The Ultimate Mall Food Showdown: Cinnabon Versus Auntie Anne's

Categories: Whimsy

I made it exactly 364 days with my 2012 New Year's resolution to not step foot in a mall. I lost on the last day. No, that's not annoying. At all.

But, sometimes being a marginal parent trumps our own selfish whims, dreams and desires. So, when my daughter wanted to "go to the mall" for her birthday, after two days of constant begging, I happily obliged. She's funny and I figured it would be an adventure. Plus, there's always the gut-bomb redeeming factor of Cinnabon.

With tweener in tow, we braved the most disparaging introspective of ... well, everything, and did the mall. After an hour in Barnes and Noble, we set out into the real mall and, not two steps out, saw the bright blue beacon of the Cinnabon sign.

There was a problem though. Auntie Anne's was right there too. Shit. Which do we get? Cinnamon rolls or cinnamon pretzels? OMG, #firstworldproblems. Tag each on FB, but check in at the Cheesecake Factory. #WheresOrangeJulius?

I was surprised to see a line at least five deep at Auntie Anne's, but no one at Cinnabon. We chose the latter, but I think that was a mistake. Let's delve deeper into this showdown and break it up into three different categories: technique, atmosphere and taste.

Auntie Anne's wins here easy because the process has an element of acrobatics and wizardry. After the dough is unloaded from a big plastic bag, it's rolled out then -- this is where it gets exciting -- they flip it and twist it to make the pretzels. This act gets front-counter, Plexiglas billing.

The work at Cinnabon lacks inspiration. Zoned-out teenagers slather icing on the rolls like they're scrubbing old queso out of a crock pot.

Hands down winner here was Auntie Anne's.

When all else lacks, I hereby officially declare that smell qualifies as atmosphere. Now, both of these bakeries omit a knee-buckling scent. But, I think Auntie's Anne's lingers more. Say you're in Macy's looking for free samples of Jimmy Choo perfume and someone walks past with Auntie Anne's, it'll stop you in your tracks. You'll want to rub a cinna-stick on your neck instead of perfume. Promise.

The funniest thing about all this was the Cinnabon seating area in the back of the store. There's a "shelf" that was built at about belly button height: too low to be a bar, but definitely to high to be a table. And the table height chairs put our pastries at about nose level. It's comical. Maybe the idea is that we're supposed to just dig in with our faces (snouts), sans hands? That would totally make sense.

At Cinnabon, our glazed biscuit seemed old and dry, yet at the same time, undercooked. Which was confusing since they literally pulled it out of the oven just before boxing it up. That takes talent. So, maybe Cinnabon wins this category by doing something that seemed impossible. Plus, I just feel sorry for them.

We left Cinnabon partially disappointed, and by partially I mean that expectations weren't high like walking into Bouchon Bakery. (I think I get bonus points for linking Cinnabon to Bouchon in one sentence.)

About half an hour later of walking around aimlessly, I begged for direction, "Do you want to get a new shirt or something?"

"No, I hate shopping," she says like, "Duh! Don't you know me at all?"

I don't know what to say at this point. Next time I'll wait it out in the Auntie Anne's line, I guess.

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Auntie Anne's is deliciously fattening but so worth it. I like their jalapeno pretzels, no salt, and cheese sauce to dip. I think I gained 2 lbs thinking about it right now.

TheCredibleHulk topcommenter

Yeah. Had to return to comment on something you touched on that I never really thought much about as I chomped through a few of these things in airports along the way.

The simultaneously underdone, yet stale dichotomy is... disturbing. And they all seem to be that way, like they are trying for that particular consistency.


Auntie Anne's wins, hands down, and there's nothing like getting on a plane with a bag of giant hot pretzels to drive everybody in the surrounding five rows insane with jealousy. (Hey, I have to amuse myself somehow until they let us turn our phones back on.)


First off, any man that shops at the mall (other than necessities for the wife!) is "left handed".  So I presume this story is for chicks......and here is my summation that I KNOW ya'll have been longing to hear:

-Cinnabon encourages elongated sitting and chatting about all manner of soap opera's, The Kardashian's, and other useless banter; this place is for the lonely Heifer, and it ain't that great, but it stirs in said female a primal nature to eat half of a house.

-Auntie Anne's denotes a female that is motivated, "on the go" so to speak, a person that doesn't have time to sit, or engage in mindless, banal chatter. This is the normal (and many times hot!) chick, and she will have maybe a piece of chicken or a light salad later for dinner. This person looks down or frowns upon the BEASTS that inhabit Cinnabon. 

Kergo summation.........Aunt Anne's.  It's good stuff, and you won't see any chicks with double chins or a tattered Looney Tunes Tshirt.  

BTW, my wife made me watch that stupid Honey Boo Boo show last night, and I call bit-no family is that grotesque, and stupid.  I think it's fake like that retard that says "live action", or those two imbreds that have the duck dynasty. No way, not even in Louisiana or Missisppi!



yeah but you eat it and walk, while the tubbo's at CB camp out and talk Kardashian for 3 hours......and get FATTER.

ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@kergo1spaceship I got reeled in to Duck Dynasty because the wife told me Clint Bowyer was going to be on the show.  so I bit, and now I cant look away.  also I spent 8 hrs on a couch watching a Shipping Wars marathon, I really coulda used a Cinnabon that day topped with, as Loius C.K. would say, some hot jizzy sauce.  I love Auntie Anne's I can eat it on the fly as the wife drags me through the mall or sitting in an airport with a 7 month old in one hand and pretzle sticks in the other while resting the cheese suace on my knee praying the kid doesnt deliver a random karate kick to my nuts 


Nothing wrong with the Duck boys, and I too caught up on my Shipping Wars, Desert Car dudes, English car dudes and that prick from New England that buys and sells really expensive cars.  Ready for old bastard Winter to get the eff out and bring back my HOT weather and I'm also ready for some BASEBALL!!! 

Don't really have an opinion on which crap at the mall is better, that's one of the reasons I married...I don't have to go up to the mall anymore.

Random karate chops and getting tackled in the boys by the boys is something that will grow in frequency and fury the older he (they in my case) gets Merk...enjoy lil tiny baby Merk while you can, cause he'll ruin you a couple of times a week when he gets the hang of running.




-that awesome cheese sauce

-and the swift, random karate kick to the nuts.  My three year old bashed me so hard in the nuts on Thanksgiving that my stomach still hurt the next day.  His other signature move is the unsuspecting run into the boys at top speed, like Emmitt in 1996. 



I miss 80 degree days and, I'll even take 105, as long the dang cold retreats!  It was just a couple of weeks ago I was swimming with baby Kerg's in Texoma-much to mama kerg's chagrin.  And we experienced a first......the tent moved ten feet off it's moorings when that horrible storm came through. And we were in it!  Nothing worse than swimming and 81 degree's, turning into abandoning the tent, straight line winds and a cold, raining 32 degree's. 

ps-The nice park Ranger did let us build a campfire to cook, even though a full burn ban was in effect. 

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