7-11: A lot better than you’d think

22 Jan

We’d like to reveal an ace we’ve been keeping up our sleeve.  Each week, before we set out on our Breakfast Adventure, we religiously fortify ourselves with coffee and a donut at 7-11.

This habit was not born out of laziness; rather, we noticed that 7-11 has some surprisingly good donuts, and by stopping there, we made sure we’d start our Saturday off right.

Overall, 7-11’s donuts are heftier than others.  For this reason, we decided to sample 7-11’s donuts week by week before submitting our Breakfast Report.  But now, at last, we’re ready.

Here’s what we found:

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Donut #1: Chocolate Frosted Glazed

Coffee Girl:

A guilty pleasure?  Aren’t all donuts?  Well alright, perhaps this one is guiltier than most, being that it’s from the neighborhood convenience store.  But Lord Almighty, I love this donut.  Completely enrobed in a mouth-watering sugar glaze, it is then topped with teeth-melting chocolate frosting.  Best of all, the donut itself surrenders itself so willingly to each bite, squishing down in an ecstatic mash of soft donut, sugar glaze and creamy chocolate frosting.  I can never resist this donut.  And I am never sorry.

Donut Boy:

Every single element of this donut is good.  The frosting?  Not stiff, but silky.  The glaze?  Never crusty, always gooey.  The frosting-glaze combo provides full-coverage flavor, the two combining instantly and awesomely in your mouth when you take a bite.  And, as mentioned, when you do bite into the donut, it gives in completely, compressing more and more.  But you don’t mind.  The dough of the donut itself is the real deal: light and sugary, with a hint of egg.  Just a great donut altogether.

Donut #2: Glazed Twist

Coffee Girl:

This luscious twist of sugar and yeast is soft and squishy, with a slightly crunchy glaze of sticky sweetness.  A delightfully reliable entry in the field of good, basic donuts.

Donut Boy:

Like it’s chocolate-frosted relative (see above), the glaze on this donut is really pleasant.  Not hard at all, but pleasingly malleable.  Upon hitting the tongue, it dissolves quickly in a daze of sugar.  This donut, too, yields quickly to the teeth, absorbing impact like a feather pillow.  As a bonus, this donut’s shape lends itself nicely to dunking in coffee, if you’re into that sort of thing (which I am).  A solid choice, certainly.

Donuts #3 & #4: Chocolate Frosted Glazed & Plain Glazed Old Fashioned Cake

Coffee Girl:

We love 7-11’s chocolate frosted old-fashioned donut.  The hills and valleys on the surface provide plenty of acreage for 7-11’s classic chocolate frosting, which is among our favorites.  The sugar glaze underneath it all should be too much, but it’s not.  The donut cake — never very soft or fresh and with a touch of bitterness in its chocolate taste — nevertheless provides just the right backbone for the explosion of sweetness provided by the glaze and the frosting. The plain version of the old-fashioned donut, although it offers an initial crunch of crust and glaze that is very nice indeed, ultimately leaves a sad after-taste on the tongue with its stale, powdery interior.

Donut Boy:

The best thing about these donuts is the texture: craggy, crusty ridges that break pleasantly between the teeth.  Of the two, I preferred the chocolate frosted cake; I think the chocolate flavor helped compensate for the undeniably drier quality of these two donuts (as compared to the non-cake 7-11 donuts).  The chocolate frosting, too, dissolves nicely on the tongue.  The plain glazed old fashioned is a bit duller in taste, but can be good with some coffee to dunk in.  Either of these are worth checking out, but neither would be my first choice.

Donut #5: Boston Kreme

Coffee Girl:

I’m not a custard fan, but I wouldn’t kick this donut out of bed.  The donut was the same, satisfyingly sweet, mushy 7-11 standard that we love, the chocolate frosting ditto, and the custard was light and creamy.  We would definitely take it out on a second date.

Donut Boy:

7-11 donuts are undeniably hefty.  Especially this one.  You can feel its weight in your hand.  In terms of flavor, this donut shot way past its brethren in terms of overall sweetness, aided by a cool, creamy custard.  The dough was squishy and yielding, and we’ve already told you how much we like 7-11’s chocolate frosting.  Definitely worth considering.

