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The Contest Day 1 Breakfast: Eater Editors Begin $10 Day With Doughnuts, Jerk Patties, BECs, and Bagels

Here's what Eater editors ate on the first meal of #thecontest.

Amanda Kludt

This week, about a dozen Eater editors are attempting to eat all three restaurant meals on $10 a day. It's something we're calling The Contest, and competition is already extremely fierce. For each meal throughout the week, the editors will give updates on what they ate and how much they paid — and whether they failed The Contest and need to tap out. Playing along at home is strongly encouraged — there's a $50 prize at stake, plus dinner with Robert Sietsema and Amanda Kludt. Make sure to tag any photos with #thecontest and we'll share our favorites. Here's the first round of updates.

Breakfast on Monday, July 13:

Player: Sonia Chopra

Purchase: Cream pan: $1.95. Remainder: $8.05.

Strategy: I've been wanting to try Pan Ya — a Japanese breakfast spot in my neighborhood that our critic Robert Sietsema has written about in the past — for quite some time, so it felt like a good place to kick off Cheap Eats Week and #thecontest. I wish I had more time (and money!) to explore the menu, but for a quick stop-in before work, this cream pan ($1.95) and a cup of hot yuzu tea did the trick. Adzuki bean fans should know that two red bean pastries are also on offer for the same price.

Pan Ya. 8 Stuyvesant St, New York, NY 10003. (212) 777-1930

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Player: Amanda Kludt

Purchase: Sausage, egg, and cheese on a roll

Location: Halal truck I don't know the name of on 40th between Broadway and 6th

Price: $3.50

Strategy: My Monday strategy is to get a protein and carb bomb in the morning to last me through most of the day and maybe get some street fruit to hold me over until dinner. I thought by going to a cart I'd save money over a bodega but I think I was wrong. Another part of my strategy: drinking a lot of tea and skipping the gym.

Satisfaction Level: This is more like a hot dog, egg, and cheese, given halal trucks don't deal in pork sausage patties. But I'm into it. Gooey, spicy, rich. Let's see how good it is in two hours though when I eat the second half for lunch.

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Player: Vince Dixon

Purchase/Strategy: My goal for the week is to buy from a different type of quintessential New York eatery each day of the week. Day 1 is the Delicatessen. I stopped by Bryant Deli in Midtown for a $1.25 everything bagel covered in butter. I didn't even finish the whole thing, maybe because on the way to work the new Chickpea location in Jersey City was handing out free pieces of muffins at the train station. Hooray for morning carbs!

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Player: Jarret Meskin

Purchase: BEC on a roll: $2.99

Strategy: I wanted to kick off #thecontest with something iconic. What could be better than a bacon, egg, and cheese from your local bodega? Nothing. In this case, it was from Sunny and Annie's Deli in the East Village. It's worth noting that the sandwiches at Sunny and Annie's are a step above your typical bodega. Their BEC was no exception. The bread and eggs felt of a significantly higher quality than I was prepared for, and at under $3, this was total bargain.

Sunny and Annie's Deli | 94 Avenue B, New York, NY 10003 | (212) 677-3131

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Player: Robert Sietsema

Hudson Bagels

Order/Strategy: Is it good to feel so full after your first competitive meal? For breakfast, one of the bulbous everything bagels toasted and extravagantly buttered from Hudson Bagels, an excellent place run by Syrian Christians in the West Village. The cost: $1.75

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Player: Daniela Galarza

Location: Peter Pan Donut & Pastry Shop

Order/Strategy: Three cops waited in line ahead of me. I wanted three, but bought one, for a $1.10: strawberry jelly-filled. Ate half on the spot. Saving other half to dunk in coffee later.

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Player: Hillary Dixler

Dunkin D

Order/Strategy: Dunkin Donuts at 387 Jay St in Downtown Brooklyn was buzzing this morning. I asked the cashier about Munchkins and she explained I could get six for a $1.50. Unfortunately they didn't have the full assortment so I kept things tidy with three chocolate cake and three glazed. Bonus: After eating the six, I found a seventh at the bottom of the bag.

Player: Devra Ferst

Order/Strategy: I started my day with half of a banana from a bodega near Smith 9th Street (50 cents) and two cups of coffee, taking extra advantage of the milk, to help me push through to lunch.

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Player: Helen Rosner

Order: Jerk chicken patty from Little Miss Muffin & Her Stuffin. $2.50

Player: Greg Morabito

The Location: Bread Brothers Bagel Cafe; 912 Manhattan Avenue, Brooklyn

The Order: Two eggs on a roll, $2.50, no cheese

Strategy: Wanted a blast of protein and a heap of carbs earl in the a.m., and this place opens at 6:30 a.m. These guys are nice but they got no hustle. Spent maybe 20 minutes in here, and there was only one person in front of me. As far as breakfast sandwiches go, this one was a solid C. Bread was too dense. Really could've used some cheese in there but didn't want to spring for the extra 50 cents. They were listening to classic rock radio — SuperTramp, BTO, Thin Lizzy — which I found pleasant enough at that strange hour of the day. Tomorrow, I might opt for a McMuffin from the Mickey D's around the corner, or maybe one of the microwaved BECs from Starbucks next door.

And for all of Eater NY's cheap eats coverage, look here.

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