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Donut Wars

I saw something that I never thought I’d see here in Indianapolis:

A Dunkin’ Donuts! In Indy! Don’t they know this is Krispy Kreme country? Actually, the south is the die-hard Krispy Kreme territory and Indiana is more like a border state. I sense a turf war coming on. I hope I don’t get caught in the crossfire when donut shop employees start shooting donut holes at one another. Dunkin’ Donuts is mostly a northeastern and mid-Atlantic food chain. When I visited Boston last year there seemed to be one on every corner. It reminded me of the movie Demolition Man where in the future all restaurants are Taco Bell. In Boston all restaurants are Dunkin’ Donuts. According to Inside Indiana Business, Dunkin’ Donuts plans to open 80 new stores in the Indianapolis area in the next 6 years. The first two opened in September and they even donated money to the Special Olympics at the opening to make people like them.

There are only a couple Krispy Kremes in Indianapolis and none of them are near me. However, the local Kroger sells boxes of them, usually located near the front of the store in an evil marketing campaign to get people to break their diets (which worked rather well back in 2004 when I fell off the wagon.) I don’t think I’ve eaten any Dunkin’ Donuts recently, nor do I have any plans to, so I don’t know whose product is actually superior. I do have several childhood memories associated with Krispy Kreme though. We’d eat them before quick recall tournaments. It was fun driving by a store and seeing the light turned on to indicate donuts were fresh and hot out of the oven. Krispy Kreme glazed donuts are best eaten hot. Once when I was waiting in a long drive-through line with a friend they actually gave us free donuts to apologize for the wait. So, even though I don’t really eat donuts much anymore, my loyalty is with Krispy Kreme.

The interesting thing is that according to an article originally published by The Boston Globe, Dunkin Donuts is a “coffee company disguised as a doughnut company. Fifty percent of their sales come from coffee, whereas Krispy Kreme does 90% of its sales in donuts. I guess you do need something to dunk your donut in if your store is called Dunkin Donuts. Starbucks is one of their main competitors, which is funny since a Starbucks just opened on my way to work. It’s screwed up my traffic pattern since people now pull out of the parking lot directly at the point in the right lane where I usually merge into it. There was already one Starbucks on the way to work, but somebody got shot in their parking lot the other month. Be careful, you want the drive-through not a drive-by. Thankfully, I don’t like coffee, otherwise I might think the makers of full-fat lattes were stalking me. It’s harder to avoid tasty foods when they start plopping them down right there on your daily travel routes.

There is also a White Castle on the way home from work, which they tore down and rebuilt recently. There is a time in my life when the two-month disappearance of small, square burgers would have been devastating to me. If I had never lost weight, I’m sure I would have been stopping at that conveniently placed fast-food restaurant all the time. Thankfully, I learned how to cook and I’m not dependent on my ability to roll down a window to get a meal, so I was completely unaffected by its demolition and reappearance. I think the appearance of these 80 Dunkin’ Donuts will similarly have little affect on me. It’ll be just one more place to drive by without driving through. And hopefully no one will get shot there, with bullets or donut holes.

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50 Comments

CurvyJones • October 23, 2007 at 9:15 am

Doughnuts are the DEVIL!!!

I am planning on a little celebration next month and I am making them homemade. I can’t wait. I’m more excited about doughnuts than Christmas at this point!

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Laura • October 23, 2007 at 9:17 am

I live in the South (Georgia) and we have both Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme. Both are popoular because they are so different. We only eat Krispy Kreme when the ‘Hot’ sign is on, because it’s a totally different donut than the cold ones (it takes like hot, spun sugar and literall melts in your mouth). Dunkin’ make great cake style and decorated and filled donuts.

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MB • October 23, 2007 at 9:30 am

There are 5 DD’s within walking distance of my house and 5 within walking distance of my office with a few Starbucks in between. The lines are out the door at 8:50 am and people definitely go for the coffee more than the donuts.

