I just spent a weekend in New York with my son, Joseph.  He works nights at a unique and delicious spot in Brooklyn called Pok Pok, a restaurant specializing in Thai  street food, so we had days together.  The first morning we were up early, not wanting to waste a second.   By the time we walked to the subway station, the need for coffee was acute; fortunately, there was a Starbucks on one corner (and a Dunkin’ Donuts on the other).

Starbucks is nostalgic for me – I paid my way through college working at one of the original shops in Seattle, well before it colonized the international café world. The coffee is too roasted for my taste, but for old times’ sake I headed in its direction.

“Mom, wait, we’re going to Dunkin’ Donuts,” Joseph said.

“Pardon?” I countered.

“Mom, trust me,” he said.  “You’ll see, it’s just as good as Starbucks, and half the price.”

Every cell in my body protested, but I try not to dominate my children and this, after all, was his territory.  So I humbly followed.   We entered the steamy shop, whose shelves were lined with the doughnuts of my childhood, and whose coffee choices included my usual – a double, short latte.  I tried not to let my skepticism show, but Joseph was on to me.  “Mom, relax,” he said as he ordered.

We grabbed our coffees and dashed to catch the subway, which involved flying up two flights of stairs, negotiating the turnstile, up more stairs, and our final arrival at the outdoor platform.  We’d just missed the train, but it didn’t matter since it was a gorgeous autumn day and we had a view of all Manhattan. I took my first sip of a Dunkin’ Donuts double short latte and to my complete amazement, it was as Joseph had said.

“See mom,” Joseph said with a glint of amusement. “I told you so.”

He whipped out a couple of pumpkin donuts, and I had to admit they were sublime, dunked into that coffee while we waited in the crisp air for the train. To each culture its delights.

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10 Responses to Coffee Surprise

  1. Could it be… that any coffee would have tasted great when you are enjoying it with those you love in a gorgeous surrounding? Either way, I must try a Dunkin’ Donut latte and see for myself. 🙂

  2. priyani says:

    Dear Susan
    Dunkin donuts is absolutely amazing,well when we are in Germany we taste few donuts and sip a latte
    Lately we do have a Starbucks in Brussels,Antwerp and Ghent,but wouldnt it be fun a dunkin starbucks?
    I will reply to your email tomorrow just got back from hospital for an mri scan which i didnt like at all.
    Felt like laying in the whole of a donut…

  3. Eve says:

    Sounds delightful! Dunkin donuts has a very loyal following with good reason. How nice that you got to catch up with your boy. In my mind, he is still little, since his growth stopped at the end of On Rue Tatin! So he has clearly inherited your love of good food and cooking 🙂 Next time you are in New York, you two should take a drive up to Woodstock and say hello!

  4. Susan says:


    We’ll do it! He’s 23 now, and he loves good food, as does Fiona. Neither, however, likes to cook…oh well. I guess one cannot do everything right…!


  5. Stephanie says:

    Having grown up with Dunkin Donuts in New York and New England, I absolutely adore their coffee. I’m glad you agree on it superiority. Starbucks is just not the same. I live in Arkansas now and we just, finally, got a DD after Starbucks had been dominating the the state. I’m in heaven!

    • Susan says:

      Stephanie, I am slow to respond, but how I love reading that you’re enjoying DD coffee in Arkansas over Starbies. They both have their place. We’ll be in NY for Christmas and I’m already looking forward to some decent coffee…. Thanks for writing!

  6. James Navé says:

    Years ago when was in my early twenties, I worked as an orderly in a nursing home which was a five mile bicycle ride from my house on 8th Street in Charlotte, NC. My shift started at 6:45am. Every morning on my ride to work, I’d stop at Dunkin Donuts on Independence Blvd. for coffee and a fresh glazed doughnut. There were no lattes back then, only cups of steaming java to go. I can still smell those sweet glaze of those mornings. Today is my birthday. I am 64.

  7. Joe Fajerman says:

    Ive always walked past my “local” – in the sense that its at Holborn Station, London, and Im there once a week in term times, but I will give it a try. I generally go to Pauls, for their lovely croissants. Thanks for all the information! Joe

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