REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Pretzel Croissant Breakfast Sandwich

Dunkin Donuts Pretzel Croissant Breakfast Sandwich

Is salt a food?

If it wasn’t such a ridiculous answer to a question literally no one is asking me, I might say salt is my favorite food.

I use way too much salt, admittedly. I once ate a plate of pineapple with salt on it. Why? Why not? My calorie counter has stopped using numbers to log my daily sodium intake, opting to just warn me with a skull emoji.

It’s bad. Soft pretzels are ambrosia to me. Your restaurant promoting a new pretzel bun? I’m in. Salted pizza crust? Hit me. Salted anything sweet? Straight cash, homey. I really need to stop eating so much damn salt.

Ahhhhhh, but I’ll cut back tomorrow. Today is Dunkin’ Donuts Pretzel Croissant Breakfast Sandwich Day, and ain’t no death emoji gon’ stop me.

I’m from New Jersey, so there’s no shortage of good places to get a breakfast sandwich. From diners to bagel places boasting recipes that include the fabled New York tap water, I’ve never really had a reason to opt for Dunkin’ Donuts’ savory fare. I’ve dabbled, but never been too impressed. If I’m feeling fast food breakfast, I’d take a McDonald’s or Burger King over Dunkin’s in a heartbeat.

I think I’m about to change my tune.

This new salted pretzel croissant from Dunkin is so good, I feel inclined to pronounce it “Qua-sahn.” I can’t believe how blown away I was by a $3 sandwich from a donut joint.

It had all the elements of a delicious qua-sahn AND a delicious soft pretzel. The exterior was crispy, but still flakey and soft. While it was flakey and soft, it was still structurally fit to hold a sandwich together.

Dunkin Donuts Pretzel Croissant Breakfast Sandwich 2

It had a subtle buttery taste that reminded me of an Auntie Anne’s mall pretzel. As far as the salt goes, I may have gotten a lucky draw. There was a perfect amount of exterior salt crystals, so I didn’t have to do my usual salt bagel routine and scrape some off with a butter knife. The salt crystals did their job giving me my extra salt boost, while also providing a welcome crunch.

I basically went into this knowing I’d love the croissant, but thought I’d hate the contents of the sandwich itself. Dunkin’s bacon always looked flimsy and gross, and that filet of plastic egg they use never seemed all that palatable either, but I’ve been enlightened.

Dunkin Donuts Pretzel Croissant Breakfast Sandwich 3

The sandwich was supposed to come with black forest ham, but I suspect I got bacon. That looks like bacon, no? It tasted like bacon. Either way, the bacon/ham was flavorful and didn’t chew like pure gristle. The egg patty was standard, but had a nice texture to it, and the melted piece of Wisconsin aged white cheddar brought it all together.

Maybe it was just the pretzel qua-sahn high I was on, but the flavors and textures all married to form a nearly perfect breakfast sandwich. If you’re a savory-sweet fanatic, chasing this with a donut might ruin your afternoon, but it’ll probably make for a fantastic morning.

Look folks, I’ve never been to Paris. I’ve probably never had a gourmet qua-sahn in my life, so this review might seem a bit hyperbolic. That being said, I really think it’ll pleasantly surprise you.

I’ve never been a repeat buyer of a Dunkin savory menu item, but I will be now. Not only was this sandwich awesome, they sell the pretzel croissants separately, so you can probably customize them however you please if you ask nicely. Give it a shot.

(Nutrition Facts – 500 calories, 300 calories from fat, 33 grams of fat, 15 grams of saturated fat, 1 grams of trans fat, 200 milligrams of cholesterol, 1270 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of dietary fiber, 4 grams of sugar, and 22 grams of protein..)

Purchased Price: $3.79
Size: N/A
Rating: 9 out of 10
Pros: Crispy, flakey, buttery, salty, delicious. Egg and bacon/ham weren’t gross. Aged cheddar was a great cheese choice. Dunkin coming through in the savory department.
Cons: Was gone in five bites. Probably not the best start to your day. Sodium addiction. Trolling calorie counting apps.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Peanut Butter Delight Croissant Donut and Chocolate Pretzel Donut

Dunkin Donuts Peanut Butter Delight Croissant Donut and Chocolate Pretzel Donut

Gee, I wonder how they got the peanut butter inside??

Dunkin Donuts Peanut Butter Delight Croissant Donut and Chocolate Pretzel Donut 2

Sorry to dive straight in, but I must address the appearance of this specimen I purchased because I’ve been obsessing over it since my first horrified glance. With messy holes on top and peanut butter smears, this Croissant Donut looks like I caught it mid-hangover after a night of serious debauchery. 

But, since these are locally-made items, there’s a good chance yours will be a well-rested, finishing-school graduate that keeps its holes underneath. Hence, I won’t ding it points-wise.

