When I Googled donuts recently an old familiar name popped up.


Kansas City staple.

Glazed donut of the gods.

Warm when you pick them up and as they go down.

TJCinnamons was the only short term challenger for ‘perfect morning meeting food.’ That didn’t last long and is a whole different story.

Every time I live in a new city, I must search for the perfect donut.

Every city seems to have their own local donut hero. LaMar’s worked out of a converted gas station for years. You’d pull up on almost any morning to cars parked four deep. Like there was a gas shortage but for donuts.

This appears to be a real thing. Hadn’t thought about it before.

Growing up we were a Dunkin’ Donuts family – that’s where I acquired my addiction to the slightly more difficult to make french cruller. Delicate enough that you had to know when to order them. Even though Dunkin’ was a large chain, to me it was a counter, mom’s coffee and my french cruller. A chain store can be local when it is run well.

But in high school there were arguments in favor of Amy Joy. No violence, just an excuse for taste testing. Amy Joy had the benefit of looking like a local donuts shop, nice but worn. A funky sign. A place you want to stop at even though part of you is saying keep going.

My wife grew up with Jack’s Donuts in New Castle, Indiana. These things are huge, weighty and slathered in maple frosting. Good, solid, keep you going through the day, farm-country donuts. I’ve never been to Jack’s to get donuts. They magically appear at breakfast when we are visiting.

In Bloomington there’s a family argument actively percolating between Cresent Donuts with their marvelous blueberry cake and Square Donuts with the most amazing bavarian cream I have ever experienced.

I tend to give the edge to Square donuts. Cresent aaaaallllllways seems to be out of blueberry. Square made me a bavarian when they were out, special, just for me. I am now loyal. For those of you who haven’t noticed, this is a lesson in branding. 🙂

So in Oakland/Lake Merritt I’ve found Colonial with a sturdy, nice cruller. It has the bonus of being near the bottom of the hill. Somehow the donuts have the magical property of making me forget I’ve got to walk back up the hill.

I’m not sure what kind of donut city San Francisco is yet. With their focus on coffee (Peet’s is a marvelous change of pace) I would think there would be donuts everywhere. Maybe not. Round things roll down hills.

What’s your favorite donuts place?


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One Response to Donuts

  1. J.D. Meier says:

    I do appreciate the art of a great doughnut experience.

    I’ve never done a doughnut quest, but I have done a burger “quest for the best” … and it was so worth it.

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