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DRIVE-BY DINING

Edible brownie points

September 14, 2006|Dog Davis | Special to The Times

PIZZA is a heavy, bread-based food. After downing a few slices, some might consider a light dessert, such as gelato, ice cream or fruit. The last thing a person would want is another heavy, bread-based food, such as brownies. Right?

Domino's Pizza is spending a fortune to convince us otherwise. It recently introduced Brownie Squares, which technically aren't squares at all. Some are cubes; most are rectangular prisms. Thankfully, we don't grade for geometric comprehension. Anyway, you get 10 per order, each with a volume that's slightly smaller than a doughnut hole, with a side of fudge brownie dipping sauce.

Although these little brown nuggets aren't for everyone, we predict they'll be a hit, especially for families with kids, and lonely adults who need warm, chocolaty comfort delivered to them because they're too depressed to leave the house.

*

Domino's Brownie Squares

Taste **

The insides of the brownies are terrific: warm, moist and delicious. However, the outsides are surprisingly hard, chewy and bitter. To mask this, each order comes with a dish of gooey, overly sweet chocolate syrup. This combination, while far from perfect, does make for a somewhat fun dessert experience.

Diet Watch *

You just ate a pizza and now you're chowing down on brownies. Do you really care about calories? For the record, each tiny brownie has 80 calories, with 11 grams of carbohydrates and 3.5 grams of fat. The dipping sauce adds another 110 calories, with 27 grams of carbs and 1 gram of fat. The whole shebang contains 910 calories.

Portability ***

The brownies are wrapped tightly in foil and delivered in a small cardboard box, so they remain warm even after sitting on a table while you enjoy your pizza. The dipping sauce is sealed inside a sturdy plastic cup, so it won't spill prematurely. Of course, once you open the sauce and dip a brownie into it, that's when things get messy.

Hype-o-meter **

Domino's has created Fudgems, a 3-foot-tall brownie character that dances around and speaks a crazy language. His first TV spot is kind of funny, when his fudgy exterior stains anyone who touches him. His website, Fudgems.com, however, is just plain weird. (Brownito, Fudgems' Spanish-language counterpart, can be found at Brownito.com.)

* Ratings are on a scale of one (lowest) to four (best).

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