The Golden Arches. Even those who profess to hate it fall prey to its addictive breakfasts. The Deluxe Breakfast, the Egg McMuffin, and the most evil, habit-forming nemesis of all, the Sausage McMuffin With Egg.
It's a pretty simple recipe when it comes down to it: an egg with breakfast sausage, a slice of cheese, and an English muffin. Yet somehow when other places try to do it, they don't get it right. The biggest problem is the egg being too large for the muffin; with regards to the sausage, it's always too small for the muffin, or places have decided to make the offerings too bourgeois, using fancy sausage. The cheese has to be melted to the bun, or it doesn't work, and the bun has to be toothsome and flavorful at the same time.
The shining light of sausage muffins, the place that has ousted McDonalds for a small-but-growing segment of Central Orange County worker bees, is located in an unlikely strip mall in a completely anonymous, typical office park.
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Choco-Latte (like the Spanish word for chocolate, get it?) is a Korean-owned coffeeshop that serves bagels from who-knows-where, various sandwiches and a long list of espresso drinks. While the bagel makes a good and more calorically dense sandwich, the muffin is the better choice. They've found containers to cook the eggs that just barely contain the muffin and the sausage, so when the eggs are ready, they tump the sausage and half the muffin on top, then flip it out onto the board, add cheese and the other half of the muffin, and wrap it up so the cheese melts while you carry it.
The sandwich is, sadly, not cheap: $3.15, while a similar sandwich at McDonalds clocks in at a little less than two bucks. But when it comes to not supporting a company that enrages gastronomes worldwide so much that spittle flecks their righteously indignant cheeks, maybe it's worth it.
Choco-Latte, 840 The City Dr. S., Ste. J, Orange, (714) 663-8144.