Archives for posts with tag: Dunkin’ Donuts

I’m not a huge breakfast eater, when I do decide to eat an actual meal before lunch, I’m always looking for savory, not sweet, options. Savory food at least starts to mimic the lunch experience, which I prefer. When I saw that Dunkin’ Donuts had introduced a Maple Sugar Bacon Breakfast Sandwich, I initially wasn’t interested in trying it. I’m not a huge fan of maple flavoring, and the name alone made it seem like the sandwich would veer too far into sweet territory. However, one morning I found myself at a Dunkin’ Donuts, hungry and with no prospect of lunch within the next few hours thanks to a fantasy hockey draft, so I decided to take the plunge and see if Dunkin’ could provide the maple sugar flavor without turning the sandwich into a sugar bomb.

The Maple Sugar Bacon Breakfast Sandwich is “a double portion of sweet caramelized Maple Sugar Bacon, Egg and Cheese … on a freshly baked Croissant.” The price for the sandwich is $3.99 before tax and without any accompaniments. As an insight into my process here, when I order something, I want it as close to the advertisement as possible. If a company has created a product, I want to try what they’ve decided the public will want to eat, rather than order it with my own modifications. This is why I get annoyed with Subway, where I go in to order their promoted product, but I have to remember what’s on it because they don’t provide a default option.

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With that being said… I did not order the sandwich on a croissant. First, instead of defaulting to the croissant, the employee behind the counter gave me the option to choose my bread, which threw me off guard and let me to ordering the sandwich on a ciabatta roll. Second, I have eaten one croissant in my life which I actually enjoyed, and it was not from Dunkin’ Donuts. By ordering the roll instead of the croissant, I had more of a chance of enjoying the sandwich. I’ll keep my roll comments to a minimum since they aren’t necessarily relevant to the advertised product.

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Taking the sandwich out of the bag, I was struck by how small it was. I thought the roll would be bigger. It smelled great through. It had a strong maple and bacon aroma, and I couldn’t wait to begin eating. While the sandwich had a good amount of bacon coverage, my first bite managed to only have egg and cheese. The egg and cheese are standard Dunkin’ fare. They’re supporting players to the bacon, there more for added heft plus the slight melted cheese taste.

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I also think getting the roll was a better choice than sticking with the croissant. Though the sandwich was small, the roll was more substantial than a croissant would have been. The crust added a more of a crunch to the sandwich than a soft croissant. Also, as a breakfast sandwich, eating a butter-soaked croissant on top of bacon, egg, and cheese seems way too heavy for an AM meal. I ate this on a Saturday morning, and could imagine feeling sluggish and staying on the couch through the afternoon if I got the croissant. Eating this at work is incomprehensible if you wanted to be productive.

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The Maple Sugar Bacon had some pluses and minuses. It was crunchier than I anticipated, which can be a problem with fast food sandwiches. The taste was a mix between smoke and maple, skewed heavily towards the maple flavor. It seemed as if the bacon was soaked in maple and removed right before it was added to the sandwich. When eating the bacon alone, it was almost too sweet.

As mentioned above, they didn’t skimp on the bacon. I sometimes hesitate ordering bacon breakfast sandwiches when compared with sausage, because a sausage patty is going to cover almost all of the sandwich, while a lot of places chose only give a few thin strips of bacon, making the sandwich feel light. Dunkin’ definitely chose to highlight the Maple Sugar Bacon and ensure it was a good portion.

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When eating all the components together, the sandwich was quite good. The smokiness of the bacon shone through and the sweet maple flavor was offset by the cheese. Even though I didn’t get much eggy taste, I think using it as another non-sweet element toned down the bacon to an acceptable level, keeping the sandwich as a nice balance between savory and sweet.

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Overall, the Maple Sugar Bacon Breakfast Sandwich was really good. I’m not a big breakfast sandwich guy, and I’m more likely to get a donut if I’m ordering food at Dunkin’, but for anyone in the mood for a breakfast sandwich, this is definitely worth a shot. It was filling, despite its size and just sweet enough to get that maple taste without tasting like candy. Of course, it’s worth noting that this was a seasonal offering, but I’m guessing it will return to the Dunkin’ menu sometime soon.

