As with most of Dunkin’ Donuts new offerings, I approached the new “Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich” with more than a little bit of a raised eyebrow. The sandwich, part of the recent trend in fast food to shock-and-awe the consumer into a purchase, follows KFC’s infamous “Double Down,” the Taco Bell tacos made out of giant Doritos, and whatever that thing is from Denny’s that has all the fried mozzarella sticks jammed into it, down the hallowed halls of fast food excess.
The sandwich, no doubt inspired by Paula Deen’s own experiments with glazed donuts stuffed with meat, consists of a fried egg, bacon, and – wait, did I say regular-old bacon? I’m not doing this description justice. I’d better give the marketing wizards at Dunkin’ Donuts their propers:
“We’ve gone and changed breakfast forever. Again. Bite into this smorgasbord of bacon slices and pepper fried egg, sandwiched by a Glazed Donut.”
You see that? I was eating breakfast history, and I didn’t even know it. Breakfast history, served with a smorgasbord of bacon slices (which according to my inspection, presumably must mean “one slice of bacon cut in half”), and a pepper-fried egg, whatever that may be.
My first impression was surprisingly positive. The microwaved heat from the sandwich’s ingredients had liquefied some of the glaze on the donut, allowing it to coat my fingers and give the donut more of a “freshly-baked” feeling. I was prepared to be utterly turned off by the combination of sweet and savory, the excess of food science run completely amok right inside the otherwise comfy confines of my car. After all, if this sandwich wasn’t going to dropkick my tongue into my face with a stunning explosion of flavor, what would be the point? It is a sandwich that is, after all, CHANGING BREAKFAST FOREVER. AGAIN.
Let’s make something clear. This is a totally fine breakfast sandwich. And in a way, that’s kind of where it fails. Because Dunkin’ Donuts so clearly wants to start The Next Internet Sensation by shocking us with unexpected ingredients, the fact that the sandwich is somehow not at all shocking feels like kind of a letdown. The donut was light, flaky, and very sweet. The bacon was smoky. The egg was barely a factor. A’ight.
In fact, at a comparatively sane 360 calories and 20 grams of fat, it’s not even the worst thing on the breakfast menu, in terms of “healthiness,” a term I use very loosely. The “Big ‘n’ Toasted,” for example, clocks in at 530 calories with 28 grams of fat, and the “Sausage Egg and Cheese Croissant” is even worse, with 620 calories and 26 grams of fat.
The only reason for this “meh” reaction to what is clearly (at least on paper) an OUTRAGEOUS idea is this: Dunkin’ Donuts has made ALL of its food into Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwiches. Everything on the menu tastes like this. The bagels are weirdly sweet. The muffins taste like giant donuts. The croissants taste like giant muffins. The coffee is either mint chocolate chip flavored, or is served as a milkshake, topped with whipped cream. Every item of food on the menu has been turned into big microwaved bags of pre-chewed, sweetened pablum, baby food for us to eat in our cars on the way to work.
It’s all such total sugary sensory overload, that the “Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich” barely even registers. In today’s fast-food climate, a breakfast sandwich would HAVE to be served on a donut, for us to even be able to taste it, or notice that we’ve even eaten something.
It neither shocks, nor inspires, nor ever needs to be eaten again. It only exists, because of course it does.
[Top photo: Dunkin' Donuts]