Editor’s note: Today, we continue with an occasional feature in which McDowell News staffers and guest reviewers try a new or unusual menu item or product and offer their unbiased opinions and snarky asides. Previously, we sampled Hardee’s Most American Thickburger, Chef Bruce Brown’s beet cheesecake, Mr. Bob’s award-winning apple ugly, alcohol-infused root beer, Top Fuel Grill’s Bologna Burger, soup made in a Keurig and Lay’s sausage-and-gravy flavored potato chips. This time we try a special Donut Festival collaboration between Mr. Bob of Mr. Bob’s Do-Nuts and Bruce of Bruce’s Fabulous Foods. Bruce will serve this treat at this restaurant during Saturday’s festival in downtown Marion. Is there something you want us to review? Let us know at email@example.com or post on our Facebook page.
MIKE CONLEY: Bruce’s Fabulous Foods and Mr. Bob’s Do-Nuts have joined forces to create a new and unique food offering: the Chicken Salad Donutwich. This interesting combination of Robert Masiello’s doughnuts and Bruce Brown’s chicken salad will be the red plate special at Bruce’s Fabulous Foods during the Carolina Donut Festival on Saturday.
I must say that I was pretty biased in two ways before trying it out. First, Masiello’s doughnuts are the best I know of and both Marion and Old Fort are very fortunate to have his businesses. So I knew I would love the doughnut part.
But on the other hand, I have never been fond of chicken salad, no matter who makes it. It is kind of like how I feel about pickles. It is just something you will not see me order or eat. However, the combination of the two struck me as rather odd and curious.
I have to confess that when I bravely sampled the Chicken Salad Donutwich, I was in for a pleasant surprise. Somehow, the combination of these two different foods works quite well. It is basically a chicken salad sandwich that uses doughnuts instead of bread. And the doughnuts are not overly sweet and don’t overpower the taste of the chicken salad, which is actually good. It also comes with lettuce and tomato that add to the flavor.
Bruce told me his restaurant will be open for lunch during the Carolina Donut Festival. Therefore, folks who come to downtown Marion on Saturday will be able to try this latest and most interesting treat that blends the creations from two of our most popular eateries. It is an example of how locally-owned restaurants can offer creative and interesting foods that are unique to a local community.
DUSTIN CHANDLER: I can’t say that I’m a frequent vendor to Mr. Bob’s Donuts, with not being a McDowell native and commuting during the week from Hickory. But on the few times that I’ve been able to snag the titular Bob’s treats, I’ve always been satisfied, so consider the following as more of an outsider’s perspective.
The Chicken Salad Donutwich is an interesting combination of, what else, chicken salad, lettuce and tomato between glazed donut halves. I’m a recent convert to chicken salad, so this was an especially good opportunity to experiment. From the first few bites, I could tell that the donut itself would either make or break the taste, and it worked. The dough provided a good, soft texture as a sandwich bun and the glaze itself complemented the chicken salad with a slight sweetness without being overpowering.
I will say, if this is a prototype for future sandwiches to come, I’d love to see other combinations with different flavors. Maybe chocolate or jelly/crème filled, throw in some deli meats and sprinkles. The world is your oyster with this type of hybrid.
On the whole, I’d say check out the Chicken Salad Donutwich if you like chicken salad and want a simple, but ultimately satisfying snack.
LANDDIS HOLLIFIELD (guest reviewer and former McDowell News staffer): When I first learned I had the chance to try Bruce’s Fabulous Foods and Mr. Bob’s Do-Nuts collaborative Frankenfood—a chicken salad sandwich served on a glazed doughnut— I was excited at the prospects that the bizarre combination held.
I have to say it isn’t half bad. I was surprised at how the texture of the donut and chicken salad combined reminded me of a chicken salad croissant.
Its flavor reminded me of the chicken salad croissants one gets at wedding and baby showers in the south—with just a touch of sweetness and nuttiness.
I’m not a huge fan of sweet chicken salad, but I applaud both restaurants for coming together to create this unique food.
The fat kid in me hopes that perhaps I can look forward to a savory combination using one of Mr. Bob’s maple-glazed donuts in the future.
Maybe with a scrambled egg and sausage in the middle—a portable pancake breakfast so to speak.
Hey, a girl can dream, right?
SCOTT HOLLIFIELD: After a recent checkup, my doctor said, “Everything looks good, but you could use more doughnuts and chicken salad in your diet.” Lucky for me, Mr. Bob and Bruce got together and came up with just what the doctor ordered. With apologies to Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, these are two great tastes that taste great together.
GINNY RHODES: My continuous struggle with eating all things healthy came to an abrupt stop when I heard about Mr. Bob’s and Bruce Brown’s brain baby, the Chicken Salad Donutwich.
As a connoisseur of all things chicken salad, and a lover of just a plain ol’ glazed doughnut, this delicious duo was just the right amount of flavors, without one overpowering the other. I definitely recommend you try the concoction at this year’s Donut Festival. I know I would like to have another.
It’s refreshing to see business owners working together for the good of downtown Marion.