Back to our regularly scheduled review. 

Chocolate, peanut butter, caramel, pretzels – I love all these things, so I had very high expectations for both these doughnuts. I did not try the coffee pairings – I despise coffee. Let me break these guys down separately because they’re rather different creatures.

Peanut Butter Delight Croissant Donut

This isn’t really a Croissant Donut. It’s light and fluffy with large air pockets, but it’s missing a critical component: layers. Croissants and croissant donuts are made with laminated dough – many thin sheets of pastry with butter between. One should be able to pull a proper croissant donut apart layer by layer – this was not the case here.

Dunkin Donuts Peanut Butter Delight Croissant Donut and Chocolate Pretzel Donut 3

It wasn’t a bad donut, just mis-named. The taste and texture of the donut itself, sugar glaze and chocolate drizzle were lovely. This isn’t the peanut butter bomb I expected, however. A peanutty scent only became apparent when I sniffed closely. The frosting filling was just a hair on the sweet side for me. Straight-up PB inside would’ve been better – letting the glaze and chocolate drizzle sweeten it.

Chocolate Pretzel Donut

Dunkin Donuts Peanut Butter Delight Croissant Donut and Chocolate Pretzel Donut 4

The aroma of this was almost indistinguishable from DD’s regular chocolate cake doughnut (which I love). Mine seemed very light on caramel drizzle – I wonder if more would change the smell. 

The texture was also similar to the base model – moist, velvety cake. While the pretzel bits were a little soft, I liked that — it added a small crunch without stabbing the roof of my mouth with pretzel shards.

Dunkin Donuts Peanut Butter Delight Croissant Donut and Chocolate Pretzel Donut 5

Again, the predominant taste was the basic DD glazed chocolate cake. Caramel flavor was very subtle, presumably due to the sparse drizzle. There wasn’t much (if any) salt on the pretzels or donut, which was disappointing. The only thing that differentiated these from Dunkin’s regular chocolate cake donuts was the taste and texture of the pretzel bits. But as a fan of the original, that’s OK with me.

While they’re both perfectly enjoyable donuts, they fell short of great.

Dunkin Donuts Peanut Butter Delight Croissant Donut and Chocolate Pretzel Donut 6

(Nutrition Facts – Peanut Butter Delight Croissant Donut 410 calories, 190 calories from fat, 21 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 360 milligrams of sodium, 49 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 25 grams of sugar, and 6 grams of protein. Chocolate Pretzel Donut – 400 calories, 200 calories from fat, 23 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 0 milligrams of cholesterol, 530 milligrams of sodium, 44 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of dietary fiber, 19 grams of sugar, and 4 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $2.00 for two
Size: N/A
Rating: 6 out of 10 (PB Delight)
Pros: Nice airy donut base, glaze and chocolate drizzle.
Cons: Might look like it was baked by a one-eyed raccoon. Like my hair – needs layers! PB frosting filling goes to 11 on the sweet scale.
Rating: 7 out of 10 (Chocolate Pretzel)
Pros: Good (familiar) chocolate cake base, non-dangerous pretzel shards.
Cons: Needs salt! (In fairness, I say this about almost every food I eat.) More caramel, please.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Bacon Supreme Omelet Breakfast Sandwich

Dunkin' Donuts Bacon Supreme Omelet Breakfast Sandwich

Supreme is, undoubtedly, one of my favorite adjectives. It has a connotation that’s both physically big and exceptional, not to mention it lends its name to the highest court in America, a groundbreaking female vocal group, and that mysterious bad guy we saw in The Force Awakens.

Supreme is bigger, better, and tastier than super. Supreme is what superb aspires to be but will never be. Supreme is what adults say when they want to describe something but don’t want the ambiguity of stupendous.

Dunkin' Donuts Bacon Supreme Omelet Breakfast Sandwich 2

Dunkin’ Donuts’ Bacon Supreme Omelet Breakfast Sandwich does not look like it deserves the title supreme. Flatter than a pancake and shoved into an America Runs on Dunkin’ bag amidst the morning rush hour, its appearance might best be described as, “that’s it?”

But looks can be deceiving, and when it comes to taste, the Bacon Supreme Omelet Breakfast Sandwich delivers.

But first, a word about croissants. Yes, the French can be annoying. Likewise, I understand southern food and, by extension, biscuits are all the rage in breakfast sandwich land. But I don’t care, because even in it’s smushed, mass-produced form, a croissant is a supreme choice for a breakfast sandwich bread.

