This week I reached out for a Bacon & Maple French Toasted Donut — huh? — at America's 24-hour breakfast nook, IHOP, with 1,700 restaurants in all 50 states and a bunch of foreign lands.
You know, IHOP has long smudged the line between breakfast and dessert, with funnel cakes and cinnamon buns, but now they're just messing with us. Bacon-covered donuts? They were created in IHOP's test kitchens by resident mad scientist, chef Nevielle Panthaky. I'm convinced he works for an evil intergalactic force determined to take over Earth.
Chef says, "We're shaking up the breakfast world, breaking all the rules. These are classic donuts dipped in sweet vanilla batter and French toasted."
Time to cue the nice men in white lab coats waving butterfly nets. Go with them, chef. They're here to help you.
And congratulations on using French toast as a verb.
Here's the Bacon & Maple French Toasted Donut breakdown
A Bavarian cream donut dipped in vanilla French toast batter, slapped on the griddle, then topped with rich maple glaze and hickory-smoked bacon bits.
Total calories: 530 (I would have guessed much higher). Fat grams: 31. Sodium: 980 milligrams. Carbs: 48 grams. Dietary fiber: 2 grams. Protein: 15 grams. Manufacturer's suggested retail price: $4.99. Also available as part of 10,000 different combo platters with eggs, hash browns, sausage, etc. for around $9.
Take your pick
IHOP has two more varieties in its haute cuisine line of French Toasted Donuts:
Strawberries & Cream, with the same Bavarian cream donut dipped in French toast batter, topped with strawberries in a juicy glaze and powdered sugar. It packs about the same calories and fat grams as the Bacon & Maple.
Apple Fritter, with a warm apple fritter dipped in French toast batter, topped with sweet cinnamon apples, powdered sugar, and whipped topping. This is a little tubby, with 810 calories and 46 fatty grams.
A sweet deal
OK, right off the bat, a French Toasted Donut sounds like a powerhouse sugar rush, and they are super-duper sweet. We're not talking a bowl of Special K cereal with skim milk here. But you know our bottom line: how's it taste and how's the value?
As I prepare my bunker from the health squad, French Toasted Donuts are impossibly irresistible and gooey yummy. They're like a visit to the carnival midway, without having to blow $50 throwing darts at balloons to win a $2 stuffed toy.
Kids will scarf these down like they haven't eaten in three days. And forget about the little ones taking a nap for the next two weeks. But man oh man, are they delish. They're donuts and bacon, you're surprised?
Just when IHOP gets you hooked on the sugar high, French Toasted Donuts bid adieu September 24.