Fast Casual Review: Einstein Bros Limited Time Only Holiday Bagel Poppers
I swear, Einstein Bros. goes through more limited time menu items and promotions than my sister goes through ketchup packets, but that doesn’t stop me from biting each time. We here at GrubGrade have of course met the bagel poppers before. In Blueberry. In Pumpkin. In Double Chocolate. And in Pretzel – although, regrettably, not in combination with double chocolate. For the most part I’d say Einstein’s has hit the money with the bite size bagel version of a donut hole, but one has to wonder, how many flavors can you develop before one just flat out sucks?
Well, I guess I just got the answer I was looking for. Maybe it’s because the stress and anxiety of exams, final papers, and my job as an editor have gotten the best for me, but I’ve been really trying to get into the Holiday spirit as of late, and that includes trying virtually every food that screams Christmastime or winter. And as a huge fan of Einstein Bros. Winter Brew coffee, I figured it couldn’t hurt to drop a cool $2.99 on the Holiday Poppers, which feature the classic glaze and sprinkles of a sugar cookie covered over a a bite size bagel. A sugary bagel fix? Sign me up!
I’m a simpleton when it comes to Christmas cookies and I actually prefer your classic sugar cookie to something exotic, but Einstein’s poppers do a disservice to the traditional cookie. The glaze is a confectioners glaze as opposed to a rich cream cheese (which makes the Pumpkin and Double Chocolate so good), but doesn’t have much flavor outside of an artificial sweetness which is only pushed to the point of tasting pure glucose with the addition of the sprinkles. Whatever natural flavor the bagel has is minimized because of it’s size, which doesn’t allow for chewing and that slow process by which our taste buds detect sugar from starch. There’s just no savoring these poppers whatsoever, and there is no element of richness to cut the sugar, which isn’t even very flavorful.
On the plus side, I guess it helps that the Poppers aren’t as messy as some of the cream cheese covered ones, but I found myself saying “bah humbug” to this attempt at a sugar cookie. I like the bagel interior on most poppers, but for some reason I found myself just wanting to rush through these, as if the overly sugary exterior was saying “swallow me” before I even had a chance to savor whatever bready interior there was. Apparently they use a potato bagel base for this popper, which begs the question, do potatoes share any affinity of flavor with sugar cookies? (answer: NO) When it comes to taste, there’s just not a lot here, and no discernible flavor outside the boring and excessive sweetness of the glaze and sprinkles. Man, I think Cookie Crisp Sprinkles might be a better representation of a sugar cookie and these poppers, which are hardly worth the value. I love EBB more than anyone else, but every time they introduce something new I find myself wondering why they can’t just refocus on developing and keeping classic bagel flavors. I mean, would it kill them to bring back the Sun Dried Tomato Bagel?
Pros: Christmas sprinkles. Awesome source of sugar. I love you, Winter Blend coffee.
Grubbing on-the-go: 8.00/10
Price: 2.99 for one popper container.
Overall GrubGrade: 4.00 (Poor)
More Info: EinsteinBros.com
Total Fat - 4.0 grams
Saturated Fat – 0.5 grams
Carbs -87 grams
Sodium -510 milligrams
Cholesterol -0 milligrams
Fiber -2 grams
Sugars -38 grams
Protein – 8 grams