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In my continuing series on Dunkin’ Donuts’ seasonal specific donuts, this post will feature the Vanilla Truffle Donut which I originally ate back in March, but may find itself back on the rotation at some point as Dunkin’ rotates in new flavors every few months now.

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Dunkin’s Vanilla Truffle Donut is their standard donut with a cream filling, chocolate frosting, and topped with little pieces of chocolate. On its own, the price was $1.17, continuing my constant shock at how much a donut costs. Not to sound old here, but these used to cost less than $1! And back in the day they were bigger! Old man grumbling aside, this little fella packed a wallop at 390 calories. Yowza. I guess the cost per calorie is reasonable enough.

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Taking the donut out of the bag, it smelled fantastic, as donuts always do. I got a nice whiff of the chocolate frosting and vanilla filling inside the donut. Before taking my first bite of the donut, I tried one of the chocolate curly things (truffles?) on the top. There was nothing particularly special that I could discern from that bite. It tasted like a normal piece of chocolate and seemed to be added just for texture.

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I finally took my first bite and… it was a regular donut. You generally know what you’re getting with Dunkin’ and this wasn’t the most adventurous flavor to begin with. The dough was soft and sweet and it was definitely fresh. It was the same donut that’d be used for a Boston Kreme. I managed to bite into the side without any filling (also a problem with the Candy Cane Crunch Donut), so those first bites were essentially a fancier chocolate frosting donut. The truffles on top added a different texture, which was nice, but that was still just more chocolate.

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I finally reached the vanilla cream filling about halfway through the experience and it did improve the flavor. The first half was too chocolatey for my taste, so the vanilla helped cut and balance that more intense chocolate flavor. Unfortunately, on its own the vanilla cream was nothing special. It smelled better than it tasted, because it didn’t have a strong vanilla flavor that I hoped for. The filling did the bare minimum and probably couldn’t have carried a donut on its own.

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Overall, this was a fine donut. If you’re a fan of chocolate and want something with extra chocolate flavor, then I’d recommend ordering the Vanilla Truffle Donut if it’s available again. You won’t be overwhelmed by the vanilla and you’re getting more chocolate than a regular chocolate frosted donut. However, for me and others who don’t want that much chocolate in the morning hours, this is a pass in the future. Boston Kreme still reigns supreme as their best filled donut because they cream has more flavor and blends with the chocolate to produce a better taste.

Thanksgiving is over. There are no more leaves left on the trees. And it snowed last week. It’s officially the Christmas/holiday season. While Dunkin’ Donuts jumped the gun with the release of one of their holiday themed donuts, they can be excused. I’m a Thanksgiving aficionado, but that holiday is harder to commercialize, so it gets ignored by most stores. However, now that I’m in the holiday spirit, we can discuss Dunkin’s Candy Cane Crunch Donut.

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As with the Reese’s Peanut Butter Square , this is a premium donut, and is accordingly priced at $1.09. Upon first glance, the donut was quite bright. It was topped with white frosting, dotted with candy cane shards, as if someone had smashed a candy cane on top of the donut while somehow managing to maintain the structural integrity of a donut with cream filling. My other immediate thought was the damage those shards were going to wreak upon my teeth, because I’m an old man.

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Before I took my first bite, I inhaled, and the aroma was a mix of vanilla and peppermint. My first taste combined those two flavors. The candy cane pieces were crunchy and sweet. Luckily, they were also easy to bite through and not ruinous to my teeth. The texture to the candy was thankfully softer than a regular candy cane, giving some resistance without me worrying about yanking out my teeth.

The donut had a minty after taste, as the candy flavor outlasted the vanilla from the frosting. I tasted some of the candy cane shards on their own, and they tasted legit. This donut will fulfill your December candy cane lust, while also satiating your donut needs… if you have such feelings.

