Fast Food

Would you like fries (or onion rings or chicken tenders) with that?

Dunkin' Donuts Waffle Breakfast Sandwich vs. McD's McGriddle

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You asked, we ate. I grabbed one of Dunkin' Donuts' new Waffle Breakfast Sandwiches and then a McDonald's McGriddle joint--DD's obvious inspiration--for comparison.

First impression while placing both unwrapped sandwiches side by side: Looks like we're getting a bigger sandwich from Dunkin', I thought. But then we unwrapped them, after the jump.

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Unwrapped, the Waffle Breakfast Sandwich still looks like it has the larger diameter of the two. And you can't beat the cute grid pattern in terms of looks. (Although the embossed McDonald's M is a nice touch on the burger clown's part.)

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But switching from the bird's eye view to the side-on camera reveals the difference in height. That McGriddle really towers above the D'waffle. Granted, some of the McGriddle's extra height is due to the fact it comes preconfigured with a sausage patty rather than the WBS's default "cherrywood smoked bacon."

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Before we could taste, we needed one more photo--the innard view. And it gives a hint of the flavors to come. The McD's bread substrate is shot through with some sort of maple-flavored substance that gives the McGriddle a sweet counterpoint to the savoriness of the sausage patty. The Dunkin' waffle, on the other hand, has no visual evidence of syrup flavoring. And tasting it bears out that observation.

The Dunkin' waffle sandwich was fairly lackluster in comparison to the McGriddle, with no discernible sweetness, despite the fact that Dunkin' touts it as "maple-infused." The waffles were dry and bland and really could have used the butter and syrup duo their kind usually pals around with. On a positive note, the egg of the Waffle Breakfast Sandwich was a bit more moist than the McGriddle egg--a redeeming factor, but one that was only evident when we separated out all components for individual taste-testing.

The most important draw of either of these sandwiches is the combination of sweet and savory. At best, they should offer all the pleasure of a forkful of salty pork paired with a bite of spongy-springy syrup-soaked waffle or pancake--but in a portable, one-handed form factor. McD's product lives up to that promise. Dunkin's falls short.

My hope is that the doughnut masters retool the waffle a bit and amp up the sweetness. But they only have a short time to do it. According to a press release I received, the Waffle Breakfast Sandwich is only available through March 17 (and only at participating DD locations).

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