A friend and I once had a small disagreement over where to get the best cookies in New York. The friend argued that it was definitely Levain, a popular bakery that sold thick, gooey chocolate chip cookies for $4 each. I argued that it was Subway the sandwich shop.
And boy, did I get some heat for that. The friend went so far as to set up a blind taste test with her coworkers to prove to me that Levain in fact had better cookies than Subway. And her coworkers agreed.
Well why wouldn’t they? Levain’s cookies were always hot and fresh while Subway’s had been laying out for awhile. Each bite of a Levain cookie gave you a solid taste of chocolatey luxury while a Subway cookie tasted like any other cookie.
But to me, the “best” cookie isn’t the cookie that tastes the best. It’s the cookie that tastes the best for the price you pay. For that reason, Subway’s 55 cent cookie comes out on top.
I mean, heck, if I didn’t live in New York, I wouldn’t even have imagined that a cookie could cost more than $2, much less $4. Sure the Levain cookie is bigger, but that begs the question. Is it worth $3.45 more to buy a bigger cookie when the $0.55 cookie is already big enough? Once you’ve satisfied your cookie craving, the rest is just extra calories.
The last argument for Levain is the fine texture and gooeyness of their cookies, traits that are indeed lacking at Subway. But to this, I would point out that you can ask the guy at Subway to microwave your cookie for 10 seconds and it’ll come out pretty close. Close enough that you won’t need to spend three extra dollars.
So for those reasons, the Subway cookie is the best cookie in New York. Don’t get me wrong, Levain’s is worth trying once or twice. But don’t let them trick you into thinking that luxury is always better.