Note: This review is unsolicited and unsponsored. Opinions expressed are the author’s.
Years ago, freshly transplanted from New Mexico to North Carolina, I spotted my first Hot Donuts sign lighted at a Krispy Kreme shop. Co-workers told me to watch for it. I bought a dozen; one for now and the rest to bring in to work.
When you buy a dozen fresh glazed donuts at Krispy Kreme, you’re not buying a dozen donuts. You’re buying a dozen bites, with the first bite sucking in all the other bites like a doughy, sugary, mind-blowing black hole. I could see why there was a buzz.
That was the last time I experienced anything like it … until Saturday. At a shop off Glenburnie Road near the Food Lion, a new shop simply called Donuts.
A friend turned us on to it the other day before business picked up. By Saturday, it was a half-hour wait. There were people lined up out the door and eight cars lined up at the drive-through.
We chose the drive-through. It was a good 10 minutes before the car at the front of the line finally drove off. For most of our time in the drive-through, we made progress only because cars in front of us gave up and drove off.
When it was our turn, I found it wise to ask what they had left. I got four glazed twists, two maple bars, and two cake donuts. I ordered a coffee, too.
After a slow start, the shop didn’t seem prepared for the onslaught of customers on Saturday. I doubt there will always be lines that long, but one thing I don’t doubt:
They were the best donuts I have ever had.
The glazed twist (a better value than a glazed donut) had a crisp crust and a rich, creamy interior. The glaze had a subtle flavor that I couldn’t identify, but which made me feel like I was being cradled in my mother’s arms.
Cake donuts aren’t my favorite, but I wanted to see if they pulled it off. They did. These are true dunking donuts, with a thick, crisp crust and a soft cake interior rich with nuance. They serve them small, too small for the donut hole to survive the frying. There is a remnant of a hole, like whales have a remnant of legs and arms.
The maple bar was competent. I’m unsure what went into making the maple icing, but it tasted fine; not quite as distinctive as the glaze, but satisfying. Of course the cake portion was a step up from any other maple bar I’ve ever had.
The coffee was unremarkable. Somewhere between a light and medium roast, it was neither bitter nor sour; it was fairly neutral. It is a competent caffeine delivery system and dunking tank for cake donuts, but when I return, it won’t be for the coffee.
The line was worth the wait, so if you go, don’t let it deter you.
Donuts is open from 5 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day, although by 11 a.m. Saturday, they were out of many things and low on others.
The staff was working hard to keep up with demand on Saturday but somehow remained cheerful. When you go and there is a long line, and if they are out of a lot of things by the time it’s your turn, be nice to them. They are working long hours on their feet to provide a wonderful treat for 99 cents. This is a case where you get far more than what you paid for.