Fast Food Review: Egg White English Muffin Melt from Subway

As you’ve no doubt heard by now, Subway started offering breakfast nationwide this past week. As you’ve also probably read by now, the new Subway English Muffin Melts apparently suck. At least according to our friends at Would I Buy it Again? and Slashfood.com, who were both highly critical of Subway’s decision to step into the breakfast market. Despite these negative reviews I’ve long been a  fan of Subway’s healthy, construction-based approach to sandwich making, and decided to swing by my local Subway the other morning to try the Muffin Melt out. Coming in five different, yet customizable, options, I chose to indulge in the Black Forest Ham, Egg and Cheese Melt:

Helllooo delicious! Enjoy tasty Black Forest Ham, melted cheese, and egg whites all on a fresh toasted English muffin. Oh what a way to start the day!

Before I get to the sandwich itself, let me just say that my sandwich maker was very patient and helpful with my decision making process in ordering. Subway gets a bad rap for service and I guess it depends on your location, but considering I can be a fickle decision maker when thinking up my creations, I have to give this particular young lady a lot of credit.

In terms of its construction, the “Sandwich Artist” inserted the single slice of black forest ham between the two slices of cooked egg whites, and layered a hefty amount of mozzarella (I’d say about 1/4th of a cup, but she was actually ready to add more before I told her that was plenty) between the folded-over slice of ham. I found this layout to be most pleasing once the sandwich was toasted, and felt like the salty and rich mozzarella (which I’d call “pizza-chain” grade) really gave a great kick to the ham, which despite its own saltiness did contain sweeter notes. The ham itself was flavorful and didn’t come across as cheap or enhanced, reflecting an unmatched quality that I’ve yet to encounter at other fast food places. Rounding all these flavors out was of course the vegetables, which lent crunch (red and banana peppers), sweetness (tomato and red onion), and even a hint of pepper (spinach.) I found each bite to be packed with flavor, with the sweet nature of the whole wheat English muffin bringing it all together.

There were however some down sides to the construction. Be forewarned; if you don’t know what toppings are best toasted, you do have the capability to shoot yourself in the foot when making this puppy. I’d suggest toasting the red onions and possibly the peppers with your melt, but leaving the other toppings until post-toaster oven. Also, the amount of toppings WILL overwhelm the English muffin, which because of its “lite” nature, has the tendency to turn floppy and even a bit soggy. Yet such is the sacrifice for having a quick-delivery system to melt the cheese and integrate the flavor, so this was one flaw I can overlook. One thing that I do suggest to Subway, however, is a more fair distribution of the toppings so that they aren’t all piled on one side. Personally, I’m a fan of putting post toasting toppings like tomato and greens on the underside on the sandwich, just to better distribute the flavors and make the item more wieldy. Texture-wise I will admit that the sandwich was a bit sloppy, but again, considering the ability to build in flavor components, this is one flaw I was willing to overlook.

These construction flaws notwithstanding, I found my English Muffin Melt to be incredibly satisfying and filling. Not only did it hold me over for three hours, but it tasted great and lent itself to my inner sandwich making impulses. At only $2 for the sandwich alone, it’s a great deal, especially considering that I could have blown 4 bucks for a comparable egg white sandwich at Einstein Brothers’ earlier that morning (although I still chose coffee at EBB). While I’m not a regular for fast food breakfasts, I have to admit that Subway’s English Muffin Melts may just make me a convert. Cheap, healthy, delicious, and made with your taste buds in mind, I give Subway’s English Muffin Melts my stamp of approval, and highly suggest them to anyone looking for a quick but satisfying breakfast.

Pros: Comparatively fresh ingredients that rival those found in Fast Casual establishments. Flavorful, high-quality ham that has enough sweetness to balance salty elements. Ability to customize and add virtually unlimited flavor profiles to bolster otherwise (but expected) plain taste of egg whites. Perfectly melted cheese is just gooey and greasy enough to remind you of pizza. Slight sweetness of English Muffin does well to compliment vegetables and balance ham. Great value at only $2.00. Healthiest and most high-end English Muffin breakfast sandwich on the market.