A few years ago they opened a Krispy Kreme in the neighborhood and they had to have a police detail to direct traffic because it was so crowded. They have since closed down.

In Boston it is all about the coffee which is why I think the Krispy Kreme didn’t make it in the long run. I used to spend almost $10/day on DD coffee but now drink tea most of the time. It is healthier and much less expensive.

I’ve never had a White Castle burger but I’m glad they don’t sell them around here.

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john • October 23, 2007 at 9:54 am

I am quite lucky there are no White Castle’s nor Krispy Kreme’s within a 15 mile radius.

Mmmm, sliders…

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • October 23, 2007 at 10:09 am

According to the duck tours, Boston has 90 Dunkin’ Donuts. In Columbus, Ohio, we have both Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme. However, our Dunkin’ Donuts are also Baskin Robins Ice Cream. Aaaaaah!

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • October 23, 2007 at 10:09 am

According to the duck tours, Boston has 90 Dunkin’ Donuts. In Columbus, Ohio, we have both Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme. However, our Dunkin’ Donuts are also Baskin Robins Ice Cream. Aaaaaah!

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • October 23, 2007 at 10:09 am

According to the duck tours, Boston has 90 Dunkin’ Donuts. In Columbus, Ohio, we have both Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme. However, our Dunkin’ Donuts are also Baskin Robins Ice Cream. Aaaaaah!

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • October 23, 2007 at 10:09 am

According to the duck tours, Boston has 90 Dunkin’ Donuts. In Columbus, Ohio, we have both Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme. However, our Dunkin’ Donuts are also Baskin Robins Ice Cream. Aaaaaah!

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • October 23, 2007 at 10:09 am

According to the duck tours, Boston has 90 Dunkin’ Donuts. In Columbus, Ohio, we have both Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme. However, our Dunkin’ Donuts are also Baskin Robins Ice Cream. Aaaaaah!

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • October 23, 2007 at 10:09 am

According to the duck tours, Boston has 90 Dunkin’ Donuts. In Columbus, Ohio, we have both Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme. However, our Dunkin’ Donuts are also Baskin Robins Ice Cream. Aaaaaah!

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • October 23, 2007 at 10:09 am

According to the duck tours, Boston has 90 Dunkin’ Donuts. In Columbus, Ohio, we have both Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme. However, our Dunkin’ Donuts are also Baskin Robins Ice Cream. Aaaaaah!

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • October 23, 2007 at 10:09 am

According to the duck tours, Boston has 90 Dunkin’ Donuts. In Columbus, Ohio, we have both Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme. However, our Dunkin’ Donuts are also Baskin Robins Ice Cream. Aaaaaah!

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Amy • October 23, 2007 at 10:09 am

Oh yes, people say Starbucks is on every corner but they have nothing on Dunkin’ Donuts. They have a more jovial presence, what with the pink and the orange. They’re a more diversified store with the latte’s and the coffee made of crack and the iced tea by the barrel, and then whoopie pies and cookies and all sorts of egg sandwiches…donuts are really only a sliver.

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BrightAngel • October 23, 2007 at 10:23 am

Krispy Kremes have my vote. Although a raised glazed donut has 200 calories, which is supposedly about 20 calories more than the same at Dunkin Donuts….Since it is extremely difficult for me to have 1 donut, and make what seems to be essentially “sweet air” the largest portion of my meal, I seldom choose that option, and havent had any for a long time.

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Migraineur • October 23, 2007 at 10:40 am

Ah, donuts, one of the two foods that low-calorie, low-fat, and low-carb proponents can agree on. Nobody thinks donuts are good for you. (The other, by the way, is fries.)

I live in Cambridge and work in Boston, and I can tell you Dunkin Donuts stores and Bank of America ATMs (it used to be Bank of Boston ATMs, then they became BankBoston ATMs, then Fleet ATMs, and now BoA ATMs) are placed like fire hydrants.

