Friday, April 25, 2008
While walking to the LA coliseum recently, I noticed an oddly named donut establishment in a crammed, laundermat-liquor store complex on Figueroa. Normally, these places get a lukewarm shoulder and are avoided- however, I did a little research and discovered that Spudnuts makes donuts entirely of potato flour. I became very excited about this prospect and days later Dana and I drove down to sample the delicacies. The Spudnuts franchise started back in 1946 with the promise of delivering a superior product. Spudnuts' began popping up nationwide by the 1960's, but due to unknown reasons the Spudnuts train ran out of steam. Currently there are about 35 locations nationwide- a few scattered around LA. As previously stated, Dana and I try to avoid places that rate below "A", serve alternate foods, or are using donuts as a front. Spudnuts got a "B" and also serves ice cream, but it seemed to be clean enough so we preceded. Here's what we got: Dana- a dozen donut holes, or tater-tots if you will. Me- 1 glazed twist, 1 chocolate raised.
The verdict: Spudnuts simply doesn't deliver on its promise. The donuts weren't light, fluffy, or even tasty for that matter. On the outside the donuts appear like any other- however, once one bites into the slightly crusty glaze shell, the textural difference becomes apparent. Normal donut dough has a distinct texture and solubility when in the mouth ranging from fluffy to chewy. A spudnut becomes granular and resembles hash browns when in the mouth. We both agreed this was not a desirable quality. The chocolate coating was decent, but again was overridden by the odd texture. About 10 minutes after we left, it was feeling more like we'd just had a waffle house breakfast instead of a couple donuts.
Cup Holder Change--or--Bust out the Wallet: Cup Holder Change
Destination Donut--or--Keep it Local: Keep it Local, however- I do think it's worth it as an educational experience, and offers another perspective on America's breakfast staple.
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Sunday, April 6, 2008
Daily Donuts falls into the overwhelmingly large category of average donuts. These shops are generously sprinkled around every urban area in America, and are in many cases are the only style of donut most people consume on a regular basis. I read a brief review of this establishment- a giddy writer claiming greatness, nonetheless Dana and I decided to try it out. Daily Donut is located in a pleasant area of Los Feliz with high traffic, so freshness of donuts and cleanliness of shop both came standard. So here's what we got: Dana: 1 original glazed, 1 glazed twist. Me: 1 chocolate raised, 1 plain unglazed old-fashioned, and 1 crumb cake. The verdict: all the donuts in the shop are pale, generally meaning a lack of flavor- they're not undercooked per se, just missing zest and character. Donuts should be bold, sometimes bright, and never blase. That said, all donuts were ok, not great, not terrible, just ok. There was no post-donut stomachache, which in itself is a good thing. The chocolate coating was pretty standard yet slightly too sugary and missing a nice velvety flavor. The original glazed and twist checked out ok as well. I usually never get them, and thought I'd eventually have to try one out- which is why I got an unglazed old fashioned. This particular variety is closer relative of the scone family, and for me, didn't provide any joy. It was dry, slightly crunchy, and bland. The crumb cake is a standard for many folk, but I would avoid this one- too spongy, not moist enough, it's only boast being the crumbs.
Cup Holder Change or Bust out the Wallet: Cup Holder Change
Destination Donut. or Keep it Local: Keep it Local
I'm not putting up a map for this reason- you can find these shops just about anywhere, and I have a hunch they're all varying degrees of the same thing. We will continue to sample and review any establishment for there is always the possibility of greatness lurking around every corner.