Fast Casual Review: Einstein Brothers Bagels Honey Wheat Bagel Thin with Light Cream Cheese
Einstein Brothers Bagels doesn’t just want to help you stick to your New Year’s Resolution and shed some pounds by promoting their new fresh-baked Bagel Thins with Light Cream Cheeseschmear, but apparently the fast-casual breakfast chain also wants to starve me and exhaust my dwindling income.
Once upon a time there was a day where you could count on Einstein’s to serve up a solid, 4-once-ish bagel for a buck. The coffee selection – always bottomless – was decent if not intriguing, while the variety of seasonal flavors for bagels and coffee left you waiting for each fall or spring. Now, you can pay extra for “signature” or “gourmet” bagels, and get all of two “classic” bagel flavors (much slimmed down, may I add) for a buck. You can also pay more for that coffee, and get a lot less by choosing one of their “healthier” Bagel Thins.
Priced at .99 cents for just the thin, these Bagel Thins used to be made by Thomas’, and were actually pretty good despite their small size. That was until recently, when EBB began to bake them on their own, resulting in a thinner product with considerably less chew. What you’re left with is one of three flavors (Plain, Honey Whole Wheat, Everything) with a considerably small size to work as a vehicle for a brand new, even “healthier” Light-Cream Cheese schmear, which has 50% less fat than the Regular plain cream cheese schmear. It also has considerably less whipped texture (like EBB’s reduced fat schmears), as well as an odd tang which makes it taste like sour cream. And eating sour cream on a relatively unsweet and flavorless Honey Wheat Bagel “Thin” is not good eats. I swear, the old “Low Carb” bagel has more flavor than these!
EBB is touting this product for it’s 225 total calories. That’s great for the fat lady singing, but at $2.49 (the price of the bagel thin and schmear) it’s one of the worst breakfast buys you can make. Its not only unfulfilling and won’t keep you full, but it lacks any kind of nuttiness or sweetness. I can see it working better if used as a vehicle for other cream cheese schmear flavors (like, for instance, my favorites in the smoked salmon schmear or the sun dried tomato basil) but using a coupon for a recent purchase (available on facebook until 2/20), I was only allowed to get the plain “light” schmear. And don’t even think about getting it to go. It cracks up and stales quickly, while the non-whipped schmear becomes gummy and makes the slices stick together like a lid on a pickle jar.
Do yourself a favor and avoid this product altogether. It is, without a doubt, the greatest failure to date of my once-beloved breakfast stop of choice, and an incredibly poor value which will leave you wanting more, both in your stomach and your unsatiated mind. Awesome job, EBB. There was a time when I used to ask every relative I knew for gift cards to your stores, but those days are long gone. With so many independent grocery store bakers and mom and pop bagel shops around offering an array of larger and more flavorful products at cheaper prices (my local bagel shop offers 15 flavors at 59 cents each) why the heck should I even bother stopping in anymore? Want to get a better deal and better taste for 225 calories? Get yourself a small glazed donut from the grocery store. Trust me, your brain and your wallet will thank you.
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.00/10
Overall GrubGrade: 2.75 (GrubGrade Hall of Shame)
More Info: EinsteinBros.com
instein Brothers Bagel Thin with "Light" Cream Cheese
Total Fat: 7 grams