MCDONALD'S — EGG MCMUFFIN, $3.99: McDonald's exec Herb Peterson changed the world when he created the Egg McMuffin in 1971.
BUN: 4 — The McMuffin is strong and chewy. You feel safe in its arms even though it's spent a little too long in the tanning bed. FILLING: 5 — Why doesn't McD use the McMuffin egg in everything? It's perfect, a soft yolk in a circular white. The cheese and ham are oh-so-flavorful and salty.
OVERALL FLAVOR: 5 — I'm going to go ahead and assume that the slightly burnt McMuffin was a fluke, because everything else in this just worked so well. Great work, team!
BURGER KING — SAUSAGE, EGG, AND CHEESE CROISSAN'WICH, $3.79: My arteries constrict when I look at this big, buttery bad boy.
BUN: 3 — Can I really call this a croissant? Kind of. It's soft, flat, and not flaky at all, but it practically oozes butter. FILLING: 4 — The juicy, juicy sausage is the star of the show. The egg is surprisingly decent, but the cheese went out for a pack of cigarettes and never came back.
OVERALL FLAVOR: 5 — BK's fatty beast of a breakfast sandwich is greater than the sum of its parts. My body says no, but my mouth says yes. I'm disgusted, but I also can't deny my heart what it wants, even if what it wants is probably bad for it.
STARBUCKS — BACON, GOUDA, AND EGG SANDWICH, $4.15: This sandwich is just a little smaller and fancier than all the others, like a handbag Chihuahua.
BUN: 4 — It's a crunchy, toasty ciabatta, but just because it's fancy doesn't mean it's flavorful. FILLING: 3 — The bacon and Gouda are impressively flavorful, but the egg is especially meh. It has a frozen-then-heated texture: mushy, gritty, and bland.
OVERALL: 3 — Even though this sandwich has potential, it never works hard enough to reach it.
DUNKIN' — SAUSAGE EGG AND CHEESE CROISSANT, $4.29: This sandwich is so built it makes you wonder how it got that way.
BUN: 4 — This croissant is fluffy, flaky, and hot, but also very sweet. FILLING: 3 — There is lots of everything, but everything is very odd. The egg yolk is concentrated in one corner, and the sausage is thick and juicy but tastes off.
OVERALL TASTE: 3 — This sandwich goes for quantity over quality. The good news is you could probably split it with a friend and both be full.
Spin the wheel of breakfast sandwiches! Round and round and round it goes! Where it stops, nobody knows — except you, after you read the next slide.
Congratulations! You've won the jackpot: the Egg McMuffin. At a relatively low 290 calories, it's also the tastiest sandwich. And it makes sense: McDonald's has had nearly half a century to perfect it.
But I might cheat on the McMuffin once or twice with the gut-churning greaser that is Burger King's Croissan'wich. What's love but a secondhand emotion?
And if none of these catch your fancy, there are always more sandwiches in the sea of fast-food breakfast options.