Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Return of the BPR!

My producer, Tyler McLellan, is something of a Renaissance man. Not only can he work his magic in putting the show together every morning, not only can he orchestrate the chaos that is the Rainman's 13,000 contests on the Southern Sports Report every afternoon, not only can he blow up callers at will, but he can also write quite well.

He also happens to be a breakfast connoisseur. His outstanding writing and his love of breakfast happen to collide in a beautiful way right here on this space to create the legendary Breakfast Power Rankings! If you are looking for breakfast, and you want the very best there is to offer, consult the BPR. Much like the BCS, this will likely cause argument and controversy, but all decisions are final and binding. Without further ado, I hand this post over to Tyler:

BPR (January edition):

(1) McDonald's Biscuit
I believe McDonald's only refers to this as just a regular 'biscuit', but hardcore fans of Mickey D's call it the 'butter biscuit' because of the buttery bliss embedded in each delicious bite. With McDonalds' grape jam (not jelly) in the middle, this is an untoppable yet wonderfully simple breakfast treat.

(2) Eggo's Waffles (Homestyle, Buttermilk or Blueberry)
The only waffles of any kind that I have ever liked. Oh, and they must be microwaved, because crunchy waffles just don't make sense to me. In fact, the Waffle House's waffles are tolerable because they don't toast them to a crisp, but they still have NOTHING on good ol' Eggos. Even the brand name looks (especially the way it's written on the box) and sounds scrumptious, doesn't it? EGGO. Yum. I eat these 8-10 at a time, no problem. By the way, I've been eating these for years and have never been able to tell the difference between Homestyle and Buttermilk...and that's without syrup.

(3) Bisquik Shake 'n Pour Pancakes
Finally, making REAL pancakes is easy. Let's face it, there has never, EVER been any microwavable pancakes that were edible. They are all poor excuses for pancakes. They are, in fact, the poor man's McDonald's Hotcakes, which are good in their own right but they aren't real pancakes. Grab two of these (regular size) at Wal-Mart and enjoy roughly 16 good-sized, genuine pancakes for the whole family. The only reason this isn't at 1 or 2 is because it still takes considerable time to make all the pancakes, but it is well worth it. Bite-for-bite it is the best.

(4) Aunt Jemima's French Toast Sandwiches
Much like pancakes, there aren't any good microwavable versions of french toast. You just can't replicate what the two best breakfast foods ever are supposed to taste like. However, these sandwiches (from All-Time syrup champion Jemima) are as close to it as it gets. As a bonus, you get sausage, egg and cheese too. Two come in each box, but one is often enough to get you through the morning which earns this entry bonus points.

(5) Burger King's Chicken Biscuit
Sorry, Chik-Fil-A fans, BK has the superior chicken biscuit. Hard to believe? Maybe, but if you did a Pepsi Challenge-style contest between the two, removing all name-induced bias, BK would emerge as victor. Grape jelly and coffee/Coke are required, because without jelly (or jam) it is too dry and without something to drink you will get cotton mouth.

Others receiving votes:

  • McDonald's Bacon Egg and Cheese - former top 5 has fallen out of favor as the Egg in this combination is increasingly bland and rather tasteless
  • Toaster Strudles - just not enough content...too small and too quickly eaten.
  • McDonald's McGriddle (any) - too trendy and streaky to qualify as a breakfast mainstay
  • Burger King Breakfast Burrito - closest thing we'll get to the greatness of a Whataburger Taquito here in Memphis. If eligible, the Whataburger Taquito would be a lock for the top five...
  • McDonald's Steak Egg and Cheese - truly a one-hit wonder, as I've had it twice: first time it was phenomenal, I thought we had a top 3 pick in my hands, second time...not so much.
  • Pop Tarts - does anyone really consider these breakfast food any more? Too snack-like...

All-Time Champion: My mother's french toast

I don't know how she did it, but my mom never failed to make the best french toast ever whenever she decided to. I think I made one feeble attempt myself to duplicate the egg-soaked soggy cinnamony greatness, but it was a poor imitation. I haven't had her french toast in a couple of years, but that was a special request and you can bet the next time we go visit I will negotiate beforehand that her french toast will be prepared the morning after we arrive.

BONUS Coffee Power Rankings (Restaurant Edition)

(1) Waffle House
I can't believe I don't actually buy the brew-it-yourself bags when we go there, I always forget.

(2) CK's Coffee Shop
I don't know how, but they use various brand names and I still can't brew it nearly as well as they do at home...must be the makers.

(3) IHOP
Solid and reliable, but simply not spectacular. I have one cup and I'm fine...at Waffle House or CK's, I need at least two cups.

(4) McDonald's
Still the cream of the fast-food crop, and now they offer to do the cream and sugar for you??? That always held it back to me, but I haven't yet been able to take advantage of this new feature that could move them into the top two next time I go.

(5) Perkins
Sometimes I don't even finish one cup there--not a good sign.

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