Dunkin' Donuts Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich

Fast Food

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


[Photographs: Will Gordon]



Everything you need to make the most important meal of the day delicious.

I'm trying to drop a couple pounds before reporting to spring training, because I've found that the less-young I get, the less-easy it gets to flip the sexiness switch when the clocks finally get their act back together in March. I love Daylight Saving Time, but the one downside is that it provides enough light for people to notice if you've spent the better part of the winter drinking melted butter and eating donut-covered donuts.

So every year about this time I set off on some harebrained, homemade diet plan or another; the details vary, but I always start my days with grandiose and unsustainable ambition that has me basically skipping breakfast and tiptoeing around lunch before the combination of malnourished delirium and my true colors team up for a 2,400-calorie late-afternoon snack featuring at least three meats, four cheeses, and five artificial sweeteners. Not effective.

This year I've finally decided to eat like a reasonable human being throughout the day, which means yay! I get to have breakfast but boo! the breakfast foods I favor tend to have pronounced ass-widening effects. Thus, I must dip my chubby toes into the treacherous waters of calorie-discounted renditions of normal food.

The new Dunkin Donuts Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich appeals to my glutton-on-a-diet sensibilities on multiple fronts. For starters, I've long since made peace with turkey sausage as an acceptable facsimile of the better, porkier version. Once you start grinding, spicing, and encasing your meats, you're already dealing in trickery and compromise, so what's the harm in replacing your pork with turkey? Well, there's the small harm caused by turkey not tasting as good as pork, of course, but today's meat engineers do a good job of addressing the structural and textural issues that were the true scourges of yesteryear's nonpork sausages.

I also like the idea of a breakfast sandwich on an English muffin base. Modern monster bagels have a meal's worth of calories all by themselves, croissants are basically flakey baked fat, and fast food biscuits are rarely any good. English muffins aren't too exciting, but a good one can do an adequate job of supporting a sandwich without doing too much nutritional damage.

The DD Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich ($3.59, 390 calories) gets off to a good start by using a pretty fair muffin. It lacks the cragginess of the genre's elite, but it's far superior to the reshaped white bread I've come to know and tolerate at motel breakfast buffets. It's firm without being overly dense and gets just a bit soggy where it meets the egg.


The whole egg is curiously large and fluffy, implying some sort of frozen-and-microwaved batter with a yolk-shaped yellow patch dropped in the middle, and the assertive fake-butter taste is actually a sad step down from the flavorless egg I've come to expect from Dunkin'. The egg is also studded with curious dark-green flecks of who-knows-what that impart no discernible flavor or texture. I thought my sandwich had come into accidental contact with them until I noticed the same flecks on the marketing photos, which suggests they're supposed to invoke health and vitality, what with their being kinda green and not fried meat.


A breakfast sandwich is made or broken by its meat, and the turkey sausage here is just good enough to make this meat muffin worth your while. It's not exceptional in any way, but the thin patty is less rubbery than expected, and it has a peppery and definitively meaty flavor. It's not the taste of high-class meat, to be sure, but it tastes more like an animal than it does like a lab project, which is an uncommon achievement at this level of dining.

The Dunkin Donuts Turkey Sausage Breakfast Sandwich is moderately tasty, and while it isn't exactly health food, the 390 calories left me feeling satisfied, and it's just nutritious enough that eating one doesn't flush the day's dieting down the drain before lunch.