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Once again, there was a problem with the filling distribution. I can’t remember the last time I had a properly filled donut from Dunkin’, and I’m starting to think this is the new normal, and a properly filled donut would be an anomaly. I got around halfway through the donut before I reached any filling. When I finally reached the cream (or maybe it was frosting), it was incredibly sweet, with a vanilla taste. After longing for the filling, I have to admit that I actually preferred the fillingless half of the donut. Luckily, on the filling side, it was only a thin layer. The donut itself was great. It was soft and fresh and helped prevent the whole thing from becoming too sweet.

In case you couldn’t tell, I really liked the Candy Cane Crunch Donut. I walk by a Dunkin’ every morning on the way to work, and based on its prominent placement behind the counter, and its bright color, it beckons me every morning. The minty taste gets me in the holiday feeling, frosting is awesome, and the filling was tolerable. If you like the combination of vanilla and peppermint, or are intrigued, give it a shot. You probably have around another month to do so.

After checking in on the Reese’s Peanut Butter Square, it’s time to continue Dunkin’ Donuts week with their Belgian Waffle Breakfast Sandwich. As someone who went through most of my life ignoring the fact that breakfast existed and only eating it when absolutely necessary, the revelation that a well-made and constructed breakfast sandwich is truly an amazing thing came to me later in life. While I still can find quibble with portions (there’s never enough bacon to justify ordering bacon as the meat instead of sausage and it’s amazing how many calories are packed into a reasonably sized sandwich), I look forward to any chance when I can eat a good breakfast sandwich (or burrito).

When I saw that Dunkin’ Donuts had rolled out a waffle sandwich, it was only a matter of time before I gave it a shot. While the sticker on the door also showed a non-breakfast option with chicken*, I knew I’d be going breakfast on this one.

*I have actually eaten a chicken patty from Dunkin’ Donuts. I would not advise others to do so. It’s not terrible, but because they don’t have a fryer in-house, it tastes like a frozen chicken patty that you decided to microwave instead of bake because who the hell has 45 minutes to bake a frozen chicken patty just so it can be crispy?

The Dunkin’ Belgian Waffle Breakfast Sandwich contains “Cherrywood Smoked Bacon, American Cheese and Egg, between two delicious Belgian waffles.” The sandwich is priced at $3.99 on its own. It is available as a meal with your choice of beverage, but because there’s so much variation there, I didn’t write the price down. I got mine with a large iced coffee, pushing the cost over $7.

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When unwrapping the sandwich, I had two immediate impressions: 1) the sandwich was kinda small and 2) it smelled absolutely fantastic. Like better than McDonald’s hotcakes fantastic, and I think McDonald’s hotcakes (or do they call them pancakes now?) are probably the best smelling fast food. If they tasted half as good as they smelled, I’d eat them at least once a week. Anyway, back on topic, the sandwich smelled great. A sweet aroma, without being too sweet, with a hint of bacon. They could sell this as a cologne. People would buy it and be hungry all the time.

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Examining the sandwich… the waffle was floppy, which was disappointing. This comes back to my discussion of Dunkin’ chicken above: because they only have limited appliances with which to cook food, it’s tough to get things crispy. While I wouldn’t have wanted a super crispy waffle, it would have been nice if it had some resistance and maybe changed the texture of the sandwich, instead of relying solely on the bacon to do so.

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Floppiness aside, my first bite was pretty good.  The waffle was very good, it had a sweet taste that was definitely satisfying. The egg certainly tasted real and I had no complaints. I did get bacon in that bite as well, but there wasn’t a lot of bacon on the sandwich. The bacon was thin, so you could get some porky smokiness, but the dominant flavor of the sandwich was the waffle, egg, and cheese. It had a good taste, but the sandwich really would have been better served with more bacon. Considering the size of the sandwich, they could probably have a sufficient amount by using two full slices and cutting/folding them to cover the whole interior. There’s no good reason why they couldn’t add more and keep it around the same price.

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As I continued eating, the cheese melted and adding some moisture to the sandwich, but I think it would have been better served with an actual sauce. I could see a little drizzle of syrup and/or some hot sauce really livening up the experience. The flavors would go well, and the sandwich wouldn’t be as dry.

