Its 3 a.m. and I’m hungry! In-N-Out’s closed, I want something more flavorful than McDonald’s — Taco Bell and Del Taco aren’t going to cut it. I have four more chapters of Public Opinion to memorize before my exam tomorrow. I get on the 405 and drive to Huntington Beach; in approximately 20 minutes I’ll have strong coffee, bagel sandwiches and best of all, doughnuts.
A lifetime of insomnia, cramming for midterms and church doughnuts has made me a connoisseur of sorts. I remember on Sunday mornings rifling through pink boxes filled with the doughy confections. There were always so many choices. This time, however, I chose to seek inspiration elsewhere.
I went to the Donuttery this week with my sisters and her boyfriend. It’s a hole in the wall place — I’m not going to lie, it’s in a bad area — where I go to study from time to time.
The Donuttery shares a parking lot on Beach Blvd. with a couple of smoke shops with obnoxious dancing LED whose presence attack your eyes, a hookah place and a law office — not the prestigious kind, but the sketchy kind. My sisters asked why I would bring them to such a bad area just for donuts and some sandwiches.
It’s a standard doughnut shop, so its biggest frill is a beige couch that matches the beige tiles on the floor and on the walls. There is a menu board for the sandwiches and the breakfast specials. We arrived just a little before seven and the line is almost out the door. I don’t get to enjoy looking at the myriad of doughnuts behind the counter because a junkie heckles me, it always seems to be the same junkie too. After the junkie wanders out, we order. I get the “Custom” sandwich, one of my sisters gets the “Palm Springs” sandwich, her boyfriend gets the breakfast sandwich and we each get a few doughnuts.
We select a table in the back corner of the shop. It’s a good quiet study place because it’s insulated from the noise of the rest of the shop. We dig into the boxes of doughnuts — there’s blueberry, salted caramel devils food, a ham and cheese croissant and a cronut.
If the Donuttery is known for anything, it is their blueberry doughnuts. They are sweet — but not too sweet — and rich in flavor. I discovered them last year when a friend ordered them — you never knew you wanted a blueberry doughnuts until you try one! The Donuttery also has strawberry doughnuts, which are almost as good.
The salted caramel devil’s food is a dense cake doughnut with a deep unsweetened chocolate flavor topped with a salted caramel icing. It was a bit on the salty side for my taste — then again, salt has never been something I enjoy a lot of — but the doughnut was still excellent.
The ham and cheese croissant could have used way more ham, so it was just okay.
I never jumped on the cronut bandwagon, so this was my first cronut. It was a little dry but was flaky like a croissant and had a nice doughnut glaze. I wouldn’t eat one by myself or pay four dollars for one but it was nice to share it with my sister.
Two of the sandwiches are ready and they are nirvana on a plate.
The Palm Spring is a vegetarian sandwich with a bagel for its base topped with cream cheese, red onions, tomato and avocado. It’s light, yet filling, due to the healthy fats from the avocado.
The “Custom” sandwich is by far the best one there. My choice of bread was an onion bagel and it was topped with smoked ham, swiss cheese, red onions, lettuce, ham, mustard and mayo — simple ingredients in perfect proportion. I shared a bite with my sister who couldn’t understand why I drove so far for a sandwich and some donuts but she instantly became a believer. After two bites she decided to order the “Custom” to-go.
At the end of the day, the Donuttery is a simple place, filled with good food and good memories.