Cons: Smallish English muffin lacks bready substance, and gets a bit soggy and overwhelmed by toppings. Flimsy and more awkward to eat than a McMuffin. Sandwich construction reveals flaws with all the toppings piled onto one side. If you relied on (or still rely on) your mom to make you your sandwich every day, this WILL be ugly.

Taste: 9.25/10
Value: 9.00/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 7.25/10
Price: $2.00

Overall GrubGrade: 9.00/10

More Info: Subway.com
Nutrition Facts:
Black Forest Ham, Egg and Cheese Melt
Calories – 160
Total Fat – 4 grams
Saturated Fat – 1.5 grams
Cholesterol – 10 milligrams
Sodium – 620 milligrams
Carbs – 18 grams
Sugars – 1 grams
Dietary Fiber – 5 grams
Protein – 15 grams

33 comments on “Fast Food Review: Egg White English Muffin Melt from Subway

  1. Nick says:

    No way the sandwich, with 1/4 cup of cheese, can have only 160 calories. It is very likely much closer to the 300 mark…

    • Eclaire says:

      I don’t normally reply to blog sites but I have to add my two cents’ worth to this. I tried Subway’s breakfast muffin today for the first time and loved it. I had the light English muffin, egg white omelette and about a tablespoon or so of the shredded moz/cheddar cheese — had them melt it (could have been toasted a little longer) and then topped it off post-toast with some pickled jalapeno peppers. Quite delish! I’m very good with calorie estimation and would say that sandwich was 170 calories (100 for the light muffin, 30 for the egg white, 40 for the 15 g of shredded cheese. If a regular omelette with the yolk were used, the calorie count would increase by 40). That muffin melt and a 16oz coffee combo cost only $2.50+tax. All in all a very good deal both in terms of $$ and calories!

      • Jake Glazer says:

        Haha I own a deli. You are quite misinformed, its way over 200+ calories 🙂

        • Jay says:

          Which means you’re the sole master of calorie estimation? Eclaire’s breakdown sounds about right. This is not a big sandwich.

  2. Adam says:

    True, although the designated serving size by Subway is half of that, or 40 calories (remember, Mozzarella is a part-skim cheese). I guess my sandwich artist was a little “happy,” and as you can see a lot of the cheese actually ended up on the side. But geez, how come every time I post a review all people want to talk about is calories?!?

    I had this again today with provolone and it was very good. But all things considered, the light English muffin + egg white patty + one slice of ham is not a ton of calories, so 1/2 oz. of cheese or so is not going to put this over the top for all you calorie counters. 200 might be a better estimate.

  3. Daniel N says:

    Adam, Maybe everyone always talks about calories because that is a major concern to most people. Maybe you should stop complaining about this and cater to what people want to talk and hear about. Your audience wants to know about the nutrition information. If you want to make a review useful you should talk about this. If you are only concerned about what you think then go ahead and ignore what your readers are saying.

    I agree with the first poster, no way 160 calories. English Muffin alone is 120 calories, cheese 40, 20 – 40 calories for the ham, and then another 30 – 40 for the egg white. I’d estimate 240 calories minimum.

    • Chass says:

      According to the calorie content printed on the Subway napkins. This sandwich is 160 calories with 4g of fat. This is including the light wheat english muffin with egg whites and cheese. I say the review was quite accurate. And I agree! It is VERY tasty! Just tried my first on this morning and fell in love!

  4. Adam says:

    English Muffin is 90 Daniel. It’s a Thomas’ lite muffin. The ham slice is small, I’d say 20-30 calories worth. I have no idea why I am debating this, but I’ve been sucked in par usual. And I agree it should be a concern for most people, but I think our society is headed down a slippery slope by saying you can eat this or that and not that or this and by assuming everyone only “gets” X amount of calories a day. This is by far the healthiest sandwich of its kind on the market, and to nitpick at it like this seems frankly kinda absurd. Sorry my reviews are not very useful to you — maybe in the future you should just ignore each of my posts?

  5. Jenny says:

    I actually ordered almost the exact same thing yesterday. I liked it and the fact that it was reasonably priced. Thanks for the review Adam.

