Review: Do Not Do This Dunkin' Donuts
America runs on Dunkin' — isn't that what the sign says?
I decided to take my family on a little getaway to Universal Studios over the weekend to celebrate my wife's birthday. My wife and child are OK with pounding down a couple donuts and an energy drink or two, so we went to Dunkin' Donuts. I really didn't want the whole sugar rush thing that early in the morning, so I figured I would get a healthy sandwich and a good cup of coffee, and Orlando would just be a bite and a gulp around the corner.
I've only had a few minor problems with Dunkin' Donuts over the past few years. Upon occasion you get a stale donut, or once in a while they short-cup you on the coffee, but overall they have been very good to me over the years.
I guess the Dunkin' Donuts at 808 E. Bloomingdale Ave., Brandon, decided it was time for my good run to end, and they did everything but pounce on me.
It started with me almost getting into a head-on collision with a car that was going the wrong way out of the entrance onto Bloomingdale Ave. That is certainly not the restaurant's fault, but I think the parking lot could be laid out better.
I'll post a photo and you be the judge. The photo is taken from the turning lane from eastbound Bloomingdale into the entrance to the parking lot. The lane to enter turns into the lot right near the exit lane from the drive-thru (behind the big tree on the left). There are "Do Not Enter" signs posted for cars exiting the lot into the one way entrance. Unfortunately, not everyone will obey the sign. I think it's a fairly dangerous way to run traffic at a restaurant, especially in the dim light of dawn at a 24-hour place.
As we head to the drive-thru, and all seemed well in the world — the cars are quick ordering and the line is buzzing right along until it gets to me. I'm trying to order and I can hardly hear the person calling back my order to me. I have the radio off and the fan is off on my air conditioner, so I know it's not my fault.
Finally the worker yells into the microphone and repeats my order back to me, and it's wrong. I pull out of the drive-thru and go inside to get my order right. I'm not angry, but I don't need to discover any mistakes a mile or two down the road.
I enter and order a half dozen donuts, a flatbread sandwich with egg white and turkey sausage and a big and toasty sandwich. I ordered an iced coffee and a coffee coolatta for a comparison test. It all came out quickly, and the store actually reminded me of the old cartoons where they show the crazy factory with the bizarre music in the background and everything running smoothly as the workers zipped in and out of each other's way as they took care of many customers all at once — points for the well-oiled machine working.
I left the store with hopes of enjoying my meal on the road. My wife was driving because I think it's a law that you can eat donuts while driving. I, however, was trying to handle a sandwich that seemed pretty awesome at first, at least until I found the piece of burnt bacon hiding between the Texas toast pieces. Some people love bacon that way, but not me — ruined the sandwich. Then the crust on the back side of the sandwich was grill-burnt.
Next, I tried the flatbread sandwich and found the bread cold and the turkey sausage almost fluid. It had a texture that made the meat seem undercooked even though it was warm to the touch. That sandwich is on the side of the road for the occasional feral cat's breakfast — don't worry, I threw it far enough so as not to endanger an animal.
The iced coolatta was very good, but the iced coffee left something to be desired and tasted like it was half tea. I went to a 7-Eleven on State Road 60 and got myself an iced coffee that actually tasted like coffee.
My wife and daughter said their donuts were good but then went into a taste comparison with the old donut shop that recently closed down that used a "hot" sign when their donuts were fresh off the line. Neither one used the term "fresh" when they spoke about their Dunkin' Donuts.
I'm giving these guys two stars and will travel the extra mile or two down the road to a different Dunkin' Donuts before I eat there again.
1 Star — Wouldn't go back on a bet
2 Star — Would have to go back, but only on a bet
3 Star — If I was in the neighborhood and hungry
4 Star — Would go out of my way even if I wasn't hungry
5 Star — Would make reservations and wait in a line