May 18, 2006

Break(fast)ing Up

It's true. Several months ago, a small, seemingly benign crack appeared in the windshield of our love. Then it began to spread like hookers in a bad neighborhood. Finally, it's on the verge of transforming that windshield into purposeless shards of glass, exposing me to the elements, leaving me with windblown hair and flies in my teeth. Dunkin Donuts, I can quit you!

It all began on a cold winter day when the store changed ownership. That's when the big chill set in. But I held onto the hope that our love could remain intact. Flourish even, in the face of such a change. But the new owner? Dismissive, cold, distant. The owner tries to charm me with superficial small-talk about the weather. Sure, maybe there's a free donut or two on occasion but the staff is different. They no longer employ local high school kids on weekends. Sure, Crazy Beatles-Loving Guy is gone, along with his inability to do simple math and count change, so that's something. But still. The donuts are the same, the coffee slightly better, but prices have gone up. Unless they learn some new freaky donut moves, I'm going to have to break it off.

Dunkin Donuts, unless you can make more of an effort, it's over. I've really wanted to stick it out, make it work. But my eyes are starting to wander. There's this other place on the corner, from the West coast, that I'm intrigued by. Such full, abundant muffins. So tall, dark and venti.

Posted by Chris at May 18, 2006 07:30 AM

Mmmm, donuts.

There is one decent donut place in town. I used to drive by it every day on my way to work. And by 'drive by it', I, of course, mean stopped and got donuts.

But now, I work on this side of town and NEVER pass the good donut place. It's been a year or more since I had warm donuts. Damnit.

Posted by: Contrary at May 18, 2006 07:37 AM

It kind of makes me sad that there aren't as many D&Ds here in NoVA. I grew up in New England where you couldn't go a mile without finding Dunkin' Donuts, and to this day it is still the only coffee I can drink.

Oh, and their blueberry cake donuts? I might have to get a cup to catch the drool produced just thinking about them.

Posted by: DCOE at May 18, 2006 07:48 AM

You know, there is not a single donut place in my town. Not one.

We have a Waffle House. Does that count for anything?

Posted by: Alissa at May 18, 2006 07:56 AM

That is sad to hear. Maybe you ought to send the manager a copy of this note.

Out DD is sad... I don't go there unless I have too. I miss my old one at home.

Posted by: Autumn at May 18, 2006 08:34 AM

Oh man. Do you know I've been craving a DD donut for weeks? I've been good too and I've been able to resist but this entry makes me want to rush out and buy a chocolate marble glazed like you don't even know. I mean, I'm sorry for your troubles but, yeah, a donut would be good right now.

Posted by: pea at May 18, 2006 08:35 AM

HA! That's great. What about Krispy Kreme? Got one of those?

Posted by: jen at May 18, 2006 08:35 AM

Dunkin Donuts has always had the best coffee. Don't break up with them, man, just use them. Keep them at arms length. Give them the old "It's not you it's me" talk. You just need some space. Then they will always be available for that booty call when the other place is closed.

Posted by: Bill at May 18, 2006 08:41 AM

Ok, I am a freak because I don't drink coffee. Don't really stop for donuts either, although sometimes I just have to get one of the chocolate ones. But my true DD addiction? The strawberry coolattas - gotta have 'em in the summer. Yum!

Posted by: Traci at May 18, 2006 08:47 AM

You'd better think about this really hard. There's nothing like a hot glazed yeast donut fresh from the oven, and don't even get me started on the cinnamon twists, and the coffee!!! Okay I need a moment to myself.

Posted by: MrsJoseGoldbloom at May 18, 2006 08:51 AM

I used to go to Roselyns, then they had that whole scandel about rat droppings. Even though the whole thing was blown out of proportion they eventually went out of business and now all that remains are people copying their donuts from the cookbooks. It just ain't the same.

I tried Krispy Kreme. But as soon as they turn on that damnable fresh donuts sign it is like walking into the third precinct in there. It doesn't matter if I haven't done anything wrong, I just get nervous around that many policemen.

Bad cop, no donut!

Posted by: Jeff A at May 18, 2006 08:53 AM

Mmm, blueberry cake donuts and strawberry coolattas. (Are they serving the coolattas yet?) Guess where I'm going this weekend!