Donut #6: Coffee Roll

Coffee Girl:

Curse you, 7-11!  You’ve done it again!  You’ve upset the applecart with your infernally decadent donuts.  This coffee roll, with its heady infusion of cinnamon, is to die for.  Squishy but not spineless, sweet but not cloying, 7-11’s coffee roll delivers Krispy Kreme-caliber ethereality.  Perfect.

Donut Boy:

If you like the gushy-ness of the Glazed Chocolate Frosted (see above), you’ll love this donut.  Bite after bite of plump pastry repeatedly fails to disappoint.  Throwing cinnamon into the mix distinguishes this donut from the pack.  Pairs great with coffee.

Donuts #7 & #8: Chocolate & Vanilla Frosted Long John

Coffee Girl:

Oh, 7-11, you’re like an irresistible mistress.  On the way to other, more interesting bakeries, we stop to get a big, cheap cup of fresh coffee to go, and your donuts call to us.  The white frosted long john, for instance, is just a damn good donut.  On the higher end of the Donut Squishosity Scale, the vanilla long john is graced with a thick, luscious lick of white frosting that spans its generous length and pleasures all our Donut Tastebuds.  As for the chocolate, maybe I just had one from a bad batch, but even 7-11’s fabulous chocolate frosting was not enough to get me through an underbaked and mushy center.

Donut Boy:

These two long johns really showcase the flavor of 7-11’s frosting.  We’ve already raved about the chocolate frosting (see above), but the vanilla frosting is great, too: spot-on, not overwhelming but certainly sweeter than its chocolate counterpart.  I was luckier than my esteemed colleague: both donuts were light and squishy, cushion-esque.  Tasty!

Donuts #9 & #10: Plain Cake and Chocolate Frosted Cake

Coffee Girl:

These two donuts are my least favorite in the 7-11 galaxy.  With no intoxicating glaze to distract the eager Donuteer, one is forced to confront the dispiriting lack of freshness that would seem inevitable in any convenience store donut.  Although 7-11’s chocolate frosting makes any of their pastries worthwhile, the wonder here is not that these donuts taste lifeless, but that the rest of the 7-11 pantheon can create such joy in even the most seasoned Donut Eater.

Donut Boy:

I only hope that a Pastry Seeker entering 7-11 for the first time does not reach for one of these.  They’re not terrible (we’ve had way worse – Entenmann’s, Hostess), but compared to the rest of the 7-11 crew, they come up pretty short.  If you get one of these, get some coffee to dunk it in.

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In closing, we love 7-11!  You’re guaranteed a good donut.  The coffee’s fresh, since Saturday morning is a high-traffic time.  The prices are excellent.

Fancy?  No.  But if all you need is a good donut, you can count on 7-11.

We’ll be there this Saturday!

-CG&DB

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4 Responses to “7-11: A lot better than you’d think”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Dunkin’ Donuts: A thorough look at the corporate giant « The Breakfast Adventures of Coffee Girl & Donut Boy - April 23, 2011

    […] Interior is mediocre.  I would say if you’re in a hurry and you need a glazed donut, look to 7-11 or Krispy Kreme for just-as-quick, much tastier […]

  2. In front of you all the time: The pastry offerings at Starbucks and Caribou « The Breakfast Adventures of Coffee Girl & Donut Boy - June 4, 2011

    […] Coffee Girl: Phooey!  Too bread-y and no crunch.  I would have appreciated the sweet glaze if there had been anything other than cardboard-y vagueness to set it off.  Seriously, go to Caribou for coffee, but if you want both good coffee and a decent donut, go to 7-11. […]

  3. Weber’s Bakery: Legacy lacks flavor « The Breakfast Adventures of Coffee Girl & Donut Boy - June 18, 2011

    […] frosting is rich and thick, elevating this entry into the same pantheon in which we would place 7-11 donuts which, as you know, is fairly high up in our […]

  4. Munchin’ On Some Munchkins: Let’s talk about donut holes « The Breakfast Adventures of Coffee Girl & Donut Boy - July 16, 2011

    […] These donut holes were dry and pretty bread-y in the middle.  Disappointing, given how much I like 7-11′s donuts.  The glaze on the outside is nice, and there’s a decent crunch, but it gets pretty boring […]

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