Dunkin' Donuts Bacon Supreme Omelet Breakfast Sandwich 4

Dunkin’s version is buttery, slightly sweet, and wonderfully compliments the hearty egg mixture. While that mixture isn’t much to look at, it has crunchy bits of flavorful potatoes, peppers, and onions, not to mention just a rich eggy flavor. A slice of perfectly melted, salty American cheese helps bring the flavors together. Finally, the bacon is exceptional. If Arby’s bacon is brown sugar bacon is divisive, then Dunkin’s bacon is a great uniter. It’s meaty and smoky, with that perfect combination of crispness and fat to appease all bacon lovers.

Dunkin' Donuts Bacon Supreme Omelet Breakfast Sandwich 3

For as wonderful as the buttery croissant, gooey American cheese, smoky bacon, and egg and pepper mixture come together, I found the taste exactly like it sounds: a bit heavy. It’s rich and fatty and salty and everything else I want in a supreme breakfast sandwich, but it’s also missing an element of sweetness and relief.  

I won’t lie to you; I grew up eating eggs with ketchup, and that’s exactly what I wished I had grabbed after my first few bites of the sandwich. While I doubt ketchup is something the Dunkin’ test kitchen chefs would consider, I do think the sweet crunchy flavor of good old fashioned, fresh sliced tomatoes would make a world of difference. A slice of Romaine lettuce, too, would go a long way to cementing the sandwich in the premium category, not to mention boost its aesthetic appeal beyond smushed UFO-looking vehicle of saturated fat and sodium (not that I’m complaining).

Dunkin’ Donuts’ Bacon Supreme Omelet Breakfast Sandwich is definitely super, and maybe even makes the case for superb, but without a bit of sweetness and extra heft, it’s not quite the supreme it could be. Nevertheless, it’s a tasty addition to Dunkin’s menu and a hearty start to any day.

(Nutrition Facts – 600 calories, 37 grams of fat, 16 grams of saturated fat, 0.5 grams of trans fat, 245 milligrams of cholesterol, 1200 milligrams of sodium, 43 grams of carbohydrates, 2 gram of fiber, 6 grams of sugar, and 23 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Dunkin’ Donuts
Rating: 7 out of 10
Pros: Croissant has buttery, savory flavor that compliments the eggs perfectly. American cheese is wonderfully melted into the nooks and crannies of the croissant. Egg mixture is flavorful with ideal texture. Hearty, put-you-to-sleep type sandwich.
Cons: Could use more bacon to increase coverage to every bite. Needs an element of sweetness or relief from tomatoes. Potatoes don’t make much of an impact. Hearty, put-you-to-sleep type sandwich.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Sausage GranDDe Burrito

Dunkin' Donuts Sausage GranDDe Burrito

Burritos have been getting some bad press recently. From E.coli to a firefighter punching a homeless guy while waiting in line for one, the burrito is suffering from a serious PR crisis.

Enter Dunkin’ Donuts to save the day.

Dunkin’ recently announced the GranDDe Burrito – a new breakfast amalgamation, offered in both sausage and veGGie varieties. Props to the Dunkin’ marketing team for the puNNy name. It sure made me giGGle when I saw the coMMercial on the bOOb tube. I knew I just had to scuRRY to my local DD right away!

Okay. I’ll stop.

The burrito features a spicy omelet, cheese, beans, rice, corn, fire-roasted peppers, and onions wrapped in a flour tortilla, a mixture that DD suggests is JAM (emphasis theirs) packed with authentic southwest flavor. Their website also suggests that the burrito is SO (emphasis mine) heavy that you might not be able to pick it up. If that’s the case, my trips to the gym are going to need to get a lot more frequent.

After ordering my sausage burrito, I watched the Dunkin’ employee unceremoniously plop the frozen wrap onto a tray and jam it in the oven. When it was finished “cooking” the burrito got swaddled in an aluminum foil blanket, which I can only imagine is Dunkin’s attempt to bump up the authenticity factor and make me feel like I’ve stepped into a New Mexican tacqueria. Albeit it’s a tacqueria that also sells frosted donuts, but I digress.

Once I sat down, I noticed the burrito wasn’t that granDDe at all. It’s definitely smaLLer than what you’d get at Chipotle or Qdoba, but thankfully it’s half the price of what you’d find there. Upon unwrapping, I noticed that the GranDDe Burrito resembled a convenience store microwave version, complete with areas of soft and hard tortilla, and grease spots where the filling had soaked through the wrap. Authenticity!

Dunkin' Donuts Sausage GranDDe Burrito 2

Since the GranDDe burrito is not a freshly made product, the contents are layered one-by-one rather than mixed together and spread throughout. With my initial bites, I could clearly identify the omelet and sausage, but by the end, all that’s left were the rice and veggies. Thankfully the pepper, onion, and cheese did a great job at amping up the flavor, but the egg lacked any punch and got lost amongst the burrito’s other ingredients.

