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Apparently when you say "steak," people expect a steak.

Jillian Kramer
June 27, 2017

When you order a steak and egg sandwich, it's only reasonable to assume the meat slapped between those two slices of bagel is, well, steak. But Dunkin' Donuts is now under fire because it's Angus Steak & Egg sandwich is actually made from ground beef.

Queens resident Chufen Chen is suing the chain, alleging the sandwich is one big lie. Chen filed the lawsuit in New York federal court after reading the ingredients list.

Its patty includes Angus beef—but that's not steak, she argues—and a mixture of marinade, yeast extract, hydrolyzed vegetable protein, glycerine, artificial flavor, disodium guanylate and inosinate, monosodium glutamate, high fructose corn syrup, soy sauce, salt, triglycerides, thiamin hydrochloride, sodium benzoate, citric acid, sodium tripolyphosphate, and pepper. We're not going to judge people's breakfast sandwich habits, but there might be more to worry about in that list than the absence of the word "steak."

Surprisingly, however, Chen's beef—pun intended—isn't with the somewhat suspect ingredients contained in the sandwich. According to the lawsuit, what Chen doesn't love is that the sandwich is marketed as a steak product when the meat itself doesn't resemble, you know, a steak. Her lawsuit highlights two ads Chen calls "misleading," one in which friends clamor for the steak and eggs sandwich as a new-job celebration, and a second in which two strangers gush over their shared love of the "steak" sandwich.

In the suit, Chen writes, the meat "isn't in actuality steak but rather it's a patty that they [Dunkin' Donuts] advertise heavily as steak," which allows the chain to sell the breakfast sandwich as a "luxury or superior product to their classic line." To be fair, a patty of ground beef (or hamburger) is referred to as a Hamburg steak, so maybe Dunkin' is in the clear after all.

Semantics aside, this so-called false advertising has led to big sales for Dunkin' Donuts, Chen argues, because the "steak" sandwiches costs about 50 cents more than the chain's other breakfast sandwich offerings. Chen would like a class action suit, repaying all the customers who have eaten the sandwich or the wrap version, the Angus Steak and Cheese Wrap.

We guess the only way to make sure you're getting real steak for breakfast is to make it yourself.