I love coffee, but I feel no pull whatsoever to either Dunkin or Starbucks. (By the way, if Dunkin is a coffee place disguised as a donut place, Starbucks is a sugar purveyor disguised as a coffee purveyor. I can feel my blood sugar rise just walking by the place.) They both have terrible coffee – Dunkin is insipid and tastes like soap, and Starbucks is over-roasted, which I have heard is done to remove the volatile oils which make the coffee spoil. Unfortunately, the volatile oils, not yet spoiled, also make coffee taste good.

When I want coffee, I get whatever was roasted today at the local Whole Foods and brew it myself. And since I don’t have a car, this requires a mile walk, roundtrip!

PQ – as I predicted yesterday, I think I’m developing an addiction to your blog.

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MB • October 23, 2007 at 11:12 am

Migraineur:

…and before Bank of Boston they were Shawmut Bank.

I’m addicted to PQ’s blog too! At least it is one of my “healthy” addictions and is calorie and fat free :)

Thanks PQ!

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TOWR • October 23, 2007 at 11:39 am

I’ve heard that Dunkin’ Donuts has some of the best coffee ever. But I’m with you–I love me some Krispy Kreme. They make it easy to eat five donuts and not even feel sick. Where else can you do that?!

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Lora • October 23, 2007 at 12:05 pm

Welcome to the wonderful world of Dunkin’ Donuts! I work in Boston and there must be at least 6 or 7 of them within a one mile radius! If you are desperate for a caffeine fix in a big big hurry than Dunkin’ would be your choice.

However, don’t be afraid to go in and try it. I’m sure the new filtering equipment for the coffee is better than what we have here. Oh, and they might have personal pizzas and hot dogs, too. A couple of the Dunkin’s located in some of the Boston suburbs were selling those types of items now.

They had a Krispy Kreme not far from where I live but when you’ve had Dunkin’ all your life, it somehow didn’t taste the same. (I wasn’t too thrilled with the after taste of their glazed donuts.) It went out of business and they placed a very popular regional franchise called Kelly’s. (Roast Beef and Seafood are their specialties.)

No one has mentioned Honey Dew Donuts or Mary Lou’s Coffee as yet from the MA people. LOL

Did I mention I enjoy reading your blog?

One more thing. I’ll tell you what deters me from eating fast food in general. I have a picture of Morgan Spurlock eating a cheeseburger. You remember him? He went 30 days eating fast food!

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Jenny • October 23, 2007 at 12:07 pm

Ahahahah – shooting donut holes.

That made me spit my coffee out.

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bee • October 23, 2007 at 12:30 pm

Mmmmmmmmm — Dunkin Donuts.

Thank goodness there isn’t one close enough to do damage for me and my healthy eating, because they are a huge weakness.

I always consider DD a treat when I’m traveling and can get a Vanilla Creme (or Chocolate Creme) and a coffee.

*sigh*

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Lora • October 23, 2007 at 12:32 pm

Duh! This is what I get for reading the other items on your blog! :)

This is what I get for being too busy at work!

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Brittany • October 23, 2007 at 1:11 pm

growing up in texas (which some foolish people consider the south) it was either something locally owned or dunkin donuts. it was a big deal when we got a krispy kreme when i was in high school. we’d never heard of them. here in nashville we have both.

right before the whole part on the coffee i was totally intending to leave a comment to say, oh even though you don’t eat donuts definitely try dunkin donuts coffee….and then of course….everyone else and what you said made it irrelivant…but seriously it’s way better than starbucks. (starbucks burns their beans purposefully.)

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Reb • October 23, 2007 at 1:33 pm

Of all the places you have mentioned, Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts have made their way North of the Border. DD has not made it quite as well as Starbucks, but we already have a coffee/donut house that will be hard to displace called Tim Horton’s.