Posted by: Fraulein N at May 18, 2006 09:04 AM

Does DD have a sister close by? You know how those muffins from the west coast can be, you have to be careful. They can be, *gasp* loaded with fat. While I don't really think it's right, I have to agree with Bill... Just use them for their coffee. (and Traci's wrong! It's the french vanilla coolatas that are killer!)

Posted by: Karen at May 18, 2006 09:11 AM

There is a musician with a Toronto band called The Rheostatics who also is a writer. He has written a few books like one about playing hockey in obscure places around the world and has even filmed some TV specials with the CBC up here in Canada. His name is Dave Bidini. Why do I bring him up you ask? Well, a few weeks back he wrote an article in the Toronto Star lamenting the demise of the old time donut shop. See, up here in Canada there is a chain called Tim Horton's which is taking over the country (because they have amazing coffee IMHO) and this has meant hard times for the average mom and pop donut shop. Your post reminded me of that article. If you get a chance, look up some of the books he has written. His wikipedia page is here:

Posted by: Mike at May 18, 2006 09:21 AM

Too bad y'all don't have Krispy Kreme.... She's such a good lover. She's always been good to me. I mean, Hot Donuts! Now!!! I'm always drawn in by her warm glow. Sadly I had to leave her in North Carolina, but there are rumors she hides out somewhere up here.

Posted by: Corinne at May 18, 2006 09:22 AM


Don't give in to the siren call of the Mermaid! DUNKIN DONUTS FOREVER!!!!


Sorry about that. I'm a DD girl, 2-gether, 4-ever. The coffee is better (sorry, all you other place goers, it's true) and how could you possibly face the day without a donut?

Do you have the drive-thru option? I find the drive-thru to be easier on my anti-social self.

Posted by: candace at May 18, 2006 09:23 AM

I can't believe you guys still have Dunkin Donuts. They're all closed down here.

Posted by: wordgirl at May 18, 2006 09:31 AM

No DDs here in StL either although there is one in a town close to my parents - go figure - but I've never had it. Do you choose DD for the donuts or for the coffee? If it's for the donuts maybe there's a good Mom-and-Pop place you could start frequenting. If it's for the coffee I must admit it is hard to beat that West coast place.

Posted by: Beth in StL at May 18, 2006 09:47 AM

We have one "franchise" donut place which I avoid but a couple of the locals are okay. One still does the baker's dozen; and several sell holes which can give the girls their sugar fix without my beating myself up with guilt over their nutrition. (I don't do guilt much anway - I believe in moderation).

No Krispy Kreme - just in the supermarkets.

Posted by: ann adams at May 18, 2006 09:48 AM

We have DD and KK and SB (Starbucks...I'm suprized no one mentioned them)....But my favorite place to frequent for coffee and donuts and bagels (they have the bitchenest vegetable cream cheese!) is this little shop called Yum-Yum's....They rock! It just seems like all the other places want to get you in and outta their establishments and always screw up the coffee (well, at least my experiences they have). Plus their prices are outrageous. At Yum-Yum's I can get a medium coffee (milk and x-tra sugar of course!) and a bagel w/ cream cheese for around $2.60. Pretty good deal if you ask me.

Posted by: Michelle at May 18, 2006 09:57 AM

Wow. I didn't think anything would EVER break you two up!

Posted by: Queen of Ass at May 18, 2006 10:01 AM

Tall, dark and venti -- ha! Just make sure they put the lid firmly on the cup, or you'll end up sponging your drink off your car door. Not that I would know anything about that.

Posted by: bad penguin at May 18, 2006 10:22 AM

Ahh, to still have a 30" waist...


Take it from me. You're better off in the long run. Remember you own the donut, not the other way around. You're waistline and arteries will thank you.
You're still young. Break it off while you have the energy. You'll be a better person for it.

Posted by: Johnny Smoke at May 18, 2006 10:32 AM

I grew up on DD and I'm spoiled for anything else. Krispy Kreme? Eh, she leaves me cold. Sadly, all the local DDs are closed, and even I'm not willing to drive two hours for a donut.

Tall, dark, and venti, though? She is on every corner. Our supermarket has two of them on site. Full of sweet, overpriced goodness. Though no donuts.