  6. Raiders757 says:

    My main question is about the English Muffin. It doesn’t look like it’s toasted enough. I like mine to have that crunchy slightly charred layer that you get when toasting them at home. It seems if they toasted them longer, they would hold up to the toppings a little better.

  7. Adam says:

    Raiders,
    Perhaps. Next time I might ask for it “double toasted” to see what happens. The problem is you don’t want it to get too crusty, and you want the meat and cheese to still retain some moisture (and flavor). It’s an inexact science I guess, but the good news is that Subway does not see a “rush” of breakfast patrons, so you can be a little more fickle when instructing your sandwich artist haha.

  8. Adam Bomb says:

    This is a great post. I really got a feel for the sandwich by reading, so thanks! I have seen a few negative reviews of these sandwiches, but your experience seemed pretty great. I might be willing to drop two bucks on one of these.

  9. Manavee says:

    Nice review. So far, I’ve really liked the new breakfast sandwiches….their chipotle sauce goes great with it, by the way (particularly when youve already added some green peppers). The sauce I think works better on the flatbread than the English muffin (as the sauce makes an already messy presentation even messier).

    I think one of the reasons for the differences in opinion on these items is that Subway has really high variation across franchises, at least in my experience. You get some employees/franchises who really don’t care and just throw the sandwich together (and dont even know what core ingredients are supposed to be on individual sandwiches) and other places which do a lot better job with it.

  10. ChLadner says:

    Great review as usual Adam.

    To the earlier posters, are we seriously debating 40 calories? Order water instead of soda or juice and you’ll save tons more calories than you’re complaining about. Maybe you should just chew on grass all day, 15 no 16 calories in that.

    This looks like a great sandwich. Especially the price. Can’t beat two dollars for a good sized breakfast. Also a breakfast sandwich that isn’t loaded with grease is nice to see. I liked being able to fill up on veggies. People do this all the time mixed with their eggs. Glad to see you demonstrate this tradition. I like the ability to customize also. For someone who is picky with cheese this is a great ability. May I ask if the coffee was decent? I dont think Subway served it before now. Again thanks for a great review.

  11. Adam says:

    Thanks Chris. Did not try to coffee…I know Seattle’s Best is sevred by some other places (Borders, for example) but a lot has to do with the person making it at Subway. If you’re a coffee snob, maybe best to try someplace else.

  12. DJT says:

    Thanks. I tried the sandwich and found it to be a nice alternative. I do watch my calories and fat intake and the lite muffin and egg whites do the trick in trimming both. The vegetables add a nice crunch and flavor. I will order this again. If people are worried about calories, just leave off the cheese.

  13. Dahnkey says:

    I am late to the calorie discussion, but I think getting one of these healthy sandwiches will be a better alternative to the two Six $ Burgers I ate for breakfast/lunch today… I bet I can eat ten of these!

  14. Kaci says:

    Adam:
    Love the blog! I always love it when you try the new stuff…
    I beat you to the punch on this one and have been enjoying Subway breakfast sandwiches all winter! I even get them for dinner – cheap, relatively good for you, and delicious!
    Here’s one you need to try next time:
    Egg white + ham on flatbread, pepper jack toasted, spinach, tomatoes (if they look decent), banana peppers, jalapenos (if you’re feeling adventurous) and Southwest Chipotle sauce…
    It’s amazing!!
    Would it be so wrong to get chicken and egg? hmm….

  15. This whole idea of Subway breakfast to me is just so wrong. Even on the commercials it looks cheaply made a vile. But the post above is very intriguing, the southwest chipotle sauce is awesome and may actually make this sandwich alright…hmmm maybe I will try it after all.