PQ I applaud you being able to ignore all the roadside temptations. All this talk of donuts though…

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Migraineur • October 23, 2007 at 1:55 pm

P.S. We don’t have White Castle here, but I did try them when I lived in St. Louis. Could someone please explain the appeal? They were one of the grossest things I ever put in my mouth.

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Missicat • October 23, 2007 at 2:04 pm

They opened up a Dunkin Donuts across the street from my condo complex and I have to say I do love their coffee. Much much better than Starbucks, which was at one point slated to open in the same shopping center.

I have heard of Tim Horton’s – are they as good as their reputation???

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Karen • October 23, 2007 at 2:05 pm

I live near Chicago, which is Dunkin Donuts land. God, I love their Boston Creme doughnuts. That is my biggest food weakness. I will not let doughnuts anywhere near my house. Krispy Kreme just started coming around here in the last 10 years, or so.

PQ – Hey, today is Boston Creme Pie Day. How timely!

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susan • October 23, 2007 at 2:07 pm

“No one has mentioned Honey Dew Donuts or Mary Lou’s Coffee as yet from the MA people. LOL”

Lora-

From MA here. You absolutely can’t beat Kane’s Donuts in Saugus. One tiny shop and family owned. They were featured on The Phantom Gourmet. My sister moved out of state years ago but it’s her first stop whenever she visits! After Kane’s you can’t settle for any other donut.

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shelly • October 23, 2007 at 2:11 pm

There was a Dunkin’ Donuts in Greenwood for years…then one day it came down and up went an Einstein Bagels….one hole for another.

I want the D&D back. no I dont…yes I do ..wait no.

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Chris • October 23, 2007 at 2:14 pm

There used to be two DDs here in Ottawa, but they both went out of business due to the ever-expanding Tim Horton’s monolith. KK has never gotten a foothold here, except for a few places that sell boxed KK donuts, like Wal-Mart.

Tim Horton’s used to be terrific, but they changed from fresh-baked donuts everywhere to ones made from pre-made, frozen batter shipped in from a central processing plant. Now they’re not nearly as good, although still decent.

It’s probably a good sign that this post didn’t trigger a donut craving, despite not having had one in nearly three weeks.

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tortstortstorts • October 23, 2007 at 2:16 pm

Dunkin Donuts (or Funkin GoNuts) it my daily treat. One medium iced coffee, with half and half, and 2 splendas. Some people save calories for cake, pie, peeps…for me, its the DD.

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Riley & Tiki's Mom • October 23, 2007 at 10:09 am

According to the duck tours, Boston has 90 Dunkin’ Donuts. In Columbus, Ohio, we have both Dunkin’ Donuts and Krispy Kreme. However, our Dunkin’ Donuts are also Baskin Robins Ice Cream. Aaaaaah!

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MB • October 23, 2007 at 3:16 pm

Migraineur, Lora and Susan –

Looks like PQ has a big fan base here in Mass.

Mary Lou’s and Honeydew are both great but Kane’s Donuts in Saugus are better than DD and KK’s anyday. I think it is the one location, Mom and Pop thing where you know they are made right there fresh.

I haven’t had a donut in years; I always feel like I have a lead ball in my stomach after eating one. Good thing considering the close proximity of all the donut shops.

Donuts are evil and muffins are really just cake in disguise – don’t be fooled. :)

Happy Boston Creme Pie Day!

GO SOX!!!

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Bree • October 23, 2007 at 4:01 pm

Just my 2-cents here. Krispy Creme is actually 1000% better as far as donuts go, although I don’t eat them anymore either, but Dunkin Donuts has the best coffee ever! There was a time when I was really hooked on the stuff. $1.96 a day to be exact. lol But I try to stay away these days. Dunkin donuts has the worst donuts ever. I wouldn’t eat em if they were free and that’s saying a lot. :)

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Mia • October 23, 2007 at 4:21 pm

I’m one of the lucky ones in that I don’t like donuts (they give me a killer stomach ache!). However, I waste more money at Starbucks than anyone I know. It’s ridiculous.

