Dunkin Continues to Delight Beyond the Donut
Over the past five weeks, I’ve been participating in a unique campaign with Dunkin Donuts Lebanon. The aim is to capture and spotlight awesome customer service in action, which will eventually be rewarded with a prize trip to the most outstanding staff member.
How do I fit in? Think of me, and nearly a dozen other social media stewards, as a mystery shopper. I have the opportunity to visit outlets at will, interact with DD personnel, and watch my order materialize.
The upside, of course, is that I’ve gotten major exposure to the extensive menu at Dunkin Donuts, which, believe it or not, transcends America’s favorite pastry and the accompanying cup of Joe. You could literally waltz up to DD and have a picnic without ever coming near the donut (I dare you to!).
|There's a whole lot more to DD Lebanon than the standard donut and cup of coffee!|
Here’s a quick tour of what the menu has to offer, comprising mostly permanent items and a few perhaps seasonal – we’ll have to see what becomes of the #DunkinMagic delights!
In the savory selection, cozy up to the bagel, a lifesaver-shaped carb carrier like its cousin the donut. DD boasts sesame, multi-cereal, poppy-seed and plain varieties, all of which can be filled with combinations of cheese, cream cheese, jam, turkey, or ham. Staff go to lengths to toast your bagel, too, so you need not nibble on the doughy specimen. Upon request, supplement your bagel with lettuce, tomato, pickles, olives, mustard and/or mayo.
The croissants are indisputably excellent. Neither suffering from flakiness nor excess butter, they’re light, airy, layered, and golden brown. Each has its own flavor profile, from the nutty zaatar to the luscious chocolate cream (not to be confused with pain au chocolat). You can also opt to stuff a plain croissant with an egg patty, cheese, and/or deli (choice of ham or turkey).
|Cheese- and egg-stuffed croissant with all the fixings|
Don’t be deceived by the seemingly dull-looking sandwiches tucked in plastic sleeves behind the fridge display. They quickly come to life after a few minutes of toasting, as I happily discovered with the grilled veggie halloumi focaccia slathered with pesto dressing. In the sandwich line-up, there’s margherita, trio cheese, feta focaccia, chicken Caesar ciabatta, turkey & cheese ciabatta, and crab or tuna baguette, in addition to club sandwiches, but I have yet to sample those, no doubt convenient for the take-out crowd.
|A wholesome meal of grilled veggies and halloumi on toasted focaccia, |
washed down with fresh apple juice
|Close-up of the grilled veggies and halloumi focaccia sandwich|
I was pleasantly surprised with the chicken pasta salad, which boasts tricolore fusilli with cherry tomatoes, finely diced cucumber, grated Parmesan, and five slender slices of chicken breast. Admittedly stingy on the protein and veg, the salad was nevertheless filling, as carbs are wont to be.
|Chicken Pasta Mix|
All right, all right – I’ll segue to the sweets! My two favorite donuts at DD are hands down blueberry cake and cinnamon bun (which can be enjoyed in frosted chocolate format, too!). Cake donuts are my cup of tea, and I wish DD would expand this category to encompass more than chocolate glazed, chocolate frosted, and chocolate coconut.
Can you imagine a red velvet donut with cream cheese frosting? Or a birthday cake donut with vanilla frosting and confetti sprinkles? I’m drooling just dreaming up the possibilities!
There are baked goods like chocolate chip and double chocolate chip muffins which prove fresh, fluffy and flavorful. I found a healthy, wholesome option in the oatmeal cookie, shunning refined sugar for honey and wafting aromatically of it. But you have to hunt it down, as only one or two get delivered to each branch daily. (DD’s target audience isn't exactly weight watchers!)
|Chocolate chip muffin|
For refreshing novelties, the strawberry, mango, and lemonade coolattas will do the trick, and you’ll be pleased to know they’re made from crushed ice and real fruit (thank you Supervisor Hussein from Beirut Souks for that fun fact!).
|Strawberry and mango coolattas|
New this summer to DD are the #DunkinMagic ice cream cups and cones featuring vanilla soft-serve decked with chocolate-, caramel-, or strawberry-themed mini donuts.
|Soft-serve vanilla ice cream topped with chocolaty flakes and a mini frosted donut|
For something truly decadent and thrill-inducing, try the Four Berries or Chocolate Hazelnut Magic in A Cup. Let’s break it down. First, the lip of the cup is dipped in chocolate and rolled in either rock candy or chocolaty flakes. Then, said cup is filled with a creamy liquid concoction, the former akin to a fruit smoothie, the latter inspired by chocolate milk and spiked with coffee. Whipped cream forms a cap before a drizzle of syrup and a handful of candies or more choco flakes descend upon it, with the proverbial cherry on top embodied in a mini donut. At first glance, it screams kid’s drink, but I had no shame or regret enjoying this in the public eye of Beirut Souks.
|The Four Berries Magic in a Cup|
There’s still much for me to explore at DD – Chocolate Hazelnut Magic, I’m looking at you! I also need to go back to the basics. Should I be stoned for never having sunk my teeth in DD’s best-selling donut, the Boston Crème Pie? My calorie radar goes berserk every time I eye it.
And one of these days, I’m praying I stumble upon the diet snacks: zaatar ruler, cheese pie, apple puff, and chocolate brownie. After touring a dozen DD outlets, I’m starting to think they’re as mythical as unicorns.
Yes, yes, I know. This is a donut shop, not Diet Delights! But a girl can dream, can't she?
|Totally coordinated the nail polish and font color!|
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