Funky Dunkin'

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This week, Dunkin’ Donuts launched the new DDSmart breakfast menu. Featuring a new muffin, low-cal smoothies and two egg-white omelet sandwiches, the menu is meant to appeal to calorie-conscious people who, for some reason, think that muffins and breakfast sandwiches are diet food.

As long-time snack enthusiasts, we were excited at the prospect of a morning time booze sponge that is slightly less bad for us and, featuring ingredients like flatbread and turkey sausage, speaks to our aspirational eating habits.

The first day the new menu was available, we tried three stores—none of which had the items or knew what we were talking about—before just ordering chocolate-coconut donuts and calling the whole thing off. Today, there was better luck.

We ordered a multi-grain bagel with light cream cheese, both egg white sandwiches, the reduced-fat blueberry muffin and the reduced-calorie berry smoothie. Once everything was laid out on a filing cabinet, we dug in. Below, a play-by-play.

The Bagel: As a lifelong Jew, I know a good bagel when I meet one. And as a former resident of Massachusetts, where Dunkin Donuts is a religion, I have come to accept their dough rounds as bagels. The bread wasn’t the problem here. A slick, purple schmear of berry-flavored cream cheese gave the whole thing a plastic, fruity taste. Sub out the sweet stuff for a side of chive and this could be doable. At 380 calories before you add any toppings, though—and even with all of the whole grains and iron that it packs—this one is a gut buster.

The Eggs: Of the two sandwiches, one with veggies and cheese and another with turkey sausage, the latter was the group’s favorite. The bread was crispy, the egg-product was hot, and, on the whole, if we were looking for something to shove down the hatch while running down the stairs to catch the subway, this would do the trick. The other sandwich, which might have spent less time in the oven, was a bit flimsy and had lost some of the appeal that comes from tossing hot food into your gaping maw. At 290 and 280 calories though, these are worth a second thought against the classic bacon, egg and cheese from the corner deli. Though real scrambled eggs (yolk or not) will beat out the microwave kind any time.

The Muffin: As far as low-fat muffins go, this one was fine. Overly sweet and, once the top was devoured, crumbly. If you’re looking for a healthy breakfast, grab a banana. If you want a muffin, order the Dunkin’ coffee cake variety and live a little.

The Smoothie: Have you ever left a mixture of that fruity, kids yogurt, sugar and coffee creamer in the freezer and then poured it into a giant glass and called it breakfast? No? Oh, Dunkin Donuts has.

In conclusion, while the choice to make healthier breakfast options available to people who frequent donut shops is an admirable one, the items—not unlike the egg sandwiches—come across half-baked.

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