Dunkin’ Donuts went above and beyond for National Doughnut Day this year. The chain took its celebration of the self-appointed holiday a step further than the requisite complimentary doughnuts for customers and rolled out a new item on menus nationwide Friday: the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich. Dunkin’ market-tested the sweet and savory combo at its stores in eastern Massachusetts (the heart of Dunkin’ country) in April, amid considerable buzz, and on Friday it landed on the permanent menu.
First, the basics: the Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich consists of a fried egg and thin strips of bacon situated between two halves of a glazed donut. It’s far from nutritious, but not quite the junk bomb you might think: each sandwich has 360 calories, 20 grams of fat, and 13 grams of sugar. Prices will vary, but our sample sandwich from a store in Boston cost $2.99 plus tax.
For Dunkin’ Donuts, the sandwich exemplifies one side of a dual public image that it and many other fast food chains have worked to exhibit in recent years. On one hand, they're working to appear healthier, with offerings like egg white sandwiches and turkey sausage. On the other, there’s a race to see who can offer the most outrageous, decadent item on their menu and pique the interest of a younger crowd (one that, they hope, will be drawn in by the publicity stunt food and stay for the salads and egg whites). McDonald’s has the McRib, Burger King has a bacon ice cream sundae, and Taco Bell has the wildly successful Doritos Locos tacos. And now Dunkin’ Donuts has a breakfast sandwich with a doughnut for bread.
So is it any good? Several members of the Monitor newsroom sampled the sandwich, and reactions ranged from enthusiastic to horrified:
“Smells great! If it were just the smell I could eat this every day. Surprisingly complex. You get this sugary blast but also these savory notes. Is anyone eating these extras?” – David J. Unger, Energy and Environment
“It’s sweet and savory, like bacon and syrup together. Darn, I didn’t want to like it, but I do.” – Clayton Collins, Weekly Editor
“It tastes like fried dough at the fair. I’m getting a lot of doughnut.” – Alicia Pflaumer, Web team.
The positive for geographical reasons:
“I love it. Maybe it’s because I’m from Indiana.” – Casey Lee, Books
“It’s like really low-rent Southern food. Which is to say it’s not bad!” – Marshall Ingwerson, Managing Editor
“Sweet and eggy. If I didn’t have anything else to eat for breakfast, I’d be grateful for this.” – Mark Trumbull, National News
“It’s not as bad as I thought it was going to be.” – Akane Otani, Business
“Subbing out bread for a donut wasn't the worst thing that could have happened to that sandwich, but it wasn't the best either.” – Ryan Lenora Brown, National and International News, via Twitter
“I was most disappointed by the egg.” – Schuyler Velasco, Business
“I was really excited, but it was just uncomfortable for me.” – Colby Bermel, OpEd and PMAD desks
“Oh, man, that’s disgusting…I don’t like this at all…I need to throw this away now.” – Andrew Averill, Cover desk
The curious, from a distance:
“I just want to look at it.” – Jenna Fisher, Asia Editor