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I would eat the Belgian Waffle Breakfast Sandwich if I was at Dunkin’ and smelled those damn waffles. Surprisingly, considering its size, I was satisfied after I finished. I ate around 11am and wound up skipping lunch that day, which I didn’t expect. I liked the egg, the waffle had a great taste and smell, and the bacon and cheese added just enough salt and texture to make this a win. I’d probably add my own syrup or hot sauce, but that’s an easy fix, and I’d rather add my own syrup than see the sandwich drenched in it. The only qualification is the price. I have a hard time seeing value in a sandwich and iced coffee costing over $7, but if that doesn’t bother you and/or you’re feeling particularly flush in the wallet, then I’d give this a shot.

 

Welcome to Dunkin’ Donuts week! I realized I’ve never actually reviewed anything from Dunkin’ for the blog, so this week I’ll be posting on two items I’ve eaten recently to give Dunkin’ proper representation here. First up is the Reese’s Peanut Butter Square.

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Dunkin’ is pretty good about rotating new flavors into their rotation every few months to supplement the usual array of donuts. Aside from their attempt to hop on the Cronut craze (rapid reaction: it was too expensive and not good), I rarely try these new creations. Partially because I don’t eat donuts too often and when I do, I go to my favorites, and partially because they don’t always seem appetizing (I have no interest in a key lime donut). However, one morning recently, I stopped in for coffee and saw the Reese’s Peanut Butter Square. Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups are a great candy, and the idea of turning that taste into a donut was too irresistible, so I broke down and bought one. Besides, it’s not really a poor choice if it produces content for the blog, right?

As befitting a “square” and not a donut, Dunkin’ charges a premium for this pastry: $1.49, which is a hefty price to pay for a fancy donut that’s not really larger than a regular donut. It felt heavier than a regular donut, and I certainly hoped it’d be more filling, but this is expensive for what it is.

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Dunkin’ says the Reese’s Peanut Butter Square “is filled with rich and creamy Reese’s peanut buttercreme, topped with chocolate icing and finished with an orange icing drizzle.” My first bite managed to get part of the donut without any filling. There’s always one side on a Dunkin’ Donuts filled donut that doesn’t have any filling, and it’s nice to use that side as a palate cleanser. The chocolate frosting in that bite was really sweet. I’m generally a vanilla or strawberry frosted person myself, so I’m not sure if the chocolate icing is actually sweeter, or just that I wasn’t used to that particular flavor.

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As I continued to eat, I encountered the buttercreme. It wasn’t quite what I expected, but I also thought there was a chance they just filled it with peanut butter. This is probably better than peanut butter would have been. It’s texture was like a whipped cream. It did taste like a sweetened peanut butter, though more sugary than peanut buttery. I’d have preferred a little more peanut butter heavy taste, but this was good too.

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One problem is that for a donut at a premium price point, the filling seemed a little sparse. I’m guessing they use the same machine to fill all of their donuts, but I felt like this particular donut didn’t get a good squeeze. Or maybe the crevasse inside the donut was too small. The filling kept squeezing out as I bit, so perhaps there wasn’t enough room. If the donut wasn’t as wide, perhaps I could have fit the width of it in my mouth, but that isn’t possible with the square.

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When I did get all the flavors in a single bite, the chocolate icing was more prominent than the buttercreme, when I’d have preferred the reverse. But that’s a consequence of the lighter buttercreme serving more as a compliment here. The orange icing also had a chocolate taste and was mere decoration.

I guess I’d give this a qualified recommendation. While it wasn’t quite what I was expecting, the Reese’s Peanut Butter Square had good flavor, even being a touch too sweet. The first qualifier would be the price point. This is an expensive donut and it’s not really larger than a regular donut, but you’re paying 50% more. The other qualifier: is when does one eat this? Unless I’m feeling particularly gluttonous, I eat donuts with breakfast, but this is too sweet for me to eat in the morning, and I imagine most people would feel the same. Therefore, I see this particular item as more of an afternoon treat (put some of the money saved from reduced coffee prices after noon into the square price), rather than a breakfast item.