Posted by: Kate the Shrew at May 18, 2006 10:34 AM

I gotta say, I am not a D&D fan at all. I went one day with my 3 yr old son. We bought donuts and coffee and juice and then my son had to use the bathroom. They said no! To a 3yr old! So I took him outside and let him pee in front of the store. ha!

Posted by: Pinky at May 18, 2006 10:49 AM

I don't know what west coast place you're talking about but I say make the switch. New things are good. Go for it. You just might find yourself a new love.'ll never know unless you try.

You know me...I say GO MERMAID all the way. The coffee IS THE BEST. (and I'm not just saying that. lol)

Posted by: VirgoJen at May 18, 2006 10:51 AM

Are you going over to the "darkside" aka Starbucks?

My hubby does a TON of work for Starbucks. (It is the job that will NEVER END.) And he's like a crackwhore with that stuff. Good thing that when he goes to their plants he can pick up the stuff for free. He's even had to get a french press and grinder -- he's that serious.

Posted by: Lisa B at May 18, 2006 10:54 AM

Don't cave to the 'bucks man. Don't do it.

Posted by: statia at May 18, 2006 10:55 AM

Dude, Dunkin' Donuts blows. EveryDAMNtime I go there they are effing out of blueberry cake donuts and if they DO have them, they're left over from YESTERDAY. I'm sorry, but like every man, I need my fruity pastries fresh, dammit.

Posted by: andy at May 18, 2006 10:57 AM

They think they can keep pushing us around, hitting us, abusing us...but one day, it'll be too much and we have to leave. I left, Chris. You can too.

Posted by: melati at May 18, 2006 11:01 AM

Don't give up, dude. It's not the coffee's fault; it's that damn new owner. Imagine how the coffee would feel if you stopped coming by. You, who are probably the one bright spot in that sweet, sweet Dunkie's coffee's day. You wouldn't be so cruel, would you, Chris?

No, I didn't think so.

Posted by: shelley at May 18, 2006 11:16 AM

Sorry, but I have to say this: Dunkin Donuts sucks. We've got Tim Horton's and Krispy Kreme up here and between those two, DD doesn't stand a ghost of a in "does not even compare."

Posted by: Kristina at May 18, 2006 11:19 AM

Would it make any difference to you if DD used fair trade stuff? Because around Chicago several of them use fair trade beans in their specialty coffees. (I don't know about the regular coffee though) Starbucks? Does not.

And, depending on my route, I could pass up to four DD on my drive to work. The blueberry cake donut, indeed a beautiful thing.

Posted by: Hannah at May 18, 2006 11:19 AM

I think you would love Tim Horton's in Canada. Oh, the friendly service. And their little mini-donuts are called "Timbits". A little sick, but so delicious.

Posted by: Rae at May 18, 2006 11:20 AM

coooooome to the dark side. it's good for you. really. you'll never want to leave. seriously, out here? all i drink is starbucks. expand your coffee horizons. ;)

Posted by: colleen at May 18, 2006 11:23 AM

Oh, the Diddy.It is all about the diddy.

The number one thing that's wrong with The Other Place? They can make an absolutely outstanding cup of coffee, but they never clean out the hopper that the grounds go in when they pull a shot, and eventually that mung gets baked on there and burnt. Thus, much of the Sbux coffee tastes burnt. And why pay so much for what should be outstanding and is really overburnt grounds?

The DD, with their multi-franchise college of donut and coffee making skillz, they teach the proper way to make coffee. The Diddy is always good in the caffeination. The Diddy, it is God(d)ly in its majesty.

Posted by: Sarah at May 18, 2006 11:54 AM

Turns out there's a Dunkin Donuts in Barcelona. I know, it's awful to be a tacky American seeking out a U.S. chain in such a fabulous city. But the DD coffee was perfect to fuel a day of touristing about, and the donuts were necessary to to absorb the residual of the previous night's excesses. Barcelona would have been too much city for me without the DD.

Posted by: Vaguely Urban at May 18, 2006 12:23 PM

mmmm. come on over to the venti side chris. the lemon cranberry scones are to die for...(probably literally since i suspect they're laced with trans fats but oh so yummy....)

and the coffee's not bad either...