  16. Lisa says:

    Ok, I was very interested in this post. I thought the review was wonderful and though I have not had the opportunity yet, I was inspired to play with the recipe on my own. It is very fast. I use Thomases English muffins (original variety), just one, so it is less messy, like a pizza. I prep a nice Canadian Bacon with half a slice of American cheese – shaped to the size of the Canadian Bacon on a plate. I take several sprigs of fresh spinach in a small Pyrex, sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic and fresh Parmesan. Then add a slice of good tomato and sprinkle all the above spices again. I put this in the microwave to melt it a tiny – use low power – I like it soft, then I place the Canadian Bacon and cheese on top to warm them up. Meanwhile my egg in cooking and I start the toaster. My softened vegies, ham and cheese go in a strainer – I use a rubber spatula to slide it in, vegies down, spinach bottom. While they drain I grab my toasted muffin, separate the yolk from the white (usually separate well, occasionally not so much, but I love it anyway)… I spread a bit of soft yolk because it tastes good, mine is very liquid yoke. So good. At the same time I rewarm my vegies and stack them after well strained – Muffin , tomato, spinach, Canadian bacon, egg, cheese. It is excellent, took me ten minutes to create and you could either eat it with a knife and fork and candles or with your hands in front of the TV. Change toppings any way you like, but use the strainer for the soft stuff. It sounds like a lot of steps, but it is so fast and easy and inexpesive.

    Anyway, I hope this was not too much detail. I just find if I can make it myself first, I know exactly what to order, plus it was fun to play with and delicious. So I am on my way to Subway Monday and I know exactly what I hope for, but I’ll be happy with anyway, if it is worth the time, effort and cost, plus tasty. I hope to let you know review soon.

    One comment I would like to make is I there is a lot of overhead cost in that sandwich, that was ‘free’ in mine. If you are looking for perfection at $2.50 with coffee, make it yourself. This sounds like a very good deal to me and I am eagerly anticipating my Monday breakfast adventure.

    • Lisa says:

      One small note – pre-chop the Canadian bacon quickly or use thin ham – it ‘pulls’ if it is too thick. I am too lazy, so I am going for the thin good ham. I think subway was smart to go with the black forest.

  17. Matthew says:

    I got the steak, egg, and cheese. I asked to see the Thomas English Muffin package they used for their breakfast sandwiches they are 120 Calories, whole wheat. With 2 triangles of cheese and a tray of steak, and an egg white, there is simply no way that this sandwich was 170 calories.

  18. rachel says:

    i think this review was GREAT and the egg muffin sandwiches are delicious! keep up the good work!

  19. Dominique says:

    To be more exact: … between the two slices of PRECOOKED egg whites…

    It takes the whites from four or five eggs to make a single egg white omelette, right? So what does Subway do with all the yolks???

    Do they buy whole eggs, separate them at the Subway precooked egg white factory, and either throw away or sell the yolks somewhere else? Or does Subway just buy a tanker truck filled with egg whites, and pipe that in to a conveyor oven at one end and chop the precooked egg white strip at the other? Or is it egg white powder they buy for less bulk and shipping cost, reconstitute it with water, then precook it?

    All foods have a history before they reach you. Along with that the types and forms food take impact the environment. The full and real story behind those precooked Subway egg white omelettes, working backwards from the back door of a Subway shop to the chicken, would make for interesting reading.

    What a waste, an egg white omelette. A chicken has to lay four or five eggs just to make you happy instead of only one for a whole-egg omelette. And I don’t think you can mutate or motivate chickens into ramping up their egg production by 400-500%. At least not at this writing. So how many additional chicken farms did Subway have to bring online, and how much extra chicken poo gets into the groundwater as a result? And all that high-grade protein and choline ends up where? Not in you.

    Before anything else, if you are indeed health conscious instead of just trendy in an effete sort of way, get enough protein in your diet. Without that, doesn’t seem that all the vitamins, minerals, low-fat/no-fat, low-cholesterol/no-cholesterol, or exercise in the world makes much difference. It would be like trying to build (or constantly repair) a brick wall without bricks.

    Not a Subway fan here to begin with. So to me, those pictures of a Subway breakfast sandwich on a crumpled and stained wrapper look more like a great ‘find’ via dumpster diving. Especially that last one, the one with a couple child-size bites gnawed out of it. Looks like a child tasted it, then threw it away – only to be retrieved, photographed, and posted on the internet for all to see. By now Subway themselves probably looked at all the blogger fotos of Subway sandwiches on crumpled and stained wrappers, and cringed. Then they saw that last one, the one with bites taken out of it, and cringed further.