Dunkin' Donuts Sausage GranDDe Burrito 3

Similarly, the rice was too mushy to stand out, which makes me wonder who thought it was a great idea to put rice into a frozen breakfast burrito in the first place. I feel like a salsa or picante sauce would’ve done a great job at rounding out the taste, but the only things I could find in the disorganized Dunkin’ condiment bar were ketchup and Splenda. Guess I need to pull a Beyonce next time.

All in all, you’re getting your money’s worth with the GranDDe Burrito, but don’t expect it to be a bastion of southwest flavor (which I know you weren’t even expecting anyways).

(Nutrition Facts – 1 burrito (sausage) – 710 calories, 370 calories from fat, 41 grams of fat, 17 grams of saturated fat, 1 gram of trans fat, 225 milligrams of cholesterol, 1660 milligrams of sodium, 56 grams of carbohydrates, 6 grams of fiber, 5 grams of sugar, 30 grams of protein.)

Purchased Price: $3.99
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Dunkin’ Donuts
Rating: 6 out of 10
Pros: Good for bicep curls. Wrapped in swaddling clothes. Double D’s. A filling meal for the price.
Cons: Burritos in the tabloids. Soft spots and hard spots. Mushy mouthfeel. Vaguely southwest.

REVIEW: Dunkin’ Donuts Fudge Croissant Donut

Dunkin' Donuts Fudge Croissant Donut

I sometimes allow myself to think that maybe, just maybe, some research and development person in the fast casual industry will hear my ideas and implement them. Usually this isn’t the case, but my 2014 review of Dunkin’ Donuts’ Croissant Donut might’ve been the catalyst for Dunkin’s new Fudge Croissant Donut.

…the single-flavor fails to capitalize on a host of sweet croissant fillings, while coming across as overpriced and, yes, mass-produced. There was a part of me which wanted more distinctiveness in the interior layers, wishing for a truly pick-apart dough which was layered with chocolate or marzipan or any number of fillings.

Ok, so maybe attributing Dunkin’s latest donut to me and me alone is arrogant and presumptuous. But I know I wasn’t the only one who liked the original “Cronut” imitator but also thought it could be better. And since chocolate croissants are the logical first step from plain croissants, it only made sense that if Dunkin just added a chocolate filling to their Croissant Donut, it would be a game-changer.

Dunkin' Donuts Fudge Croissant Donut 2

Unfortunately, what Dunkin Donuts is piping into the many laminated layers of flaky croissant-donut dough is not fudge. There is definitely a strong, almost-dark cocoa flavor on the back-end, but the mixture itself is far from the buttery, milky, and intensely chocolaty experience you should get from fudge. It’s also not the hardened and concentrated pain au chocolat filling you might see in a real pastry. Instead, it’s somewhat viscous and tastes like artificially-thickened chocolate syrup. But most of all, it immediately comes across as far too sweet.

Also too sweet are the chocolate and white icings, which lack richness and taste mostly of hardened sugar. Granted, each drizzle is applied with impeccable craftsmanship, but for $2.49, I would hope the Croissant Donut’s value exceeds the aesthetic.

The cloying taste of the icing and the faux fudge might offset a genuine croissant, but because the Croissant Donut is already glazed with a thick and hardened coating of donut glaze, each bite is just sugar on top of sugar. Where the original version of Dunkin’s mashup had some of the savory, buttery aftertaste of croissant dough, this version betrayed too much of its mass-produced donut origins.

Dunkin' Donuts Fudge Croissant Donut 3

Speaking of donut origins, the texture definitely takes a step back from the original croissant donut; the layers are there, but they’re more fluffy than crispy, giving way with even the slightest pressure.

If Dunkin Donuts’s Fudge Croissant Donut was a hit, I’d for sure take credit for its existence and possibly even sue the company for copyright infringement. As it stands, I’ll save myself the legal hassle and just call it like I taste it: the Fudge Croissant Donut is an overpriced sugar bomb, and does neither a chocolate croissant nor a chocolate-iced donut justice.

(Nutritional Facts – 400 calories, 20 grams of fat, 12 grams of saturated fat, 0 grams of trans fat, 25 milligrams of cholesterol, 300 milligrams of sodium, 50 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of fiber, 25 grams of sugar, and 5 grams of protein.)

Item: Dunkin’ Donuts Fudge Croissant Donut
Purchased Price: $2.49
Size: N/A
Purchased at: Dunkin’ Donuts
Rating: 5 out of 10
Pros: Addition of chocolate filling into Croissant Donut. Indulgent dark cocoa flavored filling gets good coverage throughout the interior layers. Possible hope that fast casual research and development people read my reviews. Saving money on legal fees.
Cons: Chocolate filling doesn’t taste buttery or milky like “fudge”. Novelty of the croissant layers gets lost in the overly cloying icing and donut glaze. Too much donut taste and not enough buttery balance. More than half a day’s saturated fat.