This Dueling Dishes is about breakfast. Assembly line, fast-food breakfast. The kind with eggs that most likely came from a milk carton. A breakfast from which we Americans have been raised to believe is a proper start to your day, and which only recently did we realize that if we ate it everyday, we would die an early death.
My first subject is the ever-famous (well at least around this blog) 99-cent breakfast from IKEA. This, in business parlance, is call a "loss leader". An item priced at or below cost to attract customers. In laymen's terms, it's bait. But me? I know the route to bypass the IKEA furniture maze. It's quite easily bested, actually. And once I've gobbled up my money's worth in eggs, bacon and taters, I can escape without seeing a single Klavsta lampshade.
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Served on actual IKEA plates, with IKEA silverware and eaten in their IKEA furnished dining room, it is still served from a trough. The eggs are curdled and overcooked. The two slices of bacon are so thin, it might as well be transparent. But the home fries. Ah the home fries. Crispy outside, soft as fluffy cotton inside -- excellent! But alas, there's been a recent change, which I notice almost immediately. They've done away with the Tabasco. No bottle is to be found anywhere! Without it, the breakfast is slightly less spectacular. Missing its mojo.
Second contender is the Deluxe Breakfast from, yes, McDonald's. And in a word, it's overkill. I didn't intend to order it. I was actually looking for something that would be equal to the portion size of the IKEA breakfast, but still occupied a plate. The smallest was the Big Breakfast, but then I saw the price board and realized that for a few cents more, I can upgrade to a Deluxe! And therein-lies the genius of McD (or my gullibility). I upsized eventhough I really didn't need it and ended up with more food than I knew what to do with. I don't need to describe the meal itself, as I think everyone in the U.S., maybe the globe, knows what a McDonald's breakfast tastes like. But in the Deluxe, there's more of it. More carbs, more fat, and more sugar. It didn't come with just maple syrup, there was strawberry preserves.
The winner? IKEA's 99-cent breakfast. Because if I believe science, theoretically, the size of my egg-based breakfast is inversely related to how long I aim to live.