    In my house, anything that was cooked earlier then rewarmed at a later date is a leftover. Leftovers are great, but would you serve leftovers to company? Subway does. You’re the company.

    tags: Subway, precooked egg whites, overworked chickens, chicken poo, groundwater, egg white factories, leftovers, dumpster diving.

  20. Michael4Cycles says:

    Real breakfast sandwich(3rd pic down):
    http://glenwoodnyc.com/roller/blog/entry/m_wells_restaurant_in_long

    Subway Breakfast Sandwich:
    http://thewifeofadairyman.blogspot.com/2010/05/my-subway-breakfast.html

    Oh and the first link is a picture of the breakfast sandwich from a diner I frequent often, the second is just some random blog I found while searching through Google images. The sandwich from the first link is a lot bigger in person than it looks here.
    Bottom line:
    I’ll eat breakfast sandwiches from my local diner rather than a corporate food chain. I don’t care how healthy Subway claims this sandwich to be.

  21. AMC says:

    Two separate Subway’s (different owners) near my home did not honor the deal. They both claim the price is for egg and cheese only. This is with the picture of a “western omlette” posted stating any egg muffin melt & 16 oz coffee for $2.50. Bogus bait and switch.

  22. stevenp says:

    Michael5: Enjoy your diner b’fast sandwich, but everyone else should note that’s an $8 sandwich (pre-tip).

  23. Andrew says:

    Here where I am we have the the wraps for the breakfast sandwich.
    It’s really not that bad. Egg white, ham, tomato, and sweet or green peppers. I have been trying to find the calorie count for that, but no luck.
    Yea, they are rewarming the egg. But if I were to order that at a Deli or restaurant you know they cover the grill with grease etc..
    As for calories it probably has to be one of the lowest of any sandwich out there. Its filling with the veggies. Probably under 300 cals.
    that will last me into the late afternoon, which pushes lunch and dinner a bit later so im not tempted to snack later in the evening.

  24. Shannon says:

    I manage two Subway locations. A fourth of cheese is well over the formula amount on that sandwich. If you get egg white, it should come with American cheese unless you ask for something else. For using mozzarella, I believe the formula is 2 ounces of cheese. I eat breakfast here every day. You should try the western with chipotle sauce and pepperjack cheese. After you heat it have them put ranch and pepper on it. It’s not the most healthy thing, but still probably has fewer calories than Mcdonalds.

  25. Elisa says:

    Chipotle Southwest sauce and red onion makes the sandwich!

  26. CaloriesAreImportant says:

    if you build it online on their site it is 190 calories if you have one slice of cheese, egg, a bit of mayo and the muffin itself (plus I add green pepper).. it is not as tasty as its big brother deli breakfast BUT it also is half the calories!! So it is awesome for me watching my caloric intake. our location is awesome and they heat up the egg first in micro, then put the egg cheese and muffin in the toaster, THEN put on the toppings, so its good..Thank you subway 🙂

  27. Margo says:

    On days I don’t feel like driving to Subway, I cook this exact same thing for breakfast. I actually make 1/4c egg whites and it seems to be substantially larger than what they use when I go to Subway. The egg white can’t be more than 20-30 calories.

    Thomas Whole Wheat English Muffin: 120 calories – and extra fiber woo hoo!

    HALF a slice of cheese (use your eyes people, it’s only half a slice): 30 calories. I do think subway underestimates the calories of their cheese online (unless they are using a lighter variety). They say 40 calories for TWO triangle halves of american. But two halves make a slice, and a slice has 60 calories… so I don’t know.

    HALF an egg white omelet (watch them cut it in half everytime): we will say 30 calories, just to be generous. It’s probably more like 20 or 25 calories.

    One slice of ham: 15 calories MAX. check the calories on the back of your thin sliced ham at home. Usually 60 calories for 4 slices or even LESS!

    Veggies: free

    Jalapenos: EXTRA metabolism booster.

    I’m guessing at most 200 calories – but I’m really reaching on taht one. However, you get some extra loving from the fiber and the jalapenos 🙂 Enjoy!