Review: Sweet Black Pepper Bacon Breakfast Sandwich from Dunkin’ Donuts

Back in September I visited the Dunkin’ Donuts test kitchen and tried some test products and some soon-to-be-released national items.  One of the first new products I was introduced to turned out to be my favorite of all of the stuff I tried.  Dunkin’ Donuts calls it the Sweet Black Pepper Bacon Breakfast Sandwich and it’s now available nationwide so I grabbed one today at my local DD for a GrubGrade review.

Sweet Black Pepper Bacon Breakfast SandwichThe Sweet Black Pepper Bacon Breakfast Sandwich features egg, a slice of American cheese and four strips of bacon coated in a seasoning that includes brown sugar and black pepper, served on a croissant.  Other than the bacon coated with the brown sugar and black pepper seasoning blend, there’s nothing else new to be found here.  Thankfully, the coated bacon makes a significant impact on the overall sandwich.Sweet Black Pepper DunkinI felt it was only fair to review this sandwich from my local DD and not the one put together by the people working in the test kitchen.  First of all I enjoyed this sandwich in both experiences and they weren’t too different from one another to sway my overall impression.  With that said, there’s one element about the two experiences that sticks out to me most… the black pepper. The issue that some might encounter with the Sweet Black Pepper Bacon Breakfast Sandwich is the amount of brown sugar sweetness or the impact of the black pepper.  There’s some other seasonings in the mix, but primarily the easiest to identify are the brown sugar and black pepper.  With the test kitchen sandwich I didn’t get hit over the head with black pepper the way I did with the sandwich from my local Dunkin’ Donuts restaurant.  Basically the prep involves tossing strips of bacon in a container of the seasoning blend a couple of times and then it’s ready to be applied to the sandwich.  If the seasoning isn’t properly mixed or the bacon doesn’t get a complete tossing, there may be some uneven flavors in the final product.  I found the black pepper to be far more noticeable in the sandwich I had today than what I had back in September.  This issue didn’t ruin the sandwich for me, but it’s worth pointing out that your experience might vary because the bacon seasoning isn’t a part of the bacon, it’s applied at the restaurant.  Overall I think what comes through most is the sweetness of the brown sugar and that’s what makes the sandwich so flavorful.  The four salty strips of pork mixed with some candy sweetness is a perfect match.  It’s a good thing Dunkin’ went with four strips of bacon because they’re pressed pretty thin so two strips would likely lose a lot of the appeal of the special bacon.  Arby’s recently sweetened up their bacon in a line of sandwiches, so maybe sugary bacon will become the next trendy thing.IMG_6317The egg could use an upgrade and I’ve mentioned that in the past.  There’s no griddle for frying real eggs at Dunkin’ Donuts so what you get is a warmed up, jelly-like molded disc that isn’t completely off-putting, but not altogether a great example of an egg.  Thankfully the slice of American cheese melts nicely right onto the egg to morph together to become a bit more appealing.  If anything, the cheese helps cover some of the texture flaws of the egg.  I feel croissants make for some tasty breakfast sandwiches and their light, buttery, flaky texture help enhance the flavors.  At a price of $3.99, the Sweet Black Pepper Bacon Sandwich is pricey for a fast food breakfast sandwich and it’s likely not going to fill up a big appetite.  I know the extra bacon is going to jack up the price some, but around $3.29 would have been an average value for me.  The value issue does end up hurting the overall score for me.Dunkin Sweet Black PepperIn conclusion, the Sweet Black Pepper Bacon Sandwich isn’t a knockout offering from Dunkin’ Donuts, but I believe its sugar-coated bacon is a delicious step forward for the brand.  They offer breakfast all day and that makes things a bit easier for a fast food reviewer who doesn’t need to fit a purchase into the morning time window.  The one new ingredient in this sandwich was enough to leave a positive impression on me and I hope to see it in some future DD creations.

Pros: Tossing bacon in brown sugar makes for an addictive salty/sweet combination.

Cons: Seasoning application could be hit or miss. Egg needs an update. $3.99 for a fast food breakfast sandwich is pricey and it's a bit small too.

Taste: 7.25/10
Value: 4.25/10
Grubbing on-the-go: 6.00/10
Price: $3.99

Overall GrubGrade: 6.50/10

More Info: dunkindonuts.com
Nutrition Facts:
Calories - 560
Fat - 34 grams
Saturated Fat - 14 grams
Cholesterol - 90 milligrams
Sodium - 1030 milligrams
Carbs - 43 grams
Sugars - 8 grams
Fiber - 2 grams
Protein - 22 grams

4 comments on “Review: Sweet Black Pepper Bacon Breakfast Sandwich from Dunkin’ Donuts

  1. Starkzilla says:

    I’m a fan of salt/pepper/savory over sweet, so if they don’t apply the spices right I think this sandwich would be pretty tasty to me!

  2. MP says:

    So there’s no griddle at all? So is the bacon pre-cooked or microwaved?

    • Robert says:

      Yup. This is the main reason I avoid DD breakfast (though their little tortilla wraps are the perfect size for a light breakfast). Most of their items taste like they left the plastic on the american cheese before they melted it all together. Sad. Though I will say, their croissants aren’t half bad. Definitely better than BK’s.

  3. Rusty Shackleford says:

    I love applying gross amounts of pepper to bacon, so your bacon experience sounds right up my alley. I don’t get DD full sandwiches, but look forward to trying the wake up wrap version of this.

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