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Erin • October 23, 2007 at 4:32 pm

I always wonder how I got fat because I don’t like donuts, cheese, ranch dressing, or sour cream. Dunkin donut’s only redeeming quality is that it’s sometimes attached to a baskin robbins. Or as we like to call them dunkin-robbins.

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Lora • October 23, 2007 at 4:45 pm

Oh, yeah, I’ve been to Kane’s! There is nothing like a hot,fresh homemade donut to take your blues away!

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Kyle • October 23, 2007 at 7:27 pm

Dunkin Donuts opened up a chain in Chile, but their products aren’t the same. I mean, the basic idea is the same, but the donuts are smaller and crappier. and since I was never much of a donut fan to begin with I think I’ll be staying away :)

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diamondwife • October 23, 2007 at 11:21 pm

Hey, just wandered over from Jimmy’s blog and been reading a lot over the last couple of days, and can i say I just love your writing style. I really liked the blog and all the replies about wierdest binge foods. Mmmm…food porn.

Anyway, I do not like Krispy Kremes and never had Dunkin Donuts. I love a good cake donut with cinnamon and sugar though and regular old glazed donuts. I used to buy these at a place called Mr. Donut that has long since gone out of business. Now about coffee, I prefer making it at home. I can’t stand Charbuck’s…er…Starbuck’s. Most coffee houses make it too strong or it’s not fresh.

Great reading though…I’ll be back.

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Jacki • October 24, 2007 at 6:10 am

In VA we have both. A lot of our DD have Baskin Robbins in them as well. I think this is just wrong. Being assaulted from all angles like that. lol

Krispy Kreme is superior with Donuts IMO, But Dunkin Donuts coffee Rocks. Now I am hungry. Off to eat some yogurt, and try to forget about yummy donuts.

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Jennifer • October 24, 2007 at 7:53 am

I’m in northern Indiana, and they closed almost all of the Dunkin donuts around me. I was very sad. Krispy Kremes are good, but they aren’t what I grew up with.

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K • October 24, 2007 at 10:38 am

There used to be a DD/Baskin-Robbins on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh, but I have never seen another in the UK and that one is long gone. I believe that there ARE now Krispy Kreme franchises in Britain, but I’ve never seen one…

So I don’t really know what we’re talking about here. Although I do like doughnuts. (But dipping them in your coffee? Wouldn’t that just make them soggy and leave a vile slick of grease and melted sugar in your coffee? Eurgh.)

I bought something described as a “doughnut baking tin” today, despite having always thought doughnuts were fried rather than baked. I plan to use it to make mini bundt-style cakes, anyway.

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Allison • October 24, 2007 at 12:12 pm

“Thankfully, I learned how to cook and I’m not dependent on my ability to roll down a window to get a meal”…best combination of words ever. That’s hilarious!

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Jim • October 24, 2007 at 1:16 pm

Back when Krispy Kreme doughnuts were a rarity here in Chicago, I loved ’em. Always got excited when I saw one of those flat white boxes, and spent half of high school convincing my manager at the grocery store that we should carry them.

We finally started carrying them. Along with everyone else. Oh god, I was sick of them in about a week.

It’s like eating frosting, or cotton candy…you get nothing out of it but a terrible stomachache and sticky fingers. I prefer cake-like doughnuts, but since Dunkin hasn’t tasted good since that Time to Make the Doughnuts guy died, I eat them mercifully rarely.

There is, however, a bakery on the way to work…I must be strong. Get thee behind me, doughnut!

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Jon • October 24, 2007 at 2:20 pm

Being in SoCal, there is not a Dunkin anywhere near here but we do have multitudes of independent, filthy donut shops run by folks that are challenged by the English language and aren’t bothered by their unsanitary places of business. That alone keeps me out of there…well, for the most part. I still like my maple covered buttermilk bar (just pick the cockroach arms off and away we go).