Posted by: suze at May 18, 2006 12:26 PM

Yay Rae! Tim Horton's ROCKS!! I'm like you though, Chris. I am incredibly loyal to certain delis, coffee places, really, really bad tv shows (i.e. I even sat through the last season of 90210, as painful as that was).

I actually have to say that I think your struggle with ditching DD says a lot about you. :)

Posted by: Jill at May 18, 2006 12:32 PM

Why is it that so many of your metaphors revolve around *ahem* ladies of the night? heh. Oh to be inside your brain...
On second thought, that'd be scary.

Posted by: Heather at May 18, 2006 12:33 PM

Muffins are good, but you may want to give your Dunkin Donuts another chance, I mean donuts are a part of your diet at this point. Your body might revolt at the thought of muffins.

Posted by: Melissa at May 18, 2006 12:59 PM

Give in to the call of the S'bucks coffee and scones! Or Caribou Coffee- she can fill the void left by that floozy, DD. You're a good coffee guy, Cactus, you shouldn't have to work so hard for the java love.

Posted by: MamaKaren at May 18, 2006 01:15 PM

I must be bi. I drive thru and give the mermaid a kiss as she deigns to offer me a carmel macchiato but then I zip right down the road to the neon lure of "Hot Now" for the donut portion of the day. (Heck - I could be tri - but we don't have DD here.) Best of luck, man. Breaking up is hard to do!

Posted by: Lilymane at May 18, 2006 01:41 PM


Just sayin'.

Posted by: Rhonda at May 18, 2006 02:06 PM

My relationship ended with DD some years past, I guess when they were aquired by another company. All of the DD's in the area got make overs, which on the surface wasn't a bad thing.

But they were no longer just DD. It was the combo DD and Basking Robbins stores.

The old guaranteed fresh went by the wayside. New products started creeping in, bagels, cookies, Coolatta, Dunkacinos. Too many products and not up to original standard (admission: I DO like the Coolatta).

The coffee changed... and not for the better (IMNSHO).

The donuts smaller, more expensive, and not as good as the ones "Fred the baker" used to make. (FYI - it is 24 years since the "Time to make the donuts campaign started).

Oh, I will still stop in from time to time. But it is just not the same any more.

Posted by: Latte Man at May 18, 2006 03:09 PM

I spent 1.50 on a donut today. What's wrong with the world?

Posted by: chantel at May 18, 2006 05:18 PM

I don't think we have Dunkin Donuts out here in Seattle. But when we were back East last summer, we had breakfast there everyday.


Posted by: Isabel at May 18, 2006 08:32 PM

Tall dark and venti sounds like you ditched DD for SB. Where can you get a decent cup of coffee, a tumbler off the clearance rack, and Pearl Jam CD all in 15 min before 6:30am? I usually dont get out of the car to get my coffee but today, I did and hit a gold mine!! Yay!

Posted by: Steff at May 18, 2006 10:25 PM

I don't know. Dunkin Donuts coffee is just so good. And the donuts. How I love the donuts. I am powerless over the donuts.

But that west coast place does have those kick-ass black & white cookies. And the chocolate pound cake...

I could never choose just one.

Good luck :)

Posted by: Izzy at May 18, 2006 11:28 PM

I gave up Dunkin Donuts when I moved. Now I stick to Starbucks which I figure is good. Only coffee and no donuts is still plenty fattening ;)

Posted by: Chrissie at May 19, 2006 01:15 AM

Ah, another relationship gone sour.

Love can be so, so cruel...

Seriously though, pricy though they may now be, how can you even THINK about forgoing DONUTS (I say DONUTS as in the junk food from God) and instead having muffins??

The logic in that is beyond me.

And anyway, you said it yourself; the Crazy Beatles-Loving guy who can't get your change right is gone, the donuts themselves remain unchanged and even that the coffee is slightly better:

Seems to me this is win win.


Posted by: Alice at May 19, 2006 05:02 AM

Yet another poor hapless soul succumbs to the dark side of the Left Coast coffee czars... ;)

Posted by: Marilyn at May 20, 2006 02:32 PM

Yes, YES, come to the dark side! Don't think of it as falling victim to the evil empire, think of it as supporting me. As long as we're selling coffee, I have a cushy job and a nice paycheck. Oh won't someone please think of the blogger?

Posted by: Noelle at May 22, 2006 09:54 PM