Krispy’s are going toes up all around me. Personally speaking, I couldn’t take a bite without feeling woozy, so those were out too…

Starbucks smells like hot urine when you walk into their stores. Someone mentioned they overroast and I agree with that. I’m a fan of…wait for it…Folgers. Nicely roasted, cheap as dirt and it tastes like coffee should taste.

With all my issues with these places, you’d think I’d be thin. But think again!

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anji • October 24, 2007 at 3:50 pm

I’m with the guy in Ottawa, Tim Horton’s is pretty good though admittedly, their donuts are a bit on the downside lately but still pretty good IF you get them when they are fresh!

LongJohns were particularly good, long light donut with whip creame, light chocolate sprinkles and of course, the cherry on top! I haven’t had one of those in years….

In North Bay, where i used to live, there are about 20 Tim Hortons (at LEAST) for a city of about 45 000 (maybe even less!)

Yea, we have some issues there…. and not a single one does poorly!

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Sara • October 24, 2007 at 11:06 pm

YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW LUCKY YOU ARE!!!

My DH and I grew up in Chicago/NW Indiana region. When we land at Midway we get DD on the way home. Lunches over our visits home are usually pizza or Castles.

Now we live in stupid Omaha, NE, where there are no Dunkins or Castles.

Have a cake donut w/ chocolate frosting for me, and a cheeseburger for him, ok?

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thesetiredeyes • October 25, 2007 at 10:28 am

DND is totally a coffee place. I go there every single day for an iced coffee and I never ever buy a donut! Sure, people buy the donuts, but DND is really about the coffee. It’s not the best coffee, but it is the best coffee you can buy prepared in a hurry. It beats out Starbucks (too acidic), McDonalds (or any other fast food coffee) and any other commercially prepared coffee from a convenience store. It doesn’t beat home-brewed, but you can’t always get home-brewed coffee! So don’t think of DND as competition for KK. It’s really competing with Starbucks!

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Sorcha • October 25, 2007 at 12:23 pm

I’m a transplanted Californian, now living in Rhode Island. DD’s are legion, and I cannot for the life of me understand WHY. Their coffee is total shit and so are their stale, poorly-made donuts. I am absolutely sure DD puts crack into their unappealing products to keep the NE corridor addicted to the point of obsession. For my money, there is nothing to compare to Peet’s Coffee. They are on the West Coast, but there is one in Newton, MA and one in Cambridge, MA. Luckily, I live virtually next door to an independent bakery called 7-Stars and their coffee and baked goods are FANTASTIC!

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Michelle • October 27, 2007 at 12:41 am

As a native of Naptown (Indy), we used to be a Dunkin’ Donuts town. When I was growing up, Dunkin’ Donuts was everywhere… or at least easy to find. I had Krispy Kreme once in the south as a child, and was utterly disgusted (sorry KK fans). Therefore, I didn’t understand the hoopla when KK came to town when I was in high school. (I did try them again to see, but can’t stand them.)

Sometime after KK showed up, and I moved to Seattle, DD disappeared from Indy. I don’t believe Seattle ever had DD. I could only get them when I visited my sister near Chicago. Then she moved back to Indy too… luckily there are a few local places that make good donuts.

All that said, I’m VERY happy to see the return of my favorite donut, even if I’m going to try not to eat there too often. I’m a Dunkin’ gal all the way.

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Kat • October 3, 2008 at 10:18 pm

Ahhh…Tim Hortons…the granddaddy of all doughnut shops. The creme de la creme. Nothing compares. In fact, Krispy Kreme tried to come up here to Canada and it almost made them bankrupt….Tims is so popular and so good, nothing can compete. Besides, then there’s a Tims of every corner of ever small town (especially in Ontario), you gotta know people aren’t going to be going to KK for their fried dough fix.

Oh, and Canadians really do eat the most doughnuts per capita. We’re a strange people. But